Saturday, 4 April 2015

Singapore and Our Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew

I write this posting for myself and my two kids to remember whole life contribution of this great man, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Without him, Singapore might might not be 1st world city.
Your legacy will live on for generations to come...

I woke up around 5:20 am, prepared breakfast, then I started to browse Facebook while waiting for 2 kids to finish their meals. "Rest in Peace Mr Lee Kuan Yew" was the status of one of my friends on Facebook. 

After rechecked and found it's true and accepted that everything is Anicca (impermanence), so I just said a prayer. 

Quite sad because I thought he'll be joining us to celebrate SG50 this coming August. Seeing him makes me feel like me seeing my late grandfather. But on the other hand, I was relieved as he doesn't have to suffer anymore pain, as his health condition was getting deteriorated.

But after 2 days reading news about him, I found out that he's not an ordinary leader. Well, to be frank, I'm not interested in politic and didn't know what he did before. Because, I only knew that Singapore is a small country and Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the Prime Minister when I was studying in Indonesia. That's all... thought my late grandfather was sometimes mentioned about him when he read newspapers. I think he's one of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's big fans.

Here are some of the news that made my tears flowed and masked my face for the this whole week:
Mr Lee's Red Box this tribute from Mr Heng Swee Keat unwrapped more about Mr Lee:
- Mr Lee entered the hospital on 5 February 2015. He continued to use his red box every day until 4 February 2015.
- In 1996, Mr Lee underwent balloon angioplasty to insert a stent. It was his second heart operation in two months, after an earlier operation to widen a coronary artery did not work. After the operation, he was put in the Intensive Care Unit for observation. When he regained consciousness and could sit up in bed, he asked for his security team. The security officer hurried into the room to find out what was needed. Mr Lee asked, “Can you pass me the Red Box?” 
- Even as Mr Lee lay in the hospital. Even as Mrs Lee lay in state... 
(Red Box will be displayed in the National Museum of Singapore until 26 Apr 2015 - Source)

That's so unbelievable! I didn't know that he sacrificed everything for Singapore, his true devotion he only thinking about the future of Singapore, and forgoing comfort and convenience in his own life following Confucian philosophy.  And it affected me so much knowing all the facts after reading this... it made my heart broken, felt so sorry for taking granted all this while,... 

That made me choked with my tears, and immediately took my towel and had my shower...

Remembering Mr Lee Kuan Yew
(1923 - 2015) 
I had to come to pay respect to this awesome man for all his contributions!
25 March 2015 - City Hall MRT 8:00 am
 5-6 Rows of people queuing on both sides of road...
 Maybe along the road from Istana to Parliament House.

 It was on Wednesday... this showed how much people love him!
Couldn't hold my tears hearing people calling his name, clapping 
and say thank you when Gun Carriage Procession reaching...
Most of the people moving to Parliament house to pay their last respects.
 Snaking queue to Parliament House...
 From what time did they start to queue here?
It shouldn't be this long as I directly walked here after
Gun Carriage entered Parliament House.
 Overwhelming crowds coming from every directions...
and a lot of them holding bouquet of flower.
 Anderson Bridge and Fullerton Hotel.
10:15 Finally I found the end of the queue here... beside Fullerton Hotel.
Half mast Singapore Flags flying outside Fullerton Hotel :(

12:15 I still around the same place, moved less than 20 steps after 2 hours. Actually, I can't stand still for more than 20 minutes... I didn't bring water and when I wanted to go to buy water and I heard the person behind me telling her friend that they'd sold out water. 

I felt out of breath and almost fainting, tried to catch my breath with coughing and almost vomited. But I didn't want to give up... but I withdrew myself  after heard that the queue will take about 4 to 5 hours, and Parliament House. I need to be at home by 3:30 pm to pick kids from school. 

However, it will open 24 hours until 28 Mar 2015, 8pm.

Didn't have a chance to go until Friday. I decided to let kids sleep early so they can wake up at 3 am. Really appreciated that MRT and bus were running 24 hours on that day.  

But, when I woke up to check the status of the queue, it stated that it's temporary suspended from 2:15 am until further notice. I waited until 4 am, but still no news. 

I slept again and woke up around 6:15am, and it stated that the queue was resumed, however it's advised not to join it as it'll take around 10 hours. But, I insisted to go, because there's no chance after today. So, be it 1 hour or 10 hours... I must bring my kids there and we have to thank him for everything we have today...
27 Mar 2015 - Padang 8:15am
 We walked from City Hall to Padang.
Though it's crowded, but the queue was moving smoothly batch by batch.

We bought curry puffs, buns, biscuits, muffins, packs drink, and candies. I thought to share with people around to boast our energies if we have to queue until afternoon. But, we're well taken care of by uniformed soldiers, policemen and volunteers. They helped to direct the crowds, even distributed bottled water, bread, and umbrella.

They're very kind to advise all of us to drink more water to hydrate ourselves. They also asked us to sit instead of stand as we need to wait for quite long...
After about 1 hour sitting, we're directed to follow the group...
 from Padang to War Memorial Park,...
snaking all the way to Esplanade...

But volunteers are everywhere, some cheering us, asking whether we're alright, some distributing water, cold wet tissues, and spraying cold water to cool us! Shiok!!! My kids said they're very entertaining too. 

