Orders for medallions engraved with the face of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, as well as busts in his likeness, were halted after their launch on Monday (March 2) because of a huge backlash from netizens.
The medallions were available at between S$10 and S$1,888 each.
The prices of the copper busts, available in 110mm and 430mm sizes, were not stated.
The Pride of Singapore medallion range featuring Mr Lee comprised four commemorative gold, silver and base-metal medallions, as well as made-to-order copper busts.
The moment the announcement was made, many netizens criticized the idea, calling it a “disgrace” to the older Mr Lee’s memory.
Others also added that the timing was very poor, in light of the Lee family feud that has been taking place between the Lee siblings.
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the matter of notes and coins bearing the image of Mr Lee, as well as busts of him, in Parliament in 2015.
PM Lee had said that although issuing notes and coins that bear his father’s image “is certainly something we can consider for the future”, he noted that “Mr Lee was very careful never to allow a personality cult to grow around him, much less to encourage one himself”.
PM Lee also said the late Mr Lee had made clear “he did not need and did not want any monument”.
“He did have his portrait painted and his bust made in his lifetime, but he did not allow them to be displayed publicly and I know of only two exceptions to this,” he added.
According to guidelines by the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth, Mr Lee’s name or image may be used for purposes of “identifying with the nation, as long as it is in accordance with law and accord dignity and respect to Mr Lee’s name and image”, and should not be used for “commercial exploitation”. /TISG
Send in your scoop to firstname.lastname@example.org