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