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Lee Kuan Yew celebrated his 91st birthday at Kuriya Dining at Great World City

David Beckham was there that night as well!

Martino Tan |Medha Lim |Belmont Lay |Tan Xing Qi | September 18, 2014 @ 03:02 pm

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Update Sept. 19, 2014: A spokesman for Education Minister Heng Swee Keat responded to The Straits Times on the awkward photoshopped image of Lee Kuan Yew’s 91st birthday celebration. He said that the photograph was taken with a simple camera and that “an amateur adjustment” was made to remove the glare in the background. Read his statement here.

Thank you Internets!


After crowdsourcing for answers, we can confirm once and for all that Lee Kuan Yew celebrated his 91st birthday dinner at Japanese restaurant Kuriya Dining at Great World City on Sept. 16, 2014.

That awkward photoshopped image that made the rounds online showing the ex-prime minister curbing his enthusiasm with his birthday cake in front of him as he was surrounded by some people, including Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, against an unusually black background is taken in Kuriya Dining’s private room, which can sit about 10 people.

This is the botched photoshopped image with the unusually black background:

lky-91st-birthday

This is Kuriya’s private dining room:

kuriya-private-room

Check out the cutlery, cup and table at Kuriya:

kuriya-table

They match the cutlery, cup and table in the photo.

And guess what else did we find out?

We came up with a few conjectures about the type of restaurant that Lee Kuan Yew would dine in: Easily accessible, exit is close by to facilitate movement by security detail, exclusive (but still uses disposable wooden chopsticks) and relatively popular.

The Kuriya Dining restaurant turns out to be just the perfect place. It’s dinners are around the S$80 to S$100 range per pax.

Moreover, its location is ideal for Lee Kuan Yew and company, as the security staff can easily waltz the ex-prime minister in and out of his waiting car.

The restaurant entrance is a mere 50 steps from the sheltered vehicle drop-off area of Great World City shopping centre’s east building.

kuriya-entrance

great-world-city-east

Having solved the riddle about just where he had his dinner celebration, I guess we should do Lee Kuan Yew and company a favour and put them back in the right context. That photoshopped black background looks really ominous, anyways.

With a little bit of Photoshop magic, we have transported them right back into the Kuriya Dining private room.

kuriya-lee-kuan-yew

And we also found out, on the night of Sept. 16, 2014, David Beckham was also in town and he dined at Kuriya as well. David Beckham always dines at Kuriya Dining whenever he is in town.

This was the photo of him from April 2014 at Kuriya:

beckham-kuriya
Source

And as he was at the restaurant that night, he met Lee Kuan Yew face-to-face and wished him happy birthday.

To the Internets again,

Mr Miyagi and Brandon, you are wrong about the restaurant. Better luck next time.

Alan Tay, you are right about the poorly taken photo.

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So, let’s photoshop David Beckham right in the picture as well, just because:

kuriya-lky-beckham

Related articles:

Mothership.sg’s food review of the restaurant where Lee Kuan Yew spent his 91st birthday

91 quotes of Lee Kuan Yew that show why you either love or hate him

Thanks to social media, we know what Lee Kuan Yew did on his 91st birthday

About Martino Tan

Martino’s parents named him after an Italian priest, Vatican's 1st ambassador to S’pore. He's inspired by the lives of Robert Kennedy & Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the words of George Orwell & William F. Buckley Jr., & the music of the Beatles.

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