A Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Dear Mr Lee,

I thank you, for taking on the challenge of transforming our humble nation, into such a tremendous success. You had no monetary incentive, and a truckload of hurdles, with nothing motivating you except for a vision, and the conviction to realize that vision.

“You are born, the government has to provide conditions for good healthcare, good housing, good education. You must strive. What you make of yourself depends on you.”

I thank you, for taking care of us Singaporeans, while making sure that we know how to care for ourselves.

I must confess, I have never had an interest in politics, prior to becoming a political science student. Though I am not very proud of this, I thank you for this luxury, for it just means that I have never had to fight for my freedom, and my rights like many of my brothers and sisters around the world. As a member of a minority race, your tough stance on equality for all racial and religious groups has meant so much to me, more so over the years, when I read about the oppression that many others go through in many parts of the world. I thank you for the fact that I have always been given equal opportunities in Singapore, for as long as I am willing to work hard.

“I have never been overly concerned or obsessed with opinion polls or popularity polls. I think a leader who is, is a weak leader. If you are concerned with whether your rating will go up or down, then you are not a leader. You are just catching the wind … you will go where the wind is blowing. And that’s not what I am in this for.”

I thank you for your refusal to bend to public will and opinion, and steadfastly implementing tough economic policies that brought us success.

“Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”

I thank you, for being a true inspiration. The loyalty and patriotism you displayed towards Singapore will forever be unrivaled. You taught us to be proud of ourselves despite our size and limitations, and to never be overshadowed by larger, more powerful countries. You proved to us that we are worth more than our size, and capable of so much more than any little red dot.

“Tanjong Pagar is a working class area. No other division has such a high proportion of workers, wage-earners, small traders and such a low proportion of wealthy merchants and landlords living in it. I wanted to represent workers, wage earners and small traders, not wealthy merchants or landlords. So I chose Tanjong Pagar not Tanglin,”

I thank you, for remaining humble till the end.

I am proud to have had you as my Prime Minister and to be able to say that I lived in the same era as a legend.

You will be missed, and now it is our turn, to carry forth your legacy.

RIP Dear Sir.


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