It has been a solemn past week having it been declared a national mourning period. I spent my days reading articles of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and gluing myself to the TV. Some of you might also have noticed the 7 days of silence on my blog and all social media platform. It is indeed very sad, and I shed much tears. Each time I read some article Singaporeans write about their experience with our first Prime Minister, my eyes just start to water, even when I am in trains or public transport.

I too, joined in the Parliament queue with the husband and Jerry on Thursday. Despite being told that the priority queue might take up to 6 hours, we proceeded on, knowing that it is my last chance to pay my respects. We eventually took 4 hours, but I was nothing but glad that I managed to make it. I flew off the very next day to Thailand for a team trip that involved way too many people.

I was upset that I couldn’t catch the State Funeral Procession on Sunday and not being able to spend the last few days in Singapore with my fellow Singaporeans. Even while we were in Bangkok, tears were still flowing when we caught some video or article online. My mind was back with Singapore even though I was physically away. It was a such a pain being away during this period. 

I may not be the generation of my parents where they were directly impacted by Lee Kuan Yew’s work and policies. I may not have known, growing up, what is in it for me. But I can tell you, my childhood was probably very different from most of you. Because when I was still a kid, I live in commual attap house and have trees as my playground. We draw water from a well and use a communal toilet that’s a little shed above a shit pool. It stinks like mad to use the toilet by the way. Things have changed so much since and I moved into a HDB flat just a year before I entered Primary School. 

The clean, drinking water from the tap, the sanitary in our current toilets, are some of the stuff that we all grown to take for granted. The safe roof over our heads, the safe streets, the sheltered walkways, the convenient public transport that gets us to almost everywhere…and being educated, and being bilingual. All these things didn’t happen by magic. They all happened because he had a vision. 

I have witnessed part of the transformation of Singapore in the last 35 years, and things are now so different, so convenient and so much more effective in some ways. 

I may not have fully agreed to every decision he has made for us, but I appreciate how rapidly the country has grown. How prosperous it has become. How strong it has grown. How strong our currency has grown against many others. And how a country so tiny, is able to leave its mark in the many countries way bigger than us.

I don’t intend to pen a long story here. I just wanted to show my appreciation in my own little way, and celebrate the victories we have enjoyed in the past. Celebrate his life by enjoying the fruits of his (and many others’) labour, and loving Singapore for what we are. We are far more fortunate than many of the countries that I have travelled to. We are a lot more efficient in many ways that we don’t know. Many of us just know the Singaporean way, how things work here, and find flaws within. The best way to thank our founding father is to stop complaining (what Singaporeans is best at right?) what you think is bad, but strive for the knowledge to make fair comparisons and need be, give constructive feedback on how to make things better.  

Nothing can be more noisy than empty vessels. 

And I want to thank you readers too. For staying with me despite the silence. And for the sponsors for being so understanding with me and accommodating my act of silence on my blog and social platforms. Thank you, because it means so much to me.

We may have lost him in person, but he lives in our hearts forever.