Thursday, April 2, 2015

Tribute to Mr. Lee K.Y

A date and a year to remember (23rd March 2015), as I wished Xav a Happy Birthday yet on the other hand, trying very hard to hide my teary eyes when I informed him of the passing on of the Nation's Founding Father, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (some of us called him "Ah Kong") and the Nation is now mourning for him.

Never did I thought of, the demise of Mr. Lee.K.Y, could impact me this much. Not that I have met him nor spoke to him before. I can only fondly remember, driving past his residence along Oxley Road, whenever I was on patrol duties ( when I was a civil servant wearing the blue uniform).

Each time, I would read with teary eyes whenever the updates of his condition were updated via the PMO's website. I wished that he would get better and get to celebrate SG50 with the nation.

Not until Monday morning, at 5.30 am, I saw postings on the passing on of Mr. Lee.K.Y surfaced on my Facebook newsfeed. Yes, I cried, the nation lost a great visionary leader, someone who dedicated the whole of his lifetime , building up with his team of capable ministers. He had visions, goals and believes for tomorrow. He built a thriving nation, so strong and free, from the third world to the first, he has shown the world what Singapore can be !

I am lucky that my generation as well as my children get to enjoy the fruition of late Mr. Lee's hard work. Today, he left his behind the legacy he had visualized; a beautiful garden city , a strong and successful Singapore.

25th March 2015, I brought Xav to one of the Community Tribute Sites at Anchorvale Community Club to pay our tributes.

We made a Thank you card for the late Mr.Lee and left it at the Tribute site.

A handmade card #ThankyouLKY

Penning down his tributes

Xav wrote : "Thank you Mr Lee Kuan Yew for making Singapore a nice place, a beautiful garden city, making homes and flats for people to live in. You will always be remembered."

26th March 2015, in the morning, I brought Vera to the Parliament House, where the Lying in State was. Using the priority lane as I was with Vera, I managed to get into the hall in less than 10 mins to have my respect paid to the late Mr. Lee. As hard as I tried to hold back my tears but there was an elderly uncle behind me, broke into huge sobs when we were near the coffin. My tears of course followed suit.

28th March 2015, I brought Xav down to Padang as I saw the shout out from Adora that Yeo's is looking for volunteers to help in the drinks distribution. The passing on of late Mr. Lee, once again united the hearts of Singaporeans. There were pretty lots of kind hearted vendors and companies, providing the people who were stuck in the snakey queues with free drinks, ponchos, umbrellas, tissues, cakes, bread and pastas to help them overcome with hunger and thirst while others volunteered by picking up litter around Padang/ and contributing in whatever ways they could.

This was the spirit of Singaporeans that I saw and I thought volunteering does not limit to a young boy like Xav. We went down to Padang in the morning but we did not managed to contact the staff from Yeo's. Hence, we thickened up our skin and joined in Temasek, who kindly took us in to help them in distributing mineral water and cakes to the people joining the queues.

"Water, water for you ! It''s going to be a long wait ......."

We both had a nice tan and I asked Xav if he was tired. His immediate reply was "No, am not tired. I am very happy !" We were more than happy to play a part in whatever way we could to contribute our help.

The same evening, I went down to the Parliament house again to pay my respect but this time with my mum, Xav and Vera. We joined in the priority queued for 1 hour and 15 mins to enter into the hall and that was the final bow which I could gave to the late Mr. Lee.

29th March 2015, I could not bring the kids down to bid him our final farewell. We watched the State Funeral Procession live from our screen. I saw how Singaporeans, old and young, lined up  the streets, braving in the rain just to send this great man off on his final journey. The pledge taking and singing of the National Anthem on this day had never been so hard, one that was filled with tears and full of pride !
I read so many articles and tributes for the late Mr. Lee. I would say no amount of thanks can be expressed for all that he had done for this Nation. I hope the legacy he left behind for us can be continued to be build upon, keeping it stronger for another 50 years and more.

History lesson starts early. I wanted Xav to learn what has this great man did for the nation and the people he loved so deeply. I ordered these two books online from Epigram Books for him to get to know the childhood and growing up of late Mr. Lee,  whose English name was Harry before I introduce more to him.

On the left : A Boy Named Harry, ISBN  : 978-981-4615-29-7
On the right : Harry Grows Up, ISBN : 978-981-4615-31-0

One of the favourite sayings from the late Mr. Lee; "For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.” - LKY.

This beautiful drawing is from Eva. She has included a downloadable link so that we can print out for the children to add colours to it.

Photo credit to Eva
The passing on of late. Mr Lee ended one era yet it is the beginning of a new era. On Monday, everything seems normal but I felt "emptiness" in the air when I stepped out of my home. I am sort of trying to recover from the grief of the past one week. Am not sure if you are feeling the same too.

#RememberingLKY #ThankyouLKY #TributetoLKY

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