New tour sheds light on Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life

New tour sheds light on Mr Lee Kuan Yew's life
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE - How much do we actually know about Mr Lee Kuan Yew's early life? Who was he behind the public persona? What did he like to eat?

About Mr Lee, a new guided tour by local tour firm, Tribe, aims to show the person behind the fiercely private man, starting with his early life.

The tour weaves through locations associated with Mr Lee, such as his long-time home in Oxley Road, and lesser known spots, such as one of his favourite Peranakan restaurants.

It goes through various themes of the late former prime minister's personal life, exploring Mr Lee as the eldest son in his family, a life-long learner, family man and loving husband.

Tribe co-founder and tour curator Jason Loe, 42, believes that the story of Mr Lee's political life is already known to most. He kept his family life, however, far from the spotlight.

"There's so much interesting material about Mr Lee, and more so about his private life,"

Laden with details gleaned from months of research, the four-hour tour offers glimpses of the frugal and studious family man that stood in contrast to his giant political persona.

The tour proceeds mostly by bus, and stops around Singapore to trace Mr Lee's Peranakan heritage, political roots and his greatest love - his wife Madam Kwa Geok Choo.

About Mr Lee reveals details from Mr Lee's life: what he liked for breakfast, how cold he liked his beer and why he gave up smoking.

Participants can also eat at one of Mr Lee's favourite restaurants, from which he ordered otak-otak and other dishes for Istana events.

Mr Loe and his co-founder Ms Cheong Yoke Chun, 43, began research for the tour in late last year (2015), and their inspiration came with Mr Lee's passing on March 23 last year.

"Last March was quite special for us - there was a very different air about things," said Mr Loe. He hopes that this tour would be his small contribution to Singapore.

All the money earned from March's tours will go to The Straits Times School Money Pocket Fund, to help children from low-income families through school. After that, 10 per cent of earnings each month will go to charity.

The tour runs every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Mandarin-speaking tours are available on weekends. Tickets from $30 available at .

This article was first published on March 17, 2016.
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