MPs from both sides of political divide saddened by loss of great leader

MPs from both sides of political divide saddened by loss of great leader
Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

KUALA LUMPUR: The death of Singapore's founding father Lee Kuan Yew was felt by Members of Parliament (MPs) from both sides of the political divide, who described him as a great leader.

MCA president and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (BN-Bentong) described Lee as a stern leader who led Singapore to great success.

"It is a big loss. His contribution to Singapore and the region should serve as a role model for other leaders," he said.

Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed (BN-Pulai) said that he was sad over the passing of a great man.

"Lee brought Singapore from the ashes of separation from Malaysia to being a developed country in his time as the prime minister.

"The governance legacy he has left has kept Singapore growing even 25 years after he left. This is a record that can't be denied and should be emulated by us," he said.

MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan (BN-Tanjung Malim) hoped the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore will continue to prosper even after Lee's passing.

Hanipa Maidin (PAS-Sepang) said Singapore had lost a great leader and an important figure while Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan) conveyed his condolences to the Singaporean government on behalf of his state government.

Lee's "stint" in the Dewan Rakyat was brief, being one of the 15 MPs from Singapore from Sept 16, 1963 until Aug 9, 1965 - when Singapore separated from the federation.

The records showed that despite his brief stint, Lee was the subject of some very heated exchanges in the run-up to the separation of Singapore from the federation.

Among the topics that were hotly debated at the time were Lee's ambition of a "Malaysian Malaysia".

According to the Singaporean Hansard, Lee, while debating the regional communist threat on Dec 9, 1963, had said that ultimate power was vested in the Malaysian Parliament.

In his first speech in the Singapore legislative assembly in 1965 after the separation, Lee noted that there was a need to get into a "new working relationship" with Malaysia.

"Before a new working relationship is established, we must first dispel the illusion that because we wanted merger in Malaysia, therefore, we are vulnerable without merger."

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