The passing away of our founding father, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, resulted in a week of nation mourning.
It was a sad period for me as I have always admired his leadership and capability to lead Singapore from a 3rd world to a 1st world state in 30 years.
It is quite amazing when I reflect how much tears I shed for a person whom I don't even know personally.
The least I can do is to express my gratitude by paying my last respects to him at Parliament House.
This journey took exactly 8 hours. It's like a flight from Beijing back to Singapore. I was in China earlier part of the week and rushed back to pay my respects.
His passing away was reported on every major newspaper around the world. The above was the newspaper at the hotel where I was staying. This is his legacy, someone whose advice is widely sought after by politicians around the world. Someone who always speaks his mind!
When you have nothing to do except taking pictures with your iPhone during the 8 hours queue, you suddenly realize how beautiful Marina bay is. The marina barrage came about due to Mr Lee's obsession (in his son's own words) to ensure Singapore is self sufficient in water supply.
The eight hour journey took us from the Padang to the floating platform then back to Singapore River front before winding into the Parliament House. Each scenery was vivid and the buildings are monuments which bear his fingerprints, including the cleaned up Singapore River. I still remember having hawker food beside the Singapore River, which was dirty, muddy and smelly.
Mr Teo Chee Hean even came by to thank us for our patience. I have to say everyone was patient and orderly and at their best behavior, determined to see Mr. Lee no matter how long it takes.
Kudos to the group of volunteers and SAF Personnel who made the waiting less painful by setting up holding areas in strategic places with toilets.
I paid my respects after 8 hours and it was already in the wee hours. The police has even shut off the queue temporarily that night.
My children will probably not appreciate the things done by Mr. Lee. Their lives are definitely much better than my generation. As such I am quite pleased to see them write a long passage to thank him at the remembrance sites.
My parents always felt that my generation X don't appreciate the things which he has done but I can proudly say that my generation do remember and appreciate the things that he had done for us!
All my facebook friends expressed our gratitude in one way or another. Some queued along the roads, other brought flowers and many queued to pay respects to him and we cried together as a nation.
Rest in peace Mr. Lee. Much has already been written. There is nothing else I can say other than a heart felt Thank You.
Singapore will not be what it is today without you. This post is a tribute to you on my blog. I will always remember you for:
• Assembling a clean and efficient government with zero tolerance for corruption and leading by example
• Believing that the best resources Singapore has is your citizens and thereby ensuring top notch education for us
• Building up a multi racial society based on merit and equality. Everyone has a chance if he or she is willing to work hard
• Creating a very clean and green Singapore and ensuring Singapore is self sufficient in water today!
• Bringing us from third world to first in 30 years and lifting the standard of living for everyone
• Devoting your life to Singapore and your loving devotion to your wife.
Behind every great man, there is a greater woman! Thank you Mrs Lee. You have been a pillar of strength and working quietly behind the scenes.