19 Oct 2018

Founders' Memorial Enters Next Stage of Development with Reconstituted Committee
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Media Release

Founders’ Memorial Enters Next Stage of Development with Reconstituted Committee

5-ha site at Bay East Garden has been identified for the building of the Founders’ Memorial


Singapore, 19 October 2018 – The Founders’ Memorial enters its next stage of development with a focus on design and content aspects. The next stage of the project, which spans two years, will be helmed by a reconstituted Committee which will continue to engage Singaporeans across key milestones.

The Memorial Experience

2          Based on the consensus distilled from the Committee’s engagements with Singaporeans in the earlier phases of the project, the Founders’ Memorial will be designed to commemorate the values and ideals exemplified by the founding leaders of independent Singapore[1] . The envisioned memorial will be at a 5-ha site located within the Bay East Garden, and comprise a garden setting in which will nestle an indoor gallery component.    

3          Anchored on the stories and events which narrate Singapore’s growth as a nation, the memorial will take visitors on a journey that is moving and inspiring, educational and reflective. The narrative and ideals will be brought to life through the stories and events in Singapore’s development, as well as personal anecdotes and stories to add another layer to the experience. It intends to also capture the context for key milestones in Singapore’s nation-building history, the experiences and dilemmas of our leaders which shaped their values and principles, and how these affected their actions, policy deliberations and decisions.

4          The site at Bay East Garden will reflect Singapore’s journey as a nation through elements such as the panoramic view of the evolving cityscape, which is a nod to Singapore’s urban planning; the site on reclaimed land along the Marina Reservoir that reminds us how we dealt with our water and land constraints; and the Gardens’ association with our development as a ‘Garden City’.

5          Mr Lee Tzu Yang, Chairman of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, said: “There was strong agreement from Singaporeans with whom we spoke in the earlier phase, that the memorial should foster a sense of unity amongst Singaporeans and inspire us for the future. As we embark on the next stage of our work as a Committee, we hope to bring these ideas into a design that achieves these objectives, supports the intended visitor experience, and enables content and programming that resonates with Singaporeans”.

Development Approach

6          The next stage will develop the memorial’s narrative, programming and infrastructure. As such, the Committee is in discussions with key organisations – National Heritage Board, Gardens by the Bay, and Urban Redevelopment Authority.

7          The memorial’s scope will broadly cover the period before independence to the first few decades of Singapore’s independence, with a focus on stories and milestones in Singapore’s development. Educational programmes are to be developed to complement and extend the experience of visitors.

8          Guided by the intended visitor experience and narrative derived from the previous phases of public engagements, the developmental approach will work with the surrounding Bay East Garden in which the memorial will be situated. This is to ensure that the outcome will be in a setting that respects and enhances its evocative and inspirational qualities.

9          The memorial is envisaged to include components such as permanent and temporary galleries, a viewing gallery, a visitor centre, and multi-purpose rooms. These facilities will support programming such as school learning journeys and citizenship ceremonies.

10        The design and content development stage will see various project milestones in the coming months, the first being an Open Design Competition in January 2019 to call for proposals for the design. More details on the Open Design Competition and public engagements will be shared in the future.

Reconstituted Founders’ Memorial Committee

11        The 15-member Founders’ Memorial Committee has been reconstituted for the project’s next development stage, and their term will last two and a half years, from 1 May 2018 to 31 October 2020.

12        Comprising representatives from the people, private and public sectors, the reconstituted committee, with diverse experience and skills in the areas of heritage, education, design, architecture and programming, will oversee the next stage of the memorial’s development. Briefly, the Committee will:

  • Define the broad concept for the Memorial for the Open Design Competition;
  • Engage widely and consult all relevant stakeholders to garner support for the concept and design; and
  • Provide guidance on the content and programming approach.


[1] The engagements affirmed the founding values of building a multiracial nation, boldness & diligence, resilience & adaptability, integrity & incorruptibility, humility & teamwork, as well as the values of the National Pledge.


