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Singapore media and marketing companies give staff time off to pay respects to Lee Kuan Yew

People queue in 32-degree heat and the rain to pay their respects

People queue in 32-degree heat to pay respects to LKY

Media and marketing companies in Singapore are to give their staff time off to pay their respects to the late founding father of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away on Monday of this week.

People of all generations have been standing in 32-degree heat today to pay their respects to the late former prime minister, who is lying in state at Parliament House.

David Tang, the boss of DDB Singapore – which has been encouraging its staff to leave work early to pay tribute – said: “It’s a week where we feel the enormous loss and gratitude for what Mr Lee Kuan Yew has done for us all. Never have so many been indebted this much to one man. We must move forward to keep up his legacy.”

DDB created a website, ahkong.sg, to collect tribute tweets to Lee Kuan Yew.

Media agency Starcom is to give its employees time off on Friday. However, Southeast Asia boss Jeffrey Seah said that staff could take “whatever amount of time they need”. As it stands, people have been queuing for up to eight hours, Seah remarked.

Pat Law, the boss of social media agency Goodstuph, said that her company is being flexible to “work around the schedule of others” to give staff the time they need to visit Parliament House with their families.

Law posted a comment on her Facebook page today that received almost 1,400 likes in six hours:

Someone asked if there was free shuttle service from City Hall to Parliament House.

Another replied “He gave his whole life to the country. You can walk for 10 minutes.”

Best comment I’ve seen.

‪#‎leekuanyew‬ ‪#‎lky‬

Agencies, media owners and advertisers of all kinds have been allowing their staff to leave work early to pay tribute. Among those Mumbrella asked were Google, GroupM, Viacom, MediaCorp, Omnicom Media Group, StarHub, Grey, Discovery Networks, Mangham Gaxiola, BBDO, Leo Burnett and Lowe.

National broadcaster MediaCorp is allowing its staff to pay their respects from 3pm today, tomorrow or Friday “if work demands allow and subject to supervisors’ approval.”

Agencies such as Mangham Gaxiola, Grey, Possible and BBDO have left it up to individuals to decide when to pay tribute.

People can visit Parliament House anytime from now until Saturday 8pm, the government announced this afternoon.

Paul Soon, the APAC CEO of digital agency Possible, commented on LKY’s passing: “I am sad, but I know that it is now truly up to folks like myself that need to do more for the country because it is OUR time. The best way to remember him is to keep being proud of being Singaporean and be the best that we can be.”

Only one company that Mumbrella asked did not give its staff time off today. The agency boss said: “No one has asked for time off, so it wasn’t something that came up. I don’t think the young ones are huge fans [of Lee Kuan Yew].”

Meanwhile, the websites of Singapore’s main national news providers, Straits Times and TODAY, remain ad-free, and digital advertising signage across the citystate is running tribute messages to the late PM.

Tribute screens for LKY at Changi Airport Terminal 1

Tribute screens for LKY at Changi Airport Terminal 1

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