Memories of Mr Lee more lasting than monuments

Memories of Mr Lee more lasting than monuments

The outpouring of adulation for founding father Lee Kuan Yew has eclipsed the spirit of what he stood for ("'Honour the spirit of what Papa stood for'"; April 19).

I was perplexed to read of one village in Tamil Nadu planning to build a statue, a museum and a memorial hall to honour Mr Lee.

The money could be put to better use for the people in the village. I am sure Mr Lee would not have it any other way.

His daughter, Dr Lee Wei Ling, would check with her father when she wrote articles about him, and his reply would be "OK, but no hagiography". This is testimony to his humility and ideals and what he truly strived for.

History has shown how monuments glorifying a leader will eventually be doomed to oblivion.

Let us remember Mr Lee as the young lawyer who represented the unions and clamoured for workers' rights in the 1950s. Let us remember him as the man who fought for Singapore's independence from British colonial rule.

Let us remember Mr Lee who, after Singapore was asked to leave Malaysia, built up the armed forces from scratch.

Let us remember him as the prime minister who started Tree Planting Day, cleaned up Singapore River, to give the island so much greenery and a clean waterway.

Let us recall with gratitude his foresight that resulted in the formation of Singapore Airlines and the transformation of an empty land to a world-renowned Changi Airport.

These are but a few of the many accomplishments in his lifetime for the benefit of the people of Singapore.

Let us keep the memories of Mr Lee, our admiration for him, as well as the principles and spirit he stood for, close to our hearts.

Bennie Cheok

This article was first published on May 3, 2015.
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