Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew
Lucas Kuah, final-year undergraduate in Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering & Information Technology at Technical University of Munich, pays his last respects to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House, and ponders about the legacy of Singapore’s founding father.
As the bus arrived at Parliament House in the scorching hot sun, I was greeted by the commanders of the army, police force and members of the public. We were all here to pay our last respects to the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I felt very honoured to have been given a chance to attend this memorial service as a representative of my school.
When I entered the chambers of the Parliament House, I was overcome by sadness when I saw a bouquet of white roses placed upon a seat which Mr Lee had often used.
I pondered: what was the real Mr Lee? He was a man who had given his life to this country and built Singapore; he was the one which inspired me as a Singaporean, to care for my nation, my people as we worked towards a better future.
At the state memorial service, I noticed that the Members of Parliament (MPs) were paying their tributes in different languages; this was the result of Mr Lee’s excellent work in administering policies which have helped maintain Singapore’s racial harmony over the past decades.
One of the takeaways from this memorial service was a quote which resonated deeply with me. Mr Lee had said: “I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.”
He was a man who devoted his life to serving and caring for his fellowmen. This was naturally a formidable task which called for one to think beyond the needs of oneself in devoting one’s life to others. Indeed, how many of us are able to do this?
Today, even though he has passed on, he has brought the country together; he has brought all of us together and to care for each other. What he has done is also to help reinforce our Singaporean identity.
As I looked around me, I could see Singaporeans offering drinks and umbrellas to their fellowmen in acts of kindness. This is who we are today – a nation of people coming together for one another.
Mr Lee may have passed on but he will live on forever in our hearts.
Let us all look to him and strive on, in building a better tomorrow, a better Singapore.