Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Last morning, I woke up to the sound of the television playing in the living room, which was weird, since we don't usually switch on the tv in the daytime. I had set my alarm for 8am, which only added to the mystery of a tv switched on, as my parents were usually out for breakfast by that hour. It wasn't like I slept in and then woke up in the midday. Of course, I did eventually find out that our beloved Mr Lee had passed on, and that my parents were watching the heart-wrenching speech by the Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. As the PM, he could only refer to his father as Mr Lee, which would have felt so distant despite these trying times for his family. My mom insisted I wore black that day even though I had plans to wear a pink dress for my Carol and Joseph's wedding party later that evening.

I remember the only time I had seen LKY in person, was when he visited DHS and stopped by the benches where we were to create some small talk. Of course, he probably thought it was small talk, but the rest of us were so nervous we basically held onto our breaths throughout the 5mins he was there. The one thing that struck me hard when I first saw him, was how tall he was. And how calmly he spoke, as if he thought through every single word that came out of his mouth.

His departure didn't hit me hard in the beginning, probably because I was too sleepy to think about it, and also because I don't know the man personally. But as I read through the tributes written for him all over social media and the web while on the bus to Orchard, I started to feel sad. For a man whom I've only met once in my lifetime, but have seen plastered all over national education campaigns and social studies textbooks, it had never once occurred to me that he would one day leave us behind. I basically took his existence for granted and held on to the belief that he would be here to hold up the sky for us forever and always. It seems like it's time that we have to begin imagining a Singapore without LKY.

While not everyone will be happy with the policies he implemented all the time, I think we can't deny his contribution for us. He gave his entire life for this country, and if there is even a single policy that made an improvement to our lives, I think we should minimally appreciate him for that. So for all the Singaporeans out there gloating his passing, did you ever think of how your education, your housing, your safety would be without him? He's alr a gone man, so just please forgive him of his rare and singular mistakes, and think of the greater impact he has made on all of us.

While the living grieves, I honestly feel that it may be a good thing that he left us, because he has been through so much pain for the past 1.5mths in the hospital, and his death was probably the easiest way out for him. Artificially prolonging his life while being infected with pneumonia would just be delaying his reunion with his wife he loved so much.

Mr Lee, thank you for everything you have given me, and given us. You spent your life worrying over every single detail of this country. It's about time you put it down, and rest peacefully. Please watch us from above, how we'll carry on this amazing legacy you left for us, for you. Even though you won't physically be at SG50, I know you'll still be proud anyhow (':