Singapore woke up on Monday morning to a news they all feared and dreaded. Mr. Lee Kwan Yew, the man who is credited for making Singapore the world-class city state it is today, was no more.
Mr. Lee or LKY as he is known, had been in hospital for over a month, battling pneumonia and had been deteriorating in the past week.
Widely regarded as the man most intrumental in shaping the path to Singapore’s prosperity, he was a man who was loved and feared in equal intensity while alive. However, it is in death that an entire nation – from young to the old, from citizens to residents – mourn together for the man who is synonymous with the nation..
He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won’t see another man like him.
These words from PM Lee Hsien Loong’s televised message to the nation reflect perhaps what a lot of people were feeling.
He gave us a country we can be proud of, a home to bring up our family and a better life we can aspire to…Much of today’s ‘Singapore DNA’ can be traced to his personal character, philosophy and values – Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong in a letter to the late Mr. Lee’s son Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.
National Day this year is going to be bittersweet. Singapore is celebrating 50 years of independence and the architect and man responsible for this celebration will not be around to celebrate with the nation he helped found. SG50 will not be the same without LKY.
This post isn’t going to be about LKY’s vast achievements which can be found online and in the various media, but a small tribute to a great man who shaped this country I now call home.
Later today, I am going to take BB & GG with me to our nearest CC to write in the condolence book and in our own small way, honour the man, they have the privilege to share a birthday with. I always tell them even if they are able to do a fraction of Mr. Lee’s achievements in their life, they would achieve a lot in this life.
Goodbye Mr Lee Kwan Yew and a heartfelt THANK YOU for making Singapore what it is today – a place we are proud to call home and be a part of. Each time I come home from a trip, when I land in Changi airport, I am so happy to be home. The Singapore efficiency, especially when you compare to the country you’ve just come from, makes you happy to call this place yours and it is all due to your foresight and planning.
To his family, be strong – the whole of Singapore is with you in your time of grief.
#ThankyouLKY #RIPLKY #LeeKwanYew