16 Matching Annotations
  1. Mar 2015
    1. Dr Ng ended his speech by saying: “Mr Lee, all these Singaporeans, young and old, whose lives you have touched – it is they who matter, as you always said, and who have pronounced the final judgement on your life’s work. It is a great work that has surpassed all expectations. It is called Singapore and filled with Singaporeans who love and revere you. Majulah Singapura. Rest in peace.”

      Majullah Singapura

    2. Majullah Singapura!

    3. “There will not be another Lee Kuan Yew who made us better than we are or could be. Mr Lee Kuan Yew founded, moved and lifted a nation. Because of his unwavering devotion and a life poured out for Singapore, he has made all our lives better and for many generations to come. Few mortals have accomplished so much in their lifetime. We in this House are honoured to have lived and served with him. His legacy will live on through us and through this nation.

      Thank you, Mr Lee. You gave your life for us.

    4. I called on Mr Lee at the Istana and told him about our plans. He said he would be in Parliament that day on Sept 16th. “Unfortunately, when that day came, a dehydrated and weakened Mr Lee had to go to hospital and be put on a drip. His doctors advised him not to attend Parliament. We were informed and called off our plans. But just before Parliament adjourned, we were surprised when Mr Lee entered this Chamber. I found out later that he over-ruled his doctors, saying that he must attend Parliament because he had given his commitment. He wanted to walk but thankfully his doctors persuaded him that it would be acceptable for a 90-year-old on intravenous nutrition to be wheeled into the chamber. That September 16th, this House had the last privilege to wish him happy birthday together. After Parliament adjourned, he stayed on as we cut his birthday cake and sang him a birthday song. At age 90, frail and dehydrated, Mr Lee kept his word to be here. “Great strength of character, determination and integrity. Lee Kuan Yew had all of these qualities and more. He kept his promises. What he said he would do, he would and more - whether it was for individuals or an entire nation.’
    5. “In 2009, Mr Lee at 86 years, unexpectedly joined a debate on a motion about equality in this House. He said, ‘Sir, I had not intended to intervene in any debate. But I was doing my physiotherapy just now and reading the newspapers and I thought I should bring the House back to earth.... and remind everybody what is our starting point, what is our base, and if we do not recognise where we started from, and that these are our foundations, we will fail.’ “Mr Lee went on to explain why the Constitution of Singapore ‘enjoins us (the Government) to specifically look after the position of the Malays and other minorities’.
    6. He said in 1968 in this House ‘If we were a soft community, then the temptation would be to leave things alone and hope for the best. Then, only good fortune can save us from the unpleasantness which reason and logic tell us is ahead of us. But we are not an easy-going people. We cannot help thinking, calculating and planning for tomorrow, for next week, for next month, for next year, for the next generation. And it is because we have restless minds, forever probing and testing, seeking new and better solutions to old and new problems, that we have never been, and I trust never shall be, tried and found wanting.’
    7. By the time the British withdrew in Oct 1971, we had avoided massive unemployment...’.
    8. In his first election in 1955, he told the voters of Tanjong Pagar, that out of 25 divisions, he wanted to represent ‘workers, wage earners and small traders, not wealthy merchants or landlords’. This was why he ‘chose Tanjong Pagar, not Tanglin’.
    9. A nation cries out in mourning. No one moved Singapore as Mr Lee did - not in life, sickness or death. We in this House, together with all Singaporeans here and abroad, weep that Mr Lee is no longer among us.”
    1. Sitting in these meetings, I was struck by how Mr Lee approached this delicate situation. He did not say one thing to one and sing a different tune to the other. If they had compared notes later, they would have found his underlying position consistent. What made him persuasive was how he addressed the concerns and interests of each side. I could see from the way both reacted that his arguments struck a chord, and one of the guests asked a note-taker to write the notes verbatim for deeper study later on. In 2000, when I was at MTI a few months after this meeting, I was very pleased to witness China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation at the Doha meeting.
    2. But there is one quality of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s that we can, and need to, aspire towards: Mr Lee’s unwavering and total dedication to Singapore, to keeping Singapore successful so that Singaporeans may determine our own destiny, and lead meaningful, fulfilling lives.
    3. Insights are valuable, but how does Mr Lee turn insights into results? I believe it is through a single-minded focus on achieving whatever he sets out to do.
    4. If things go wrong, do not sweep them aside. Confront the problems, get to the root of the difficulties, and wrestle with these resolutely. Go for long-term success, and do not be deterred by criticisms.
    5. MR LEE expanded our external space, by being a principled advocate of collaboration, based on long-term interests.

      Importance of collaboration.

    6. What are the implications? What should we be doing differently? Nothing is too big or too small. I accompanied Mr Lee on many overseas trips. The 1998 trip to the US is particularly memorable. Each day brought new ideas, and throughout the trip, I sent back many observations for our departments to study. It might be the type of industry that we might develop or the type of trees that might add colour to our garden city. This remains very much his style today.
    7. His every waking moment is devoted to Singapore, and Mr Lee wants Singapore to be successful, beyond his term as prime minister.