Today marks the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. It’s a sad day for me, for Singapore and everyone connected to him.
I was at Tanjong Pagar CC two nights ago and the mood was solemn. There were banners hanging across the room and right in the middle were words “Get Well Soon, Mr Lee Kuan Yew”. On the table sits a Captain America plush toy. Candles were lighted outside. It reads “GET WELL”. The mood at Singapore General Hospital was the same. Well-wishers laid flowers, wrote supportive cards and left balloons.
He gave the nation identity. He made us proud to be Singaporeans. He turned us from an island without any resources into a successful and prosperous city-state in less than 50 years. That’s nothing short of miracle.
Nobody quite unites the people of different races and religions like him. He has touched people from all walks of life. He’s more than just policies, but every decision and system he has made, it’s for the people. There’s a genuine emotional connection to this great man. His foresight is unmatched.
Nobody is perfect and Mr Lee has admitted his shortcomings. No nation is without its flaws and Singapore is realistic to recognize that. In his words: “Does it work? If it works, let’s try it. If it’s fine, let’s continue it. If it doesn’t work, toss it out, try another one.”
But all these holds little significance in context here. Because we lost a man we are proud to have. Because this year is Singapore’s 50 years of independence. 50 years ago, he cried for the nation. 50 years later, the entire nation weep for him.
We are one – regardless of race, language or religion. Thank you for building, shaping and leading us. Farewell Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Your contributions and legacy will forever live on.