Founders’ Memorial Committee recommends that the Founders’ Memorial be sited at Bay East Garden and opened to the public by 2025
07 August 2017, Singapore – Following two years of outreach to over 32,000 people, the Founders’ Memorial Committee has submitted its report to the Government. In addition to the six key findings derived from its engagements with Singaporeans, the Committee also recommended that the Founders’ Memorial be sited at Bay East Garden and opened to the public by 2025, in time to celebrate Singapore’s 60th year of independence.
2 The 15-member Founders’ Memorial Committee was formed in June 2015 to gather views from the public, and to conceptualise a memorial for our founding fathers if the idea found resonance amongst Singaporeans. Over the past two years, the Committee has engaged people of different ages, backgrounds and interests, including stakeholder groups. Through focus group discussions, surveys, workshops and public showcases, the Committee has gained insights into Singaporeans’ hopes and expectations for the memorial.
Six Key Findings by the Founders’ Memorial Committee
3 The six key findings are:
- Singaporeans have expressed strong support for a values-based, forward-looking Founders’ Memorial to commemorate the values and ideals of independent Singapore’s founding leaders and to inspire current and future generations.
- There was a strong consensus that the memorial should be at Bay East Garden, as its park setting and proximity to water is a good reflection of Singapore’s status as a Garden City.
- Singaporeans also called for an indoor gallery with educational and interactive programmes.
- The memorial should leverage the expertise of our heritage institutions and work closely with various user groups and the wider community in designing programmes that would allow the memorial to be a “living memorial”, so it would remain relevant for future generations.
- While Singaporeans agreed that time and care should be taken to develop such a nationally significant memorial, many Singaporeans were keen to see the memorial developed sooner rather than later. In particular, the elderly who lived through our early years of independence expressed a desire for the memorial to be completed soon, so that they could personally relate their stories to the younger generation and share how they had seen Singapore transform and progress over their lifetime.
- Last, but not least, Singaporeans hoped for the memorial to be one that would reflect our national identity and the values we stand for as one united people.
4 The two-year engagement journey went beyond gathering feedback to capturing the emotions and sentiments of Singaporeans. The process brought people of different backgrounds and interests together for a project that evoked heartfelt responses and a sense of unity and purpose in discussing what it means to be Singaporean. Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, said, “The Committee would like to thank everyone who joined us in this journey for their contributions. It is our sincere hope that both the process of bringing the memorial to fruition and the memorial itself will also be unifying for generations to come.”
5 The full report of the Founders’ Memorial Committee is available here.
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Annex – Quotes from Founders’ Memorial Committee Members
“It has been an unexpected journey. We set out without roadmap or compass but simply listened with an open mind. Singaporeans from all walks of life – particularly the pioneer generation – want a memorial to capture the experiences and lessons of their time, to help future generations understand how Singapore got to where we are. Across generations, we are united by the common thread of our shared values that have stood the test of time.”
– Mr Timothy James de Souza
“The core of the memorial concept is the bedrock of values and the founding leaders who led and lived by these values in building Singapore; and consequently forged a national identity in uniting a diverse people around these values. It is a living memorial, dynamically linked to our heritage, institutions, and community; engaging the city and urban environment with opportunity for growth.”
– Mr Zahidi bin Abdul Rahman
“My greatest aspiration is for this memorial to be a space that reminds people of the unity and fragility of our nation. It is also our collective hope that it becomes a platform for individuals to convene and have conversations that matter, conversations that not only help negotiate the past but also inspire a shared vision of the future we desire, for our people and our nation.”
– Ms Druga Rajendran