Today, Singapore bade farewell to its founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, after a week of National Mourning.
(Photo from Yahoo website)
I can’t imagine if there is any Singaporean that does not know who Mr Lee Kuan Yew is. I have enjoyed reading two of his books – Hard Truths To Keep Singapore Going and One Man’s View of the World. I am embarrassed that his two memoirs – The Singapore Story and From Third World To First – are still left unread in my bookshelf. But I know I will get down to reading them someday, hopefully not too far in the future.
From the two books that I have read, I have learned a lot (but still not enough) of what Mr Lee Kuan Yew had done, his visions and contributions for Singapore. On the other hand, I must admit that there are also topics which I did not agree with.
During the past week of National Mourning, I watched every live telecast on TV, from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong announcing the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Lying-in-State Ceremony to finally, the State Funeral. There were moments that I just couldn’t hold my tears. I followed media reports, and am thankful to MediaCorp for all the documentary programmes that shared the many speeches and great work of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I was deeply touched that he was such a great man with profound visions and insights, and had dedicated his whole life shaping and building Singapore.
I was a foreigner who have migrated to Singapore in the late 80’s . I proudly took up the Singapore pink IC (identity card) a few years later with no hesitation at all, and have called Singapore my home since. I recall from my young schooling age (when Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the Prime Minister), how I have never failed to be impressed with Singapore – a clean, orderly and beautiful city – each time I came for a holiday. I also learned about equality in the education system here regardless of race, something which was completely lacking during my time back in my previous home country. So, I set my eyes on Singapore and was determined to explore every opportunity to be in Singapore. I still remember how happy and excited I was when I finally landed a job here. I also remember a former classmate calling me a “betrayer” of my former homeland when I became a Singaporean. I was not a bit affected by it at all. Today, more than a quarter century have passed, I have never regretted my decision then. Singapore is my home.
“Home” sung by Kit Chan (NDP 2010)
All I want to say is THANK YOU MR LEE KUAN YEW! Words could never be enough to express my gratitude.
Today, in my prayer, I asked God to continue to bless Singapore. May all of us remain united as one people, let Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy and spirit continue to live within us, as we progress.
Tribute Centre at Bedok Central (28 March, 2015)