LEEgacy: A Tribute To Founding PM Lee Kuan Yew

LEE KUAN YEW
Founding Prime Minister, Singapore
(1923 – 2015)

Let us spare some time to commemorate the passing of the founding Prime Minister of Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. As the funeral procession is being carried out from Parliament House to the University Cultural Centre, I would like to make use of this chance to dedicate this blog post to him, to reflect upon his legacy and to celebrate his life and achievements.

Mr. Lee passed away last Monday, 23 March 2015 at 3.18am.

It was a sad moment for all Singaporeans, Singaporeans from all walks of life, from every generation.

It has been 7 days since our state flag flew at half-mast as a respect to Mr. Lee.

For the past 7 days, especially during the times when Mr. Lee lies in state at the Parliament House from Wednesday to Saturday, it had showcased the effects and influences Mr. Lee has on the people. As of statistics reported on Channel NewsAsia at 1.48am on Sunday (29 March), nearly 1.5 million people turned up at the Padang and various Community sites to pay tribute to the late founding father. Out of which, 442, 297 people has visited the Parliament House.

(Image: bondingtool)

(Image: BBC)
(Image: Chron)
(Image: DailyMail)
(Image: Straits Times)
Everyone understands the fact that for without the contributions and sacrifices of Mr. Lee over his political years, there will be no Singapore we know and are staying in today.
There’s no need for me to reiterate what Mr. Lee has done for the country and for the people. Everyone knows it, deep within their own hearts and minds.
I myself was also present at both the Teck Ghee CC tribute site, SGH tribute site and the Parliament House to pay respect.

While I went to pay my tributes with BPang, Junwei and Hong Kiat at Teck Ghee CC, I stood in front of his portrait with my eyes closed.
I reflected upon his contributions he offered to the nation. It had not been an easy path. Economic prosperity, education opportunity, inter-racial harmony and happiness among the people. These have been taken for granted easier, especially by the citizens of my generation. Such successes are definitely not acts of coincidences.
In the lyrics of ‘We Are Singapore’,

There was a time, when people said that Singapore won’t make it, but we did. There was a time, when troubles seemed too much for us to take, but we did. We built a nation strong and free, reaching out together, for peace and harmony.

As this moment, it came to my enlightenment that the sake of the future of our nation and the future generation, we cannot afford to be complacent.

In the words of the late Mr. Lee,

“What I fear is complacency. When things always become better, people tend to want more for less work.”

We have to continue the mindset of determination and assiduous, left behind by Mr. Lee and the pioneer generation of citizens.

It is this mindset that shaped the country, from a ‘back alley’ of the British colony in South-east Asia to the front runner in international affairs, both politically and economically. Being the only country capable of turning its own fortune around, his passing reminds us that that’s not the end of progression. It means, a new chapter begins, today and from this moment onwards.

As I opened my eyes again, Mr. Lee’s face reemerged in my vision again.

I knew, I couldn’t let him down, let alone the previous generations of Singaporeans who had helped build the country.

I bowed thrice.

The first bow: represents my promise to the pioneer generation and Mr. Lee to continue their legacy and to carry forward the status of prosperity and stability of this country. We CANNOT afford to fall backwards. There’s only one direction for us to head, and that is, forward.

The second bow: represents my promise to my generation. We will all work hard, hand in hand, in our respective industries to bring the status of the country higher than it is now. We will all safeguard our national interest at all times, pushing aside personal gains for the progression of the nation.

The third bow: represents my promise to the future generation of Singaporeans. We will protect the nation and to hand the country to our children and grandchildren in the same state as when we are being handled or even better. Keep the country going and allow the future generations to benefit as more, if not, more than we did.

As I raised up from my final bow, I took a deep breathe, trying to contain my emotions.

I gave him a salute, signifying my highest form of respect given to an individual.

(Image: CNA)
I left, with many thoughts. Thoughts that are provoking yet inspirational. 
Despite the demise of Mr. Lee, he brought the country in unity for one last time.
News and ground reports over the past few days depicted many heartbroken and also touching moments where Singaporeans helped one another and showing care to each other. 
This is the real Singaporean Spirit.
Students giving out umbrellas at Padang when rain seems imminent during the state wake.
(Image: CNA)
Army helping to set up the tents and then to help to clear the venue.
(Image: CNA)
Volunteers, including kids, helped to clear the litters after the queue was closed at 8PM on Saturday.
(Image: CNA)
Politicians managed to set aside political differences to pay last respect to Mr. Lee.
(Image: CNA)
Children buying food and sharing it with the crowds.
Unnamed Minister bought food for those who were awaiting to pay tribute.
The resilience of the people being portrayed. 
(Image: CNA)
It is impossible not to not undermine the impact of Mr. Lee had on everyone of us. He brought us together and we must continue to stay together, like how we portrayed over the past few days.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Lee.

