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Singapore PM Lee Hsien hails Indians at heritage centre launch

Singapore PM Lee Hsien hails Indians at heritage centre launch
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Singapore PM Lee Hsien Hails Indians At Heritage Centre Launch. The Indian community has contributed to Singapore -'in deep ways-', Prime Minister Lee ...

Singapore: The Indian community has contributed to Singapore "in deep ways", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said here on Thursday.

During the launch of the Indian Heritage Centre, located at the heart of Little India in the city state and which blends traditional Indian and modern architectural elements, Lee said Indians have contributed a lot to Singapore and the four-storey centre "affirms the importance and vibrancy of the Indian community in Singapore".

The museum, which is the first one dedicated to Indian history, starts with the early interactions between South Asia and Southeast Asia, then goes on to feature the origins and movement of Indians from the 19th century to the 21st century.

Singapore's Minister of Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S. Iswaran, who is also the chair of the centre's steering committee, said the museum was also "strongly endorsed" by Singapore's founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Xinhua news agency reported.

Iswaran thanked the community for loaning or donating artefacts including family heirlooms.

The Little India centre received a total of 368 artefacts through a collection drive in 2011. More than 200 of these pieces are now on display.

The centre cost the National Heritage Board 16 million Singaporean dollars (around $12 million) to build and 5 million Singaporean dollars more to fit it out.

Ethnic Indians comprise around 9.1 percent of Singapore's population of 3.9 million.

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