Sunday, March 29, 2015

Remembering Mr. Lee Kuan Yew 1923 - 2015

This week has been a painful and sorrow week for many Singaporeans. We have lost our respectable founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. He passed away on 23 March, Monday at 3.18am due to severe pneumonia. 

I was dumbfounded and sad upon knowing the news that our founding Prime Minister is no more. Still, the day had come. Though I know that death is inevitable, I couldn't control the grieve that he is no longer around, it was as though I have lost an important family member. Words can't describe how I feel right now. I prayed that he could recovered so to join us at this year SG50 celebration, but it is no longer possible. I always looked forward to seeing his appearance at NDP. National Day will never be the same without you.

Being the third generation of Singapore, I grew up in a peaceful and stable country. I might not went through the hardship that our pioneer generation had gone through, but I really appreciate what Mr Lee Kuan Yew did for the country. He led the country and overcame all obstacles along the way. Without Mr Lee's great foresight and vision, Singapore will not be who she is today. He made me feel proud to be a Singaporean.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew had given up his life for Singapore. We can never thank him enough for his lifetime contributions to Singapore, transforming Singapore from a third world to first world country in just 30 years time. He built a corrupt-free governance, safe country, clean and green environment, multiracial harmony society, good education system and prosperous nation. Your foresight vision had made all these possible.

You are truly a legend and your legacy will continue to live in us. We will continue your dream and bring Singapore to greater heights.

No one has contributed so much to Singapore like he did, he deserved my utmost respect.

A seven-day period of national mourning was declared for our founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. State flags were flown at half-mast during the mourning period. Television, newspapers and digital platform were playing tributes to Mr Lee. I cried reading the news every day.

MP Alex Yam has created the black ribbon of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. 
A black ribbon is a symbol of mourning. This image has gone spiral on Facebook. Many of us have changed our Facebook profile picture to this black ribbon to honour our founding Prime Minister.

Though the first 2 days was a private family wake at Sri Temasek, there were already outpouring of grieve from the public online and offline. We were all expressing our grief through social platform or penning down the tributes to Mr Lee. I'm sure not only me, that our lunch topic for the past one week was all about Mr Lee Kuan Yew. We talked about the things he had done and how we are going to pay tribute to him.

Mr Lee's body was lying in state at Parliament House from Wednesday to Saturday for the public to pay their last respects.

I went down to Plaza Singapura for the state funeral procession. While waiting for the funeral procession, the whole area was very quiet. Everyone remains quiet that you won't believe there were thousands of us there actually. You could feel the sorrowfulness of the city.

It was an emotional scene as the gun carriage drove passed, tears began flowing down and all I could do was to shout: "Thank you, Mr Lee. Thank you, Mr Lee. Good bye, Mr Lee." This is the first time I am being so emotional and showing affection I don't normally do.

The military trucks form the escorts for the Gun Carriage following closely behind.

Credits to The Straits Times.

I felt pretty disgusted by my own action after I went back and watch the streaming. You know we always take to like photos or videos to preserve memory. So when the gun carriage drove past, I was like those people in the picture, taking photos and videos. But I never know this is how we actually look like, we look like a bunch of photographers with our eyes fixed on the screen. We should send him with dignity and not with our phone. I felt really sorry about that.

I also made my trip down to Parliament House on Thursday afternoon to pay my last respect to our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and to thank him personally.

I know some people might be thinking that Singaporeans really love to queue. One person queue, everyone starts to follow. But this is really not the case here. We went down and did not mind the long hours queuing because each and everyone of us felt grateful and touched for the things Mr Lee had done for Singapore. Many of us never have the opportunity to meet him in person when he was still around, to express our gratitude to him. So paying our respect to him at Parliament House was our last chance to express our gratitude. I know that if I didn't come, I will regret it forever.

People was saying that Singapore is the least emotional country in the world. This is totally wrong, we have our emotions and we are capable of expressing our love as well. Young and old from all walks of life, more than 1.2 million population paid our last respects to Mr Lee at Parliament House and community tribute centres. What touches me the most was the kind gestures from people that you don't know. Upon knowing the long hour queuing, people started giving out water, umbrella and food to people waiting in the queue. A small gesture means a lot to us. Through times like this, we see the kindness of Singaporeans. It brought us all together, truly united as one nation. A heart warming scenes indeed.

We met DPM Tharman at Padang, he was here shaking hands and thank everyone for waiting patiently. This motivated us and gave us strength to continue moving forward. We don't mind the long hours waiting because this is the least we could do to show our respect and appreciation to Mr Lee who contributed his life to Singapore.

Here comes the day where we bid final farewell to Mr Lee.
That morning, the sky opened up and poured heavily. Despite the heavy rain, I went down together with my 2 brothers to bid goodbye to Mr Lee. The heavy rain did not stop our determination because Mr Lee has struggled through the darkest storm, the heavy rain was nothing compared to it.

I managed to squeeze to the front row while my 2 brothers were standing 2 rows behind me. This time round, I was determined not to take out my phone to capture the state funeral procession. I kept my hands busy holding on to the flags. My left hand holding the large state flag while my right hand holding the miniature flag. Many like us, have braved through the rain to send Mr Lee off with dignity. People no longer take their phones out, they replaced it with miniature flag too.

Since I was standing at the front row, I decided to close my umbrella so that I do not block the view of people behind. The auntie besides me was very kind, she sheltered me with her umbrella instead. When the ceremonial gun carriage drove by, I cried again while chanting "Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew! Lee Kuan Yew! Thank you, Mr Lee!"

50 years ago, you weep for the nation.
50 years today, the nation weep for you.
Even the sky also couldn't hold its grieve and cried for the loss of our founding Prime Minister.

Good bye, Mr Lee. 
You will be deeply missed.
May you rest in peace, let us finish your unfinished dream and live your legacy.

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