Remembering Lee Kwan Yew at his Best


It’s been a year since Mr. Lee has passed.

Many of us were in denial. Some quarters took the chance to celebrate. Today, I still feel a loss.

It wasn’t about the leadership, the building of this nation or his vision and winning strategy. All these things were important, but no, he was so much more than just that.

It was about being tough, and drawing strength

It was about the steely core of Singapore. It was about putting a certain confidence in us. If there was no motivation in our hearts, hearing him put it there. There was a certain level of belief that come what may, Mr Lee would be able to pull us through. Sometimes, we’d have to suffer in the short term. Most times, we revelled in a remarkably secure environment that looked even more remarkable when we turned our eyes to the region.


Strength, determination and a stubborn resilience. These qualities were not uniquely his, he just did it better than you or me. I will remember him at his very best, with the same courage and fire we were enmeshed in whenever he spoke with the verve and surety that can only come from a certain conviction.

He was no God, just a very astute man

Was he a God? It’s a clear “No”. There were some things even he couldn’t change, control or conceive. He didn’t foresee a lack children being a problem, nor did he ever predict that we’d live in a time of instant connection and what that would mean for his party and the things it had to concede to survive and thrive.


No, he wasn’t the omnipotent God some people said he was, but surely, he was a titan that was close enough.

So here’s to a titan that didn’t take crap from nobody and couldn’t be bought by the CIA. Who played by his own rules and did it his way. In case you don’t remember, here’s a video so you’ll never forget.