I am guessing that most people who read/visit my blog would not know about the man who built a nation, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. But I had to write this post. For whatever, gripes and disagreements I have about my country today, I cannot diminish the greatness of this man nor the immense amount respect and admiration I have for him. Because of him I am able to sit here today and complain about my 1st world problems. Because of him I am able to run around alone in the middle of the night without being afraid for being mugged or murdered. Because of him I had a good education. Because of him I have access to great infrastructure today. Because of him I live in a country with one of the highest GDP per capita. And for all these and more I am forever grateful.
How many people can say that they founded a nation and lived to see it grow from 3rd world to 1st world during their lifetime? Singapore is a young country turning 50 years old this year, with no natural resources, yet our economy is akin to one of the more “developed” countries around. And that is all thanks to Mr Lee. I am glad that I have had the opportunity to hear him speak at a rally about 15 years ago. He had the power, charisma that made you just wanted to listen to him and agree with everything he said.
He was 1 man with a strong motivation. He said, “I saw the British people as they were. They treated you as colonials and I resented that. I saw no reason why they should be governing me – they’re not superior. I decided, when I got back, I was going to put an end to this.” And he did.
Mr Lee was very strong in his view that no race, religion or social group should hold a level of supremacy over another. As a minority and as someone who has close friends in the LGBT community here, I do feel that as a country we have yet to achieve this. My hope is that Mr Lee’s vision of equality does not get lost in the years to come, in the pursuit of economic prosperity.
The one thing that was obvious to any onlooker was that while Mr Lee had a deep passion for his country, the love of his life was his wife. That was a true love story. The affect her death had on him was apparent and heartbreaking to observers.
And so while I am saddened by his demise, I am at peace with the fact that this great man that gave up his life for a nation, is reunited with his love and gets to rest.
Thank you Mr Lee.