To begin with, I was not born in the era where Singapore was at crossroads, struggling to find its identity. Given the success Singapore was enjoying in the 90s, I admit that I am one of those who take things for granted-complaining about the frequent public transport breakdown, for one.
In that light, I can’t possibly imagine how Singapore was like when it started its tumultuous journey from 3rd world to 1st. And I can’t imagine all the difficulties faced by the Singapore government led by Lee Kuan Yew at that period of time, especially when Singapore was separated from Malaysia which marked the beginnings of uncertainty.
While I know people may not necessarily agree with his policies (and deriving all sorts of conspiracy theories), he is still undeniably, the main architect of Singapore. There is no perfect politician in the world, but people like Lee strive to create the perfect Singapore for the people and for the future.
“50 years ago he wept for the nation, 50 years later the nation weeps for him”
Even though you have left us, your spirit and legacy remains. Thank you for building Singapore.
P.S To those people who are wondering if there is a public holiday, no there isn’t. But you can go ahead and self-declare if you wish. No one is stopping you and your selfishness (unless you are going to spend the entire day at the memorial service). Tsk.
P.P.S And to the owner of this page calling for a Tanjong Pagar GRC by-election: No, we don’t need a by-election. We have faith in our MPs who have been doing their job well. There is no need for people like you to decide the fate of our GRC. Who are you to make such comments anyway?
-Sincerely, a Tanjong Pagar GRC resident.
Update 1/4/15 It has been a week plus since his passing, but life goes on as usual. Paid last respects at the Parliament House last Saturday and queued for 4.5 hours. Apparently waiting times were as long as 12 hours on weekdays (especially Friday night I think). Really grateful for all the volunteers’ efforts, their encouragements and initiatives. Within a few metres along the queue there will be a volunteer/army personnel positioned there, distributing food and drinks or collecting litter, as well as dishing out kind reminders to stay hydrated. To fight the heat, volunteers even sprayed water, fanned the public with gigantic cardboards and giving out wet tissue. The army personnel in charge of crowd control tried to space us out in sections especially when we approached areas with poor ventilation like under the bridge, and gave us estimations of the waiting time to prepare us mentally.
Even though the crowd was way more intense than the rush/peak hour MRT, no one complained. Sacrificing a few hours of our time is the only thing we can do to express our gratitude for someone who devoted his life to building Singapore.
No photos allowed inside Parliament House. We took a bow and bid farewell before leaving.
On Sunday the sky cried with us-there was a really heavy downpour during the funeral procession. Emotions reached a new high as people lined the streets along the route, waving the Singapore flag and shouting Mr Lee’s name as the cortege passed by. It was only when the cortege reached NUS that it stopped raining. Even at his private ceremony, there was still a considerable crowd waiting.