Singapore to plant 10,000 trees to mark founder PM Lee’s 100 birthday

Singapore: Some 10,000 trees will be planted across Singapore to mark the 100th year since the birth of the city-state’s founding Prime Minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew, who was known as the economically prosperous Republic’s chief gardener.

Lee, who died in 2015, had launched the first nationwide tree-planting campaign in 1963 and introduced the “Garden City” vision in May 1967, which started a greening movement that has lasted for decades.

Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who kicked off the LKY100 series of initiatives on Sunday with tree planting day, noted that Lee’s goal was to make Singapore clean and green to improve the quality of life for all Singaporeans.

He said the LKY100 initiatives, which will also include community dialogues and public programmes, will honour Lee’s values and ideals that helped shape the People’s Action Party (PAP) and made Singapore what it is today though it has one of the most concentrated high-rise building developments in the world.

The party has ruled the prosperous city-state since its independence in 1965, after separating from the Federation of Malaysia.

Singapore has a population of 5,980,854 as of May 7 based on Worldometer elaboration of the latest United Nations data. The city-state’s population is equivalent to 0.08 per cent of the total world population.

Amid challenges brought by external developments such as the war in Ukraine and rising protectionism, Singapore can draw confidence and strength from what the country’s founding leaders went through in the past, Wong added.

“Our pioneers did not stumble and fall; they defied the odds, they gritted their teeth and built today’s Singapore which we enjoy,” Wong was quoted as saying by The Straits Times.

“So, I’m confident that if we continue to draw strength from what they have been through and motivate ourselves with those same founding values and ideals that were built today, we can overcome whatever challenges that come our way and continue to build a fantastic Singapore together,” he added.