Today, I woke up with great sadness because my husband had told me gently, that our beloved founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, was no more. Although we had seen it coming with the daily updates from the PMO telling us that his condition was worsening and deteriorating, this was final.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew had passed away peacefully on 23 March 2015, 3.18am, in the silence of the night when all slumbered in peaceful Singapore.
As a young girl, I had always admired and respected Mr Lee. I never got to meet him in person although it was my life’s deepest wish. All that I know to be true are from the many biographies, books, articles and testimonies of others who knew him. He was a great leader with unwavering determination, that dedicated his entire being to the building up of my country, Singapore. He gave us an opportunity for a better life, I know.
I know that as my tears roll down, no words can ever give enough honour to all that Mr Lee has done for us. Why my heart aches for you, Mr Lee – a person whom I never knew personally, I cannot understand.
And that is why, I am determined to show my son the legacy that this man left for us. The never-say-die courage and ambition to lead us in those unstable and difficult times.
Today, I will remind my son of what this great man has done. Had it not been for his vision and leadership and his ability to gather a few good men, what would we be today?
Today, I will ask him to take a look at what we have in Singapore. Our beautiful garden city of housing estates and modern financial centres, the clean efficient roads, the beautiful parks, the safety we enjoy, the peace and prosperity we have, the good schools that ensure all have a chance at education, the world class airport, the better than most transport system. All these did not come by chance.
Today, I hope that the young person before my eyes realises that all that is before him is to be treasured. Not to be taken for granted. To remember that Singapore is nothing if not for unity of spirit and working hard at all that we do.
Today, my son, you will have no homework to do because I want you to take in all that’s happening around you. The grief that Singaporeans are feeling, though you cannot understand yet.
To my son with love:
Young person, if today you find an outpouring of grief
Turn not away
For someone great has left us this morning
A great leader, a loving husband and a good father
He dared to dream for a Nation
He never gave up for Singapore
He was strict and unwavering for the better good
His courage in tough times took us to unchartered waters
I remember a Singapore when things were not so smooth
When blackouts and floods did occur ever so often
And I am not ancient yet
It was not so long ago
What little inconveniences do we have now
Shall we grumble out all the time
Remembering Lee Kuan Yew
He made it all better
And so we enjoy the Singapore that we know today
Shall we forget our blessings?
Shall we throw it all away with ungrateful hearts
I pray not.
But for a Nation to stand strong and proud
To prove that what he did for us was not for nothing
Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Forever my family and I shall be thankful.
Today, my heart is grieved and my tears cannot stop flowing. Today, my son, a Giant amongst us is gone away.
To me and my family, we are forever grateful to all you have done for Singapore. And we will always respect and remember you no matter what others may say. Thank you Mr Lee.