Young visitors will discover a different side of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister’s story through murals, artefacts and programmes.

Children's Museum Singapore LKY100 exhibitionLKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister Exhibition Poster

“For the young, let me tell you, the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure, and there are rich findings at the end of that rainbow. To the young and the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow.”
– Mr Lee Kuan Yew, 1996

What were founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s growing up years like, and what did he have to overcome in order to become a man who helped build Singapore into a thriving cosmopolitan city? In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee’s birth, Children’s Museum Singapore (CMSG) has launched its latest exhibition – LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister – which traces the late Mr Lee’s story from his childhood to his career as a statesman, and examines the values he espoused and the legacy he left behind. The exhibition runs from 19 August 2023 to 14 January 2024.

The exhibition seeks to deepen young visitors’ understanding of the Singapore story through the lens of Mr Lee’s life and values, and foster a sense of pride at how far we have come. Along with his better-known achievements, visitors will also discover a more relatable side of Mr Lee, who grew up in the 1920s playing with gasing, marbles and fighting fish. In doing so, the exhibition also aims to show that young people can have big dreams and can make a difference in their communities and nation.

Mrs Wai Yin Pryke, Museum Director, CMSG, said: “We hope the exhibition will reveal a more relatable side to Mr Lee Kuan Yew – as a young boy growing up – to our children, and in the process inspire them by showing how he went on to achieve extraordinary things. We hope they will be encouraged to dream big and ‘follow that rainbow’, as Mr Lee famously once said.”

Capturing the legacy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew for the next generation

As part of the exhibition’s curatorial process, CMSG organised focus group discussions with our community of Little Ambassadors – which comprise children of different age groups – and their parents. The purpose of these discussions was to gather their views about Mr Lee Kuan Yew and what they would like to learn about him, and resulted in the exhibition focusing on exploring Mr Lee’s childhood, and expounding on his values and legacy in a light, easily-digestible way.

The exhibition is located in CMSG’s Discovery Room. It welcomes visitors with the Cabinet of Curiosity, where an array of artefacts tell stories of different periods in Mr Lee’s life.

These include a Telok Kurau East School (now Telok Kurau Primary School) admission register bearing his English name “Lee Harry”, from when he studied there from 1930 to 1935. A tennis racket presented to Mr Lee in 1973 will also show his penchant for leading a healthy lifestyle, demonstrated by his active participation in sports such as tennis, cricket and swimming during his schooling years.

LKY100 - The Boy Who Became Prime Minister Quotes MirrorLKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister Quotes Mirror

In addition, an LKY100 – The Boy Who Became Prime Minister teaser exhibition with accompanying storytelling sessions will travel to selected public libraries across the island from September 2023 to January 2024. The travelling teaser exhibition will also feature artworks submitted by young creators who participated in CMSG’s Singapore Dreaming competition. The artworks depict the children’s hopes and dreams for Singapore in a comic format and selected entries will be printed on Yeo’s Soymilk vending machines in their school networks this August.

Limited-edition packet of Yeo's Heritage Brew Chrysanthemum Tea

Visitors to CMSG this August will also get a limited-edition packet of Yeo’s Heritage Brew Chrysanthemum Tea that commemorates the 100th anniversary of Mr Lee’s birth, while stocks last.

For more information, visit here.

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