The Republic's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has been accorded the nation's highest form of respect: The traditional mounting of the vigil guards during the lying in state period at the Parliament House.
Mr Lee's coffin was on Wednesday (Mar 25) transported to the Parliament House, and it will lie in state until the State Funeral on Sunday. The vigil guards are in place, and comprise four uniformed officers each standing at a corner of the casket with his head bowed, back turned away and ceremonial sword inverted. They are led by a senior officer who stands at the head of the casket facing inwards.
The Chief of Defence Force, Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng; Chief of Army (COA), Major-General Perry Lim; Chief of Navy (CNV), Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han; Chief of Air Force (CAF), Major-General Hoo Cher Mou; and Chief of Staff, Joint Staff, Brigadier-General Chia Choon Hoong will perform the first vigil guard duties in the morning of Mar 25 from 9.45am to 10.15am.
On Wednesday afternoon, the Commissioner of Police will lead senior officers from the Singapore Police Force in performing vigil guard duties. On subsequent days, COA, CNV and CAF will lead their respective Services in performing the vigil guard duties.
Friends and former colleagues of the late Mr Lee will also hold vigil in his memory during the lying in state at Parliament House. They will be joined by representatives from various branches of Government, trade unions, grassroots organisations and other groups, a reflection of his extensive and diverse contributions to nation-building.
Each vigil group, comprising about 20 persons, will hold vigil for 30 minutes.
Members of Parliament formed one of the vigil groups at 10am on Thursday. Among the group were Ministers Lawrence Wong and S Iswaran, Speaker of Parliament Halimah Yacob as well as Workers' Party MP Low Thia Khiang and Non-Constituency MP (NCMP) Lina Chiam, wife of opposition figure Chiam See Tong.