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Lee Kuan Yew

Kim Jong-un impersonator disrupts Hong Kong broadcast of Lee Kuan Yew's funeral

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 2015, 4:13pm
UPDATED : Friday, 07 July, 2017, 8:18pm

The sombre mood at a Hong Kong viewing of the live broadcast of Lee Kuan Yew's state funeral yesterday was momentarily broken by a Kim Jong-un impersonator and activist.

Shouts of "crazy" and "get out" broke out from the crowd as security guards ushered the man away after he took the stage at Central Plaza and called Singapore's founding prime minister "the world's greatest dictator" and cried out, satirically, "long live one-party rule in Singapore".

The man, known as Howard, was escorted out of the building by police and told not to return.

Hundreds of Singaporeans, many in tears, were among an estimated 1,000 people gathered on the 46th floor of the Wan Chai skyscraper to watch the funeral.

The consulate-general of Singapore organised the event with the Singapore Association and the Singapore Chamber of Commerce.

"[Lee] built a social framework, for Singapore to thrive and Singaporeans to pursue their dreams and live their lives," consul-general Jacky Foo said. He urged Singaporeans to "hold dear to his principles, carry on his ideals and work hard to build an even better Singapore".

Singaporean Angeline Koh told of the impact Lee's death had on her.

"I feel like I lost a grandfather. I don't know why," said the 33-year-old charity worker who has lived in Hong Kong on and off since 2011.

"He was the right man at the right time for the job and he was a good politician."

Koh said Lee's biggest legacy was in education and leaving behind a culture of incorruptible integrity and frugality.

Fellow Singaporean Hannah Wang said that after living in Hong Kong for seven years, she finally had begun to appreciate that Lee's Singapore was a "very good place".

"Hong Kong is run by businessmen. Singapore is run by politicians," the 34-year-old finance worker said. "I'd say the world needs more Lee Kuan Yews."

On Howard's protest, she said "everyone has the freedom to say what they want".

Howard - a Hong Kong-born Australian musician - made headlines in 2013 after posting online photos of himself as North Korea's "Young Leader".

"Singaporeans have everything one would want in a first-world city, materialistically, but not in terms of civil liberties," he said.