Thank you for all your contributions and do not worry, we will continue your legacy and bring Singapore to a greater heights.

Let us all stand together, regardless of where you are, in silence later at 4pm today to reflect and celebrate his life and successes.

Letter of Condolences Upon The Death Of Former PM Lee Kuan Yew

My family and I are saddened by the death of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. The passing of the former Prime Minister marks an end to his illustrious life. A father, a leader and an architect of a Republic whom the country and all of us will dearly miss. His remarkable leadership, coupled with the advises of his cabinet ministers and his grassroots members, has built Singapore to what it is today. Singapore has lost a leader, the world has lost an influential figure. We would like to thank Mr. Lee Kuan Yew for all his contributions and hard work from my father’s times till my time. He spend more than half of his entire lifetime building the foundation in which the current and the future of Singapore had and will be build upon. Though he may be gone, his legacy continues.
Our greatest heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies go out to PM Lee Hsien Loong and his family. Rest in peace, Elder Lee for you will be greatly missed by all from all parts of the World.
Eddy Chua
for the Chua Family
0700hrs
23 March, 2015

For The Past 3 Months (Part 2)

Last days of 2014 were spent with some of my favourite people! 2014 started with a blast and it ended with a blast. A series of blasts to be exact. 
The final birthday celebration of the year.
31.12.2014
It’s Yap Qi’s birthday. The last birthday I attended and celebrated last year (I mean, it’s already the last day of the year). 
We decided to give Yap a surprise at her house on that very eventful afternoon. While Vivian, Dominique and Ashley got Yap out of her house for lunch, the rest of us visited her house, of course with the help of her mother, in order to do up some birthday decorations in her living room.
Early that morning, the few of us were to meet at Parkway Parade to get the decos before heading to Yap’s house. I met Kheng Yin on the bus, not coincidentally because we decided to go down together since we were be taking the same bus. 
We thought we were late.
But we ended up being the first two to reach the destination.
Of course, we couldn’t be able to do it without some trolling done. Nicole they all were early but decided to stop at Paya Lebar MRT Station to get some sushi because we told them we would be very late. Nic sent me a roll-eye emoji while Kheng and I laughed it off.
Actually, they were also waiting for Wanz. Who is forever late. :’)
The moment we reached Parkway, Kheng and I took a selfie, sent it to them and to complete the troll. The rest, well, were still at Paya Lebar.
So the two of us went around trying to find some decors in Daiso and the supermarket opposite which I can’t remember which company that belongs to. In the end, we still had no idea on what to buy and we just walked around while waiting for the rest to arrive.
Nic, Peishan, Michelle and Wanlin arrived not-that-shortly.
We shopped around and we eventually get whatever you will see on the wall in the picture below.
I mean, later.
Lunch and we found ourselves on our way to the Yap’s residence.
With some help from Yap’s mum, we were on the mission to decorate their walls. Okay, some did the wall deco, some blew tons of balloons (I swear there were like 60 over balloons!)
Thank God for the girls, it could have been a design disaster if I were to be fully in charge of the wall. Mich was like the architect of the entire decoration, Kheng the supporting crew. And I was like the construction worker.
With much efforts, the decors were up and so were the balloons. I seriously wonder where did Nic, Peish and Wanz found so much air to blow the balloons yet having enough to supply their haemoglobin with. I could have died of lack of oxygen.
What happen next, were one of the boring periods in life. Everything was done and we were all waiting for our lead female to appear.
An hour past.
David arrived. And we were all trying to touch his just-shaven hair.
A few minutes past.
And funny things started to happen.
Alright. Ignore the plural.
The decorations started coming off one by one. The scotch tape isn’t helping at all. We all became a group of maintenance crews trying to save the entire art piece from falling apart. We were all praying hard that Yap and the rest would return home before everything fell apart.
It went to the extend that Mich was to sit and sleep on a chair just below the decorations so that she’s able to save the piece.
We tried before we eventually gave up.
It took a while before all of them returned.
When we received the intel, we got ready behind the door, under the windows. And as Yap approached her house, we were all in standby mode, with cake and poppers on our hands.
Following the sound of Yap unlocking her house door and pulling the handle, the door moved adjacently. In a count of three, of course silently, we appeared from nowhere into within the visibility of Yap’s vision.
She was taken aback but before she could recover, we continued popping the party poppers and singing birthday song.
And then we proceed to taking photos.

