Mr Lee takes the spotlight - with no pomp or fanfare

Mr Lee takes the spotlight - with no pomp or fanfare
A screengrab from the parliamentary broadcast showing Dr Ng Eng Hen, Leader of the House, delivering a stirring tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew on Monday. It was capped with a standing ovation from the House.

SINGAPORE - FOR more than a week, Members of Parliament had tried their best to keep news of a special tribute for former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew under wraps.

On Monday, the cover finally came off, and it happened in a way befitting of Mr Lee's strict standards.

A simple tribute with no pomp or fanfare, and then from Mr Lee himself, a clear message for the future - continue to keep the Government honest and clean, he told his colleagues.

At 4.20pm, Mr Lee entered Parliament's main Chamber.

With the help of his security officers, he made his way to his seat. All eyes were on him and it seemed as though everyone was holding their breath collectively in respectful silence.

The handful of people in the public gallery strained their necks to see what was going on below.

Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing paused midway through his speech, before resuming.

When he finished, Dr Ng Eng Hen, as the Leader of the House, rose to read a short but stirring tribute to Mr Lee.

Singapore was not born into greatness but hardship and poverty, Dr Ng said. But Mr Lee, with his singular mission and dedication, forged Singapore into a nation which today is admired worldwide for its prosperity, harmony and stability.

He said: "In lifting an entire nation and improving countless lives of Singaporeans of several generations, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has left a lasting legacy to all of us and achieved greatness."

For the many who were in Parliament, it was an emotional moment. They were there to honour Mr Lee, and yet, it was painful for them to see him slowed by time, needing help to walk and stand.

Dr Ng pointed out that Singapore's first prime minister has been a member of the legislature since 1955, when he won his first election. He has not looked back since and today, 58 years later, he is still holding the fort in Tanjong Pagar GRC.

 

 

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