Stefanie Sun on LKY: My loved ones are testimonials of his