When news of our late Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s hospitalisation broke earlier this year in February 2015, the nation rallied in prayers. We wanted him to tarry a little, we want him more than ever, to be there to celebrate the fruits of his labour on SG50 National Day. A feisty idealist, a strategic thinker, an exceptional visionary, a far-sighted leader who dedicated his entire life to nation building and transformed Singapore almost single-handedly from a third-world economy to first, in a single generation. No one, in political history has ever accomplished that. We owe much of who we are today, and all that the world esteem Singapore for to him and the long-suffering pioneer generation who fought alongside him.
Coming from a disadvantaged home, his sound economic policies meant that women like my Mum was able to support her two young daughters with jobs in a factory instead of working overseas as domestic help. His meritocratic education policies saw my sister and I both through our tertiary education with University Scholarships. His ambitious public housing policies made us proud home owners as young working adults. His healthcare policies meant we never had to travel more than an hour should our children (or ourselves) needed medical attention. His prudent defence policies meant we need not live under siege or as second class citizens under another country’s governance. His sound foreign policies meant stability and progress so that all of us, his countrymen can thrive and raise our families in this safe, secure city state we call home. Yes, Singapore remains a work in progress with challenges to tackle, but the foundations of good, clean governance laid by him has given us a strong head start.
Take a look around us and you know there will not be a Singapore story without this giant. Now he has passed on the baton to us, to continue upholding his legacy in keeping Singapore united for our children and their children’s children. We must not let him down.
I’ve never had the privilege of a father’s love but today, my heart is deeply grieved as we mourn together with the Lee family on the loss of their papa and grandpa. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew will always be remembered for the instrumental role he played as Singapore’s first and longest serving Prime Minister. Farewell, our beloved MM Lee. Thank you for making us proud to be Singaporeans. You have laboured hard, now it’s time to take your eternal rest.
“When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
To read more personal tributes on the late MM Lee written by his daughter, Dr. Lee Wei-Ling, please go to ‘Something About Singapore‘ website. I am particularly moved by this one titled ‘Love Springs Eternal’.
You may leave your messages of condolences and share your memories of the late Mr. Lee at the official website: http://www.rememberingleekuanyew.sg. Public can also call the 24-hour hotline on 6336-1166 if you have any queries or visit http://www.facebook.com/rememberingleekuanyew for more details.