One of them said my daughter is so cute. Another one saw my kids, and started singing "Do You want to get some water? or why you don't get yourself biscuits in the box?" (parody of Do you want to build a snowman). Hahaha... they made the queue much comfortable and easy.

They're so creative and helpful, even I saw they're also sweating, but they didn't hold umbrella, but busy taking care the crowds. Bravo and thanks a million!
but still we didn't feel tired though we're perspiring a lot.

I think Mr Lee Kuan Yew was happy seeing his people exercising and enjoying his hard work in building this clean and beautiful city. 
 Iconic buildings in Singapore
Hello Singapore Flyer~! 
We're like local tourists for that day...
Queue stopped again at Marina Bay Floating Platform...
Then came out group by group again...
 Oh, actually we just made U-turn back to Esplanade. 
 Group of artists - Urban Sketchers Singapore.
Spotted a lot of tourists at tourist attraction Merlion Park.
passed by Fullerton Hotel.
  We finally arrived at Asian Civilisations Museum.
 Slow moving from here to Parliament House.
Beautiful view of Boat Quay.

It was then PM Lee Kuan Yew who called for the clean up of Singapore's rivers in 1977, and cost the Government $170 million. (Source)
Mr Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore. 
To those who seek Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s monument, 
Singaporeans can reply proudly: “look around you” - LHL
We're patiently waiting for our turn to be scanned by 
security guards before entering Parliament House after about 1 hour sitting
at Padang, and 2 hours walking and enjoying the fruits of Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
It's much faster that we expected~!
 Sweet and lovely caricature of Mr & Mrs Lee.
Aranda Lee Kuan Yew Orchid & Tributes Walls.
They're sad too, but they didn't cry.... 
they're much stronger than me, and asked me not to cry when I go inside.
Mr Lee was our longest
Mr Lee Kuan Yew became an MP in 1955, and served as Prime Minister from 1959, 
when Britain granted self-rule, to 1990. He led Singapore to independence in 1965.
He served 60 years as a parliamentarian.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew in a 1988 National Day rally said:
 "Even from my sick bed, even if you are going to lower me into the grave,
 and I feel something is going wrong, I will get up." (source)
 You're always in our memories, forever alive in our hearts!
 May you rest in peace our Great Leader and our Great Mentor!

I thought I can control my emotion, but it's hard when you walked in and suddenly the atmosphere became so solemn, from babies to old people entering to pay their last respects... I kept bowing and said thank you inside my heart... and without knowing it (even this moment typing this) my tears dropped... I miss you Mr Lee Kuan Yew!
Our clothes with Mr Lee Kuan Yew's stickers.
So nice to see Mr Lee Kuan Yew's warm smile 
on giant screen at Suntec City. 


Mr Lee Kuan Yew's State Funeral
 (29 Mar 2015)

It's drizzling when we stepped out from our house around 9am. We arrived at Shenton Way OUE Downtown 1 around 10am, as my husband's DBS colleagues were gathering there to bid final farewell to Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
 Photo credit to my husband's colleague - Clint Junsay
 I didn't bring my HP and kids also not bringing iPad and other gadgets.
We're going just with prayers and gratitude hearts.

When we're walking from Tg Pagar MRT, we saw a lot of people mostly in white and black outfits also walking or some had lined at different locations at  Shenton Way.

We received small flags when we're at OUE, then we moved to Shenton House as it's more spacious and not so stuffy. While we're waiting, someone distributed a big flag to us, so four of us can hold together. More and more people were coming even it's still drizzling. Spaces were quickly filled up with more than 4 rows of people. So my husband and I'd to stand on the road with our umbrellas, and kids just joined us at 12 pm. 

Mr Lee Kuan Yew built Singapore, and at the end of his life he unites generations of Singaporean with his life stories...
  I'm sure he's proud of this country he built.

Heads bowed, flags flown as the mourning crowds bid their final farewell to the country's founding Prime Minister. Sky also echoing nation's grief and it wept heavily during the gun carriage cortege of Mr Lee traveling a distance of 15.4km from Parliament House to NUS University Cultural Centre.

Then after came back home and took my bath and had lunch, I had my nap... until I heard siren and jumped down from my bed walked to living room... my two kids were standing in front of the TV and we recited the Singapore National Pledge together: 
We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and
progress for our nation.
Although I only able to pledge first few sentences as it shown on the screen), my tears flowing down quickly as I bowed. Then we sang 'Majulah Singapura' - National Anthem Of Singapore.

Our gratitude beyond words.. Thank you for this conducive place for me and my family to live in. I'm relieved to know that my kids can have the best education here, without need to worry about unfairness due to social status. I hope my kids will always look at you and be inspired to continue your legacy...

To the young and not so old, I say, look at the horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it!” - LKY

Related Posts
Mr Lee Kuan Yew was also known as Singapore's Chief Gardener and the Father of the Garden City vision. A tree Sepetir daun tebal (Sindora wallichii) was planted at the Golden Garden, near the main entrance to Gardens by the Bay on Mar 27 as a tribute to Lee Kuan Yew.

- [Gardens By The Bay] - Flower Dome
- [Gardens By The Bay] - Waterfall in Cloud Forest

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