Please refer to:

  • Annex A for the broad timeline of the development of the Founders’ Memorial
  • Annex B for the narrative derived from the previous phases of public engagements
  • Annex C for the site map of the proposed Founders’ Memorial site at Bay East Garden
  • Annex D for more information on the reconstituted Committee and its members 


For media queries, please contact:

Elizabeth Tang
Manager, Strategic Communications & Digital, National Heritage Board
Contact: 6332 3921
Email: Elizabeth_TANG@nhb.gov.sg

Jonathan Goh
Assistant Director, Marketing & Communications, National Museum of Singapore
DID: 6332 3958
Email: Jonathan_GOH@nhb.gov.sg


About the Founders’ Memorial

The Founders’ Memorial will commemorate the values and ideals exemplified by the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore’s first generation leaders, as well as other key personalities who played important roles in Singapore’s path to independence, and in the early years of Singapore’s nation-building process. The Memorial’s narrative will take a values-driven approach as guided by its concept, which was derived from the Founders’ Memorial Committee’s engagement with Singaporeans in 2015 – 2017.

Envisioned as an integrated gallery and gardens experience at the Bay East Garden, the Memorial aims to both commemorate how independent Singapore came to be, and inspire Singaporeans to commit themselves to contribute towards the nation’s future.

The Memorial is currently in its second stage of development, and the Committee will continue to engage Singaporeans to gather their views on its design. More information on the Founders’ Memorial is available at foundersmemorial.sg.



ANNEX A

Founders’ Memorial Broad Development Timeline


Concept Stage

In his parliamentary statement on 13 April 2015, PM announced that he had asked Mr Lee Tzu Yang to chair a committee to gather views from the public and conceptualise a Founders’ Memorial to educate future generations on the values and principles of the founding generation of leaders, and to take the project further if the idea finds resonance among Singaporeans.

  • Phase 1 Engagements

The Committee’s Phase 1 public engagement exercises took place from Oct 2015 to Jan 2016. Over 400 people shared their views through 13 dialogue sessions covering all age groups and vernacular languages. In addition, a representative sample of 1,300 individuals was interviewed via a door-to-door survey, and over 200 responses were also received via an online portal. Stakeholder groups including historians, grassroots leaders, educators and academics were consulted.

  • Phase 2 Engagements

Phase 2 public consultations were held from Sep 2016 to Feb 2017. More than 700 participants took part in 15 workshops that were conducted across different age and ethnic groups. Key stakeholder groups, including architects, planners, and designers; historians and the heritage community; educators and academics; public servants; pioneer generation members; grassroots leaders; union leaders; uniformed groups; youth and students; and business leaders, were also engaged. Participants used crowdsourcing tools to share their suggestions in real-time, and created physical prototypes illustrating their ideas for the Founders’ Memorial.

  • Phase 3 Showcase

For its Phase 3 outreach, the Committee launched a public showcase in March 2017 to raise public awareness about the Founders’ Memorial project and to allow Singaporeans to provide more input and suggestions for the Memorial.

Following the three phases of engagements, which reached out to over 32,000 people across two years, the Committee submitted its report which carried six key findings derived from its engagements with Singaporeans, as well as the recommendation for the Founders’ Memorial to be sited at Bay East Garden.

The full report of the Founders’ Memorial Committee, as well as more information on the previous engagements, are available at foundersmemorial.sg.


ANNEX B

Founders’ Memorial Narrative

We are an unexpected nation.

But against all odds, we found our way forward.

Though the fears were real and the threats were clear, our nation survived and thrived through every challenge because our pioneers honoured their promises.

Inspired by our founding Prime Minister and his team
We pledge to stay one united people, regardless of race and religion.
We commit to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality.
We vow to help one another achieve happiness, prosperity and progress.

In the stories of our past lie the seeds of our future.

            Boldness. Diligence. The courage to pioneer and progress.
            Resilience. Adaptability. The determination to turn challenges into opportunities.
            Incorruptibility. Integrity. The humility to work together as one.

This is the Singapore spirit. Our shared legacy and common inheritance.

Let's honour it, live it and forge our future together.


ANNEX C

Site map of the proposed Founders’ Memorial site at Bay East Garden




ANNEX D

Reconstituted Founders’ Memorial Committee

The reconstituted Founders’ Memorial Committee will oversee the development of the Founders’ Memorial from 1 May 2018 to 31 October 2020. See below for the list of members.

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