LKY stood up to thank everyone despite his frailty: Alex Yam

LKY stood up to thank everyone despite his frailty: Alex Yam

Writing on his Facebook account, Chua Chu Kang GRC MP Alex Yam posted this first-person account of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's time in Parliament on Monday, on the occasion of his 90th birthday.

Halfway through Minister Chan Chun Sing's response to Dr Lily Neo's Adjournment Motion, everyone's attention was momentarily diverted.

From where I sit in the chamber, the entrance was always square in my sight and today, through those doors I saw Mr Lee Kuan Yew come through. From all around, there was a momentary pause.

Conscious as always of protocol, helped by his two assistants, Mr Lee gingerly stood to take his bow and moved to his seat in the chambers. Everyone watched every move, some with visible concern for his current health but yet joyful that he was with us in the chambers.

At the close of the debate, Leader of the House Dr Ng delivered a short but passionate tribute to Mr Lee on behalf of the House for his 90th birthday and in recognition of the 58 years of his life spent in the chambers, leading Singapore out of poverty.

A recent article by The Star in Malaysia characterised Singapore as perhaps the only country in the modern era to gain her independence unwillingly. Willing or not, Mr Lee and our early pioneers certainly stayed the course and led a people through to becoming the shiny bright red dot we know today.

At the end of the speech, members spontaneously erupted into a standing ovation. But what was the most moving was that despite his physical frailty, Mr Lee insisted on standing up to thank everyone.

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