Today marks the day of Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral procession. He passed away on 23 March 2015 from severe pneumonia, at the age of 91. He is also known as the ‘father’ of modern Singapore. As he laid in state for the past 1 week, millions of people flocked to the Parliament House and various community tribute sites to pay their respects. The queue at the Parliament House particularly was 8-10 hours long. The overwhelming response signifies the special place he has in Singaporeans and foreigners who are based in Singapore.
As I watched the live telecast of the funeral procession, I felt the spirit of Singaporeans unite together to grieve for the late Mr Lee. Much more than any of our National Day Celebrations. As his funeral cortege passed through the various neighbourhoods to the University Cultural Centre, people lined up along the road in the pouring rain to cheer and send him off on his last lap for his sweat and tears in transforming Singapore from slums to a modern city.
As a parent to 2 young boys, I owe a debt of gratitude to Mr Lee who built up our nation to be one of the most secure, safe and peaceful nations in the world. My children run and play freely in public areas without having to live in fear. I can leave my bag at the children’s indoor playground or the library without having to worry that it would get stolen. Some say his rules are strict, but the fruit of it is peace, stability in our country, freedom to walk on the streets without being mugged, freedom to live in a multi-ethnic society without discrimination.
2015 is our nation’s Jubilee (50th Anniversary). It is also the year we remember Mr Lee. It is the year we pay tribute and be deeply grateful for Mr Lee’s dedication to Singapore citizens.
My family could not have been more blessed to be Singaporeans.
Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew.