Nominated MP Chia Yong Yong, a wheelchair-user, on how people here can do well, regardless of their background.
"Some say that he was ruthless, unforgiving, unrelenting. But the children of his political foes had rights and opportunities like any other children.
They were able to enter professions, able to become lawyers, doctors, public servants - because, this is Singapore.
Did he do well for Singapore? Look around us. We can say what we will, history shall be the judge.
History will judge those who act, and history will judge those who only speak.
As for me, I am convinced that if I were born in Singapore in an earlier era, or if I were born in a similar era but in another Asian country, I would not, being a girl with a disability coming from a poor family with no connections, I would not have been able to go to school, enter a profession and serve the community today.
Shortly after he took office, he said he had the lives of a few million people to account for. He said Singapore would survive.
By any measure, Singapore has more than survived. Today, we are a reckoned player in the international scene.
Today, our lives have improved, and Singaporeans have a strong foundation upon which to work hard, to make life better for ourselves and our children.
He has completed his sojourn with us. But his journey, and the journey that he and our forefathers began, has not ended.
That journey will continue. This is our Singapore. And we will build it, and we will protect it."
This article was first published on March 27, 2015.
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