SINGAPORE: The founder of non-profit group Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), Mr Tay Lai Hock, died on Tuesday (Aug 14) morning.
GUI announced Mr Tay's passing in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening that referred to Mr Tay affectionately as their "Kampung Chief".
"May Gratitude and Joy be with all of us always as we remember dear Lai Hock for the vibrant life that he has lived and loved," read the post.
Mr Tay, who was in his 50s, founded GUI with the intention of reconnecting city dwellers with nature after the SilkAir crash in 1997 prompted him to rethink what he was doing with his life.
GUI's 26,000sqm Kampung Kampus site in Khatib is designed as a low-carbon footprint area featuring tropical sustainable architecture and aims to be a role model in sustainable living.
Mr Tay had said that he hoped the centre would encourage more Singaporeans to “get in touch with their roots".
"What I'm trying to do is help Singaporeans free their minds," he had said.
"FAREWELL, KAMPUNG CHIEF"
Comments poured in on GUI's Facebook post with many expressing their condolences and posting tributes to Mr Tay.
Nominated Member of Parliament Kuik Shiao-Yin also offered her condolences in a Facebook post, adding that she was "grateful" for the possibilities he had opened up for young people.
"We lost a good man in the people sector today.
"Grateful for the risks you took, for the new possibilities you opened up for so many young people and for the welcoming cups of Teh Tarik you offered at your Kampung as our tribes talked about how to build community.
"Farewell, Kampung Chief," read the post.
GUI added that Mr Tay's wake will be held from Wednesday to Friday, and a memorial will be held on Saturday at the Kampung Kampus site in Khatib.