Despite his disapproval in being idolised and his reluctance in having things named after him, the late Lee Kuan Yew might just see his name plastered onto the show horse of Singapore’s infrastructure; Changi Airport.
The online petition to rename the world’s best airport after Singapore’s founding Prime Minister gained exponential momentum in the days following his death, closing at 12,481 signatures on Mar 30.
According to the campaign’s organisers, they’ve handed over the petition to the Minister of Transport Lui Tuck Yew on Tuesday morning, who promised to bring the matter up to the government for consideration.
Lee, who died aged 91 on 23 March after a long illness, was Singapore’s founding prime minister and is credited with transforming the tiny city-state from an economic backwater into one of Asia’s wealthiest countries. His lying-in-state at parliament and funeral prompted an unprecedented outpouring of grief from hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans.
The petition says renaming the airport, which is currently named for the area on which it was built, after Lee “will help to serve as a constant reminder to present and future generations that the spirit of LKY lives on”.
But Associate Professor Hussin Mutalib, senior political science lecturer at the National University of Singapore, cautioned against the move.
“Garnering signatures and pressuring our government via petitions is not the best way to pay tribute to him [Lee]. In fact, it dishonours one of his governing principles, namely, not to rule by populist pressures,” Hussin wrote in a commentary published on Monday in the local newspaper TODAY.
Changi Airport was recently named the world’s best airport for the third year running at the Skytrax 2015 World Airport Awards in Paris.