27 Mar 2015

Sembcorp Marine Honours Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Founding Prime Minister of Singapore, in Tribute Ceremony

Singapore, March 27, 2015: Sembcorp Marine honoured Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew with a tribute today to recognise his unparalleled contributions and unwavering commitment to Singapore. A great leader and a bold visionary with far-sighted ideals, Mr Lee had spearheaded Singapore’s remarkable development from third-world to first and impressive transformation from humble beginnings as a newly independent fledgling nation in 1965 to the thriving metropolis it is today.

Under his astute leadership, Mr Lee was instrumental in creating strong economic growth through industrialisation as well as steering the progress of the maritime sector and Singapore’s achievement as a global leader in rig building, conversion and repair. From the marine and offshore industry’s early beginnings in the 1960s, Mr Lee gave vision, purpose and inspiration to a whole generation in the industry and more.

Mr Lee was very much a part of the Sembcorp Marine story and was a deeply valued mentor who took a personal interest in our shipyards’ development since the early years of their establishment. The Group’s nascent beginnings as Jurong Shipyard –Singapore’s first commercial shipyard in a joint venture between the Economic Development Board and Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries – in 1963 was a result of Mr Lee and the government’s relentless efforts to bolster economic growth for the nation. Through the years, Mr Lee continued to give his strong support through his presence at our corporate functions and impromptu personal visits for a first-hand view of our shipyards’ progress.

As part of the tribute, the Group revisited treasured memories of Mr Lee with a slideshow in remembrance of his profound contributions. Mr Lee’s keen interest in the Group’s development was seen in his stirring speech at the first annual dinner of Jurong Shipyard on January 14, 1967. Mr Lee similarly gave rousing speeches at Jurong Shipyard’s fourth annual dinner in January 1970 and at the foundation stonelaying of Jurong Shipbuilders on March 29, 1972. His reminders of the importance of ensuring good management, leveraging technology and increasing skills and productivity of workers imbued our shipyards’ employees with a sense of endeavour that has pushed them onwards towards the success that can be seen today.

Mr Lee subsequently graced the official opening of Sembawang Shipyard’s new Premier Dock in May 1975 and visited the yard again in January 1978 together with former British Prime Minister Sir Harold Wilson, whom Mr Lee had invited to Singapore. Decades later, Mr Lee demonstrated his steadfast commitment to the Group with his presence at Sembawang Shipyard’s 30th anniversary celebrations in 1998, where he launched the yard’s commemorative book ‘Of Hearts and Minds’ in which he had penned a foreword. In another testament of his firm support, Mr Lee penned another foreword for Sembawang Shipyard’s second commemorative book ‘Of Hearts and Minds II’ which was launched in 2011, where he highlighted the yard’s technical expertise and world-class service.

As part of the tribute, senior management from Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiaries Mr Ho Nee Sin, Managing Director of SMOE, and Ms Wong Lee Lin, Executive Director of Sembawang Shipyard, shared memories of Mr Lee’s inspiration and encouragement in their lives.

The event also witnessed Sembcorp Marine’s Chairman Tan Sri Mohd Hassan Marican and President & CEO Mr Wong Weng Sun leading more than 400 attendees present in the penning of tributes to Mr Lee in honour of his strong support and steadfast presence in the Group’s history. Concurrently, various tribute stations have been set up across Sembcorp Marine’s subsidiary yards for staff to leave tribute messages. So far, more than 1,200 staff have penned their tributes.

As Sembcorp Marine mourns the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our remembrance of his love for Singapore and contributions to the nation will serve as an inspiration to us all as we continue to further Mr Lee’s enduring legacy to grow Singapore from strength to strength.

Arrival of founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew at Jurong Shipyard’s 4th Annual Dinner on 17 January 1970

Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and Mrs Lee being welcomed at the official opening of Jurong Shipbuilders on 29 March 1972

Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on a yard tour for the opening of Sembawang Shipyard’s Premier Dock on 25 May 1975


Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew marks Sembawang Shipyard’s 30th anniversary with the launch of the commemorative coffee table book ‘Of Hearts & Minds’ on 1 December 1998

Tribute Ceremony