Here’s a photo of me and the birthday girl 🙂
And then, a spam of group photos continue.

I kind of like this photo because it’s just so nice. Ok. I can’t think of any vocabularies to put them in place.

We had some drinks and cakes before we packed up and leave. By that time, the decors were all over the floor.
Some of us decided to had dinner together before heading home or for some countdown party.
I don’t know why this photo is making me feeling hungry right now.
We parted after the meal. Kheng and I took the same train back and guess who we met as we boarded the train at Bedok?
Sheri and Justinn.
That coincidence in real.

And of course, me being myself, I wouldn’t let them off without a selfie before Kheng Yin parted with us at Paya Lebar MRT Station.

——————–

Counting Down To a Sparkled New Year.
31.12.14 – 1.1.15

I was supposed to celebrate New Year alone – that means to stay up late, camping in front of the television set with the ‘live’ telecast of the SG50 countdown happening at Marina Bay Floating Platform waiting for the countdown to start once the clock read 23:59:50hrs and afterwards, counting down to the new year alone in the empty living room with no one around.

(Image: kym-cdn.com)

Oh yeah. Not to mention to open a bottle of cider for the joyous occasion: Another year being alone.

I was at NTUC Fairprice before I recalled this event I saw on the notice board below my block of flat few days ago.

And hence, I thought to myself, I ain’t going to spend my countdown moments alone this time round. Junwei was free that evening so I got him down. I managed to convince Rebecca to join us since she was nearby at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery with her family. Peiyi, well, she was lazy to head out again after being out till late EVEN THE VENUE IS SO NEAR TO HER HOUSE.

I grabbed some alcoholic drinks, a box of 4 bottles to be exact and some sparkles before heading home to get myself prepared for my first ever countdown event and ‘live’ New Year Day’s fireworks. Junwei came to lepak at my house before we set off, on foot, to Ang Mo Kio-Bishan Park.

Rebecca was already at the McDonald’s outlet in the park way before we reached there, with her brother, queuing up for some supper. The entire venue was filled to the rafters, let alone the only place where food was available that night. The swarming crowd crammed the inside-out of the fast food restaurant. I felt like as if I were to be mobbed by the overwhelming crowd anytime. Junwei and I had to make an arduous effort figuring out how we were going to elbow our way through the teeming park to get to the other end where the restaurant was located.

We succeeded, of course.

I found an ideal sitting spot near to the stream, in front of MacDonald’s. We had to crawl beneath a bridge in order to reach that spot since people were sitting around the area.

We sat there while waiting for Rebecca and her brother to finish with their purchase. Once they were done, they joined us and as I introduced Junwei to her, she introduced her brother Romulus to us. Not long before the moment came. We were seconds to the new year.

As excited as we could be, we geared our vocal cords in preparation for some vehement shoutings.

“10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!”

“HAPPY NEW YEAR!”

The new year befalls upon us in an instance.
So did the fireworks lighting up the night sky with prismatic colours.
Everyone was awed by the astounding display.

And how is fireworks enough? I had brought the sparkles I bought earlier on down and Reb was like judging me.

I unwrapped the box and took out two sparkles and lighted them up, pressuring the other two to do the same. I mean, it would be boring and meaningless if I were to have my own fun alone.

Reb posing with her sparkles.

I tried to lay the sparkles in a straight alignment. 

Junwei lighting his sparkles.

See, I swear playing with sparkles is a fun thing to do during such occasion.
Time for er… selfies!

Group selfie #1 with Reb being partially swallowed by the night.

The two cool brothers.

Me and Reb.

 Group selfie #2: Sorry Junwei, you have just been swallowed by the night.
After the last sparkle went off, we returned to my house, on feet again, for some Vodka Cruiser. I should stop leading people astray with alcoholic drinks. But at least this tasted like some fuzzy drinks instead.
Junwei and I somehow finished the entire 4 bottles of drinks between us with Reb drinking only some sips of it.
We, actually me particularly, were afraid that she would go too high with just a little bit of alcohol. She was fine, ‘finer’ than I expected. Her dad came to fetch her on his motorcycle at 1.30am from my house. We sent her down and saw her off before heading back. 
Junwei decided to stay over for the night and up till now I am still wondering how he was able to game till the entire dawn of the morning while I KO-ed halfway.

That’s one big gamer for you.