Posts Tagged ‘Lee Kuan Yew’

It’s taken a while to pen this down, though the thoughts have been running through my mind this past 2 weeks.

Last week was an emotionally tiring week. I was going to say ‘draining’, but I would think that should really be reserved for the family. But it was tiring.

I first saw the news in the middle of the night when I woke to feed Alyssa. It saddened me, as it did most Singaporeans. I know it’s been said to death, but it’s true that I have always looked at Mr Lee with great admiration. Although there has been much debate about his position on various issues in recent years, I don’t think anyone disputes what he has done for Singapore, how he has shaped this little country into what it is today. I remember sitting in class in secondary school learning about the history of Singapore, and especially in University when I took a module on Singapore’s history. I remember being in admiration of the bold decisions taken in turbulent times. His vision for Singapore, in light of the current world trends, was amazing. Really ahead of his time.

As condolences poured in from around the world, and as different world leaders from countries much larger than ours paid tribute to Mr Lee, it was a clear reminder of how he has raised Singapore’s stature. Who would have cared about the passing of the founder of our nation otherwise? We are so small.

It is my honest hope that my children grow up knowing about him and how important he and his first team were in shaping Singapore to be what it is. I hope that they are not blindly dismissive or ambivalent, but accord him due respect and admiration while appreciating the fragile circumstances within which Singapore was formed.

Apart from his political contributions, I think what stood out for me in the last week, and for many others, was the impact he had on his own family. I suppose all this wasn’t made public sooner in his life as it could be seen as making him look soft? But I really liked learning about the other side of Mr Lee. And what a wonderful love story. What a worthy example of a good marriage to follow! I think many married Singaporean couples would have found themselves thinking about their own marriage and how they could be as loving and supportive of one another like Mr and Mrs Lee.


Lots of flowers and notes from the public. The video was showing one of my favourite interviews of Mr and Mrs Lee.

Given the long queues and the usual routine of kids, we didn’t manage to go down to pay our respects at Parliament House. Had I known about the how short the wait was at the priority queue I might have made the trip down, but I thought it was all around 8 hours. So I went down to Kembangan CC with Asher, and we spent some time there reading the tributes from Singaporeans, and watching a documentary about Mr Lee. I needed to go. It was the least I could do for someone who has done so much. It is so cliched, but what to do? Cliches do ring true.

Sunday found us gathering at my parents home to watch the funeral procession. I was thinking, poor PM Lee having to perform his role as PM first during this difficult time. The whole week he still had do his public rounds, meet with dignitaries. Even the private ceremony was not really private.

And even though we caught the ceremony from home, at the end of the ceremony I just felt so emotionally spent.

But it is time to move on. Time to continue doing our little part each day for Singapore, whatever that little part may be.

Farewell, Mr Lee. Thank you for all you have done.

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