The Civilian Memorial was officially unveiled by then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who laid a wreath on behalf of the Government and the people of Singapore. Religious rites were conducted by officials of the Inter-Religious Organisation and a three-minute silence was observed in honour of the dead during the Japanese Occupation (from 15 Feb 1942 to 15 Aug 1945). Those present included the victims’ families, members of the diplomatic corps (including the Japanese Ambassador), religious chiefs and representatives from the four races. Costing an estimated $500,000 (Singapore Dollars), one of the characteristics of the Memorial is its height of 61 metres and its four columns. The columns represent the four races joined together at the base – signifying the unity of all races. Construction of the Memorial began in June 1966 and was completed in January 1967.
Japanese enter Singapore in force on the morning of 16-Feb-1942. This was agreed to by both sides during the surrender negotiations. The day was the date Singapore turn it clock hand forward to Tokyo Standard Time + 9hr GMT. Singapore time moved ahead by 1 hr 30 min to conform with Tokyo Standard Time.