Monday, March 23, 2015

Good Bye ~ Father of Nation!

When I woke up this morning, first thing i grab was tv remote.  I switched it on to the channel left off last night.

I became fully awake as I read, Singapore's founding father dies at the age of 91.  Soon after I found myself watching reports from Channel News Asia.  The closing of it captured my attention much.

"Could I have lived my life differently?  May be yes.  But probably not.  At each stage, I made what was then the best choice.  Having taken that decision, I changed direction and there was no turning back."

It was just on that Friday night, when I had a late night concall with a Singaporean colleague and he mentioned LKY's name.  We were kind of talked a bit of him; and this morning when I was right here in Singapore to start my first day of a week training, I heard this heartfelt news.

Flags are at half-mast everywhere today.  I had a chance to talk with new-met collegue, I got to hear how his view about the great man.  On my way back to the hotel, I could also feel how the driver mourned for him, could feel Lee Kuan Yew is dearly and indeed the father of many, the father of Singapore.

I read through his quotes, I watched some records of him, the most interesting one is he wept when Singapore separated from Malaysia.  I feel the need to put some notes on this.  I search and find complete script of what I watch this morning from CNA - Building a Nation.

Here's PM Lee Hsien Loong's speech for his beloved father.  It was live-broadcasted from the Istana 8am this morning.


video

His speeches in Mandarin and English

 "今天,我们失去了一位敬爱的领袖,建国总理李光耀先生。李先生在我们心目中的地位是无可替代的,他与人民建立了深厚的感情,深受人民的爱戴。在李先生住院期间,各阶层人士通过不同的方式表达了大家的关怀和慰问。这给了李先生和我家人很大的安慰。我谨代表家属向大家致以最衷心的感谢。”
李总理说到这里,一度哽咽。他接着说:“由始至终,李先生最关心的就是新加坡的存亡。他把一生奉献给新加坡,致力团结全国人民,激发大家自力更生。在他的领导下,我国成功从第三世界晋升第一世界,成为一个让人民引以为豪的家园。他的离去对新加坡和我家人是个巨大的损失。"

"The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together, and brought us here. He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won’t see another like him. "

"To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore. As Prime Minister, he pushed us hard to achieve what had seemed impossible. After he stepped down, he guided his successors with wisdom and tact. In old age, he continued to keep a watchful eye on Singapore."

"Singapore was his abiding passion. He gave of himself, in full measure, to Singapore. As he himself put it towards the end of his life: 'I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There’s nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life. "

"I am grieved beyond words at the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I know that we all feel the same way. But even as we mourn his passing, let us also honour his spirit. Let us dedicate ourselves as one people to build on his foundations, strive for his ideals, and keep Singapore exceptional and successful for many years to come. May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace."

Good bye, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew - thank you for your vision and leadership to build such a great country around this region.


p/s. 
As I am still here and watch the news, this line captured me: "Fifty years ago, you wept for us.  Fifty years later, we cry for you."  This lady refers to 50 years of Singapore Independence day coming this August.  Same wish I heard from the taxi driver, how they hoped he would be able to make it for 50 years celebration of Singapore....

[updated 20150325]

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