Today it was announced that Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore had passed on from this life to the next at 3am.
Everyone in Singapore knows Mr. Lee and the things that he has contributed to the development of modern day Singapore. We owe a lot to him and his generation of leaders who did not give up in the face of such an overwhelming task of steering our tiny island state to the prosperous nation it is today. To do that you have to have a very clear vision and also a very strong character, both of which he possessed greatly, hence why he was so polarising and hated by his enemies and yet so loved and adored by his followers.
Despite the many criticisms that the younger generation levels at the People’s Action Party (Mr. Lee’s party) it has done a remarkable job and it’s worth remembering that fact today. I cannot imagine what Singapore would have been like had it fallen to the hands of someone lesser all those years ago.
I, for one, certainly wouldn’t be the educated man I am today, nor would I be living in such relative comfort and luxury had it not been for the vision and execution that the party carried out over their many decades leading the country.
Still, it’s also important to not get carried away by our grand memories of Mr. Lee the politician but to remember Mr. Lee the man. He, like all of us, was born, grew up, lived and walked on this earth and aged. Now he has passed on to what lies beyond this life. None can escape our mortality, not even such a prominent man like him. Whilst he leaves behind a vast legacy, he also leaves behind family, friends and loved ones.
I am grateful for all that Mr. Lee has done. I also believe that he meant what he said about worrying greatly for Singapore and it’s future. I choose to believe that that’s what motivated him through all his years of service. He was not one to mince his words and in this day and age of politicians (both locally and overseas) who constantly flip-flop and waffle over their promises maybe that’s something we need to see more of.
Today marks the beginning of a new era in Singapore, one without Mr. Lees enormous shadow cast over it. How will Singapore fare in the future? Hopefully more will be motivated by his legacy to take on the selfless task of doing what’s best for our tiny country.
My thoughts go to his family. May he rest in peace.