I have never met you in real life – you’re a figure I’ve read only in my Social Studies & History textbooks.
When news was out that you have been hospitalised since February 5, speculations on whether you were leaving us were flying around. When the Prime Minister’s Office started giving updates on a daily basis, we knew that time is nearing.
We knew that you will leave us sooner or later – death is part & parcel of life. Yet when news broke on March 23 that you passed away peacefully, we were all saddened.
Every year during the national day parade, I’d always look forward to your arrival. This year’s celebration will be different without you.
Throughout the week, I cried. Especially when articles about the other side of you were being shared on the social media platforms – a side that was unknown to many of us. Especially when articles on how strongly you fought for us ever since you took office in 1959 were shared.
“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.” – Lee Kuan Yew
No words can describe my gratitude for the sacrifices you have made for us. I’ll never have the chance to thank you in person, for allowing me to reap the rewards that you have sowed.
“My definition of an educated man is a man who never stops learning and wants to learn.” – Lee Kuan Yew
One of your many quotes in your speech in February 1977 on education. It’s also a quote that I’ve been following – 活到老学到老 (translate – learn as you age). I’ll continue to stand by it for as long as I can.
Rest well Mr Lee. It is somehow a relief that you are now reunited with Mrs Lee, the love of your life. Don’t worry about leaving us behind, we’ll continue to stay united and become the Singapore that you have visioned.