23rd March 2015. 3.18am. The date and time at which Singapore’s founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew departed from this world. With his close family by his side, I’m glad that he left peacefully.
He was a great leader who led with his heart and did what he believed was best for this tiny country. Without him, would Singapore have flourished to become what it is today? Perhaps. Or perhaps not. What is certain is that we wouldn’t be where we are today, only 50 years after independence.
In those days, jobs and housing were really all that mattered. Could political freedom be eaten? Could it be worn? Or used to build a house to live in? MM Lee promised all those, and duly delivered. I don’t fully agree with how the opposition was treated, but in spite of that, I still respect the man a lot.
In many ways, leading Singapore in the 1950s and 60s was a thankless job. A small fishing village. A former British colony and outpost in the region. No natural resources. No armed forces. Nothing.
People talk about great leaders who can create diamonds from dust. If so, then MM Lee is definitely one of them. From the dust that was Singapore 50 years ago, the Singapore today has been shaped into a gleaming diamond, not only in the region, but in the world.
Thank you MM Lee for your sacrifices, for your contributions, and most of all, for your heart in serving. You put Singapore on the world map, and I can proudly say that I live in a great country, although Singapore is geographically tiny. Rest in peace Sir. And may God bless your family through this period of mourning.
Credits to Ashley Virgilius Leong for this incredibly moving drawing. MM Lee, a leader, a father, but most of all, a husband.