Adios Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 – 2015)
Last night, I was at one of the community sites set up for public to pay last respect to the founding father of Singapore. As I watched the documentary film how Singapore became a nation and transformed from a Third World to First, the speech that has taken my attention the most was when Mr Lee Kuan Yew in a public rhetoric asked for a pause, cried hard and wiped his weary teary face. In unison, I find myself weeping frenziedly. That was fifty (50) years ago when LKY cried for Singapore’s separation from Malaysia. And fifty (50) years later, Singapore and the whole world cried for the passing of such a great man. It happened on 09 August 1965 when the Malaysian Federation ousted Singapore. Amid political upheavals, Singapore as Mr Lee Kuan Yew puts, has only one chance, and there’s no other way but to go up. He promised that Singapore will not belong to one group but it will be for everyone. As a small fishing port it will rise, transform and become a multicultural city where everyone regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, vernacular will live in harmony. Each oratory flashed in the screen at a different point in time from the 50s to the 90s and beyond left a mark that made me appreciate deeply what Singapore is today.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew speaks with authority and with a strong conviction. In any public rhetoric he delivers, there is urgency in his tone while he never failed to infuse humor. He is a charismatic one, a great visionary leader. He maybe an authoritarian and had adopted Machiavellian ethics as his belief is that if people will not fear him then he is useless. In 2000, the little red dot has been put in the map, from a Third World country to First. The little red dot back in 1965 was a small fishing port full of slums and squatters has now become one of the world’s wealthiest country. Singapore would not be what it is today if not for a visionary leader that is Lee Kuan Yew.
Farewell, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. May your soul rest in peace. Your legacy will live forever.
Thanking you sincerely,
In Memory of Mr Lee Kuan Yew:
The many faces of Lee Kuan Yew:
Some LKY’s quotable quotes that I grow fond of:
“I’m very determined. If I decided what something is worth doing, then I will put my heart and soul to it. The whole ground can be against me, but if I know it is right, I’ll do it. That’s the business of a leader.” -1998, Lee Kuan Yew: The Man and His Ideas
“Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave and feel something is going wrong, I will get up.” -1988 National Day Rally
“If you don’t include your women graduates in your breeding pool and leave them on the shelf, you would end up a more stupid society… So what happens? There will be less bright people in the next generation. That’s a problem.” -1983 National Day Rally
Craze and Fads
“I see no reason why I should impress people by having a big car or changing my suits every now and then to keep up with the latest styles.” -2011
On Human Relationships
“At the end of the day, what I cherish most are the human relationships. … It is the friendships I made and the close family ties I nurtured that have provided me with that sense of satisfaction at a life well lived, and have made me what I am.” -2003, In a Speech