restricted access The Well-Prepared Death of Lee Kuan Yew

The Prime Minister’s Office of Singapore declared a week of national mourning after the country’s first Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, passed away on 23 March 2015. Approximately one-fifth of the country’s population visited at least one mourning site during the week. The state used this time and space to establish and crystallize a desired memory of Lee. A national narrative of mourning was constructed by providing both physical and emotional venues such as community tribute sites, the parliament site where the body lay in state and online platforms such as the Facebook page ‘Remembering LKY’. Through interruption, repetition, and formality, this structure enacted, guided, and amplified the expression of specific emotions from the participants. An over-arching atmosphere of mourning was created in that week, allowing the whole nation to participate in the guided remembering of Lee.