Emotional Chiam See Tong pays last respects to Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House

Emotional Chiam See Tong pays last respects to Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House

SINGAPORE - Singapore People's Party secretary-general Chiam See Tong paid his last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew at Parliament House this afternoon, The Straits Times reported.

The veteran opposition politician was received by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his wife Ho Ching.

Accompanied by his wife, Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam and daughter, Camilla, the 80-year-old arrived in a wheelchair but later stood up to walk, with assistance from Mrs Chiam and Minister for Environment and Water Resources Dr Vivian Balakrishnan.

The Straits Times said that Mr Chiam was emotional and had tears welling up in his eyes.

He was quoted as saying: "I think Singapore is very lucky to have Mr Lee as her first prime minister. The first time I met him, he was very stern and said 'Who is this oppositionist?' I don't think he knew me at that time.

"And he said 'Mr Chiam, see you in Parliament.' The way he said it was as if he said, 'I'll see you in the boxing ring.

"I also know Mr Lee was a great debater. In Parliament he clobbered me. But when I came to Parliament, I never lost my dignity or decorum."

Mr Chiam had written a condolence letter to PM Lee over his father's passing on Tuesday.

In the letter, he described Mr Lee as "a great statesman, parliamentarian and a master of public policy", and said that no one else has shaped modern Singapore more so than the founding prime minister did.

He added that Mr Lee will live on in history, remaining for future generations the symbol of Singapore's success.

huizhen@sph.com.sg

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