The news that came in the early morning of the 23rd of March 2015, was one that shook the nation, leaving many of us dumbfounded and devastated. Our nation’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, had passed away at the age of 91,
in the Singapore General Hospital due to severe pneumonia. Singaporeans from all walks of life mourned for the great man and at the same time, remembered and honoured his achievements. In this feature, we interview some students on their thoughts and feelings about Mr Lee’s passing.
“Everyone has to face death; it is a reality of life. I am glad that his passing was a peaceful one. He had led a long and meaningful life and had a great impact on the lives of millions of people, whether they liked him or not. I think we should all aim to emulate his positive traits and carry on with his legacy, as we are Singaporeans after all. May we continue progressing as a country to honour his life, and may we look forward to an even greater Singapore in the future.”
“Hearing about Mr Lee’s passing the first thing when I woke up was heart-breaking. Mr Lee was a giant of a man who was firm in his beliefs of equality and meritocracy. He had always been a strong advocate of education, and believed in giving everyone equal and ample opportunities regardless of their race, language or religion. 50 years ago, he wept for Singapore; 50 years later, the nation weeps for him. Mr Lee truly is one of the greatest leaders of the century and I believe his legacy will continue to live on and be remembered by generations to come. I hope the passing of Mr Lee will make Singaporeans realise how fortunate we are to have benefitted from the efforts of our pioneer generation and founding father. As we enjoy the fruits of their labour, we must not forget to cherish what we have today, and dedicate ourselves as one people to carry on his legacy. May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace.”
“I admire him for being a man of his words. He did not just talk about ideas, he took action too. He delivered on his promise to transform Singapore from a third world country to a first class nation. His determination had played a great role in Singapore’s prosperity and success. He was also very resilient and he never gave up. He really is a good leader, role model and teacher, and we should learn a thing or two from him.”
“It is a painful period for the nation and myself, and I feel that Singapore seems incomplete without Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I will be eternally grateful to him for his countless contributions to the founding and development of Singapore. He is the reason why I have an education, a roof over my head, easy access to water and never have to worry about going hungry. The list of things I have him to thank for is never ending, and I really hope that his legacy will live on forever. Rest in peace Mr Lee, and thank you so much for your selfless contributions to Singapore.”
“He was far-sighted, doing what was right and not what was just popular, benefitting the majority, building up the nation along with his other ministers, building relations with other countries and strengthening the importance of Singapore. He empathised with the minorities and believed they should be given equal opportunities, keeping in mind how Singaporeans had felt being the minority after the merger. These qualities made him the great leader that many people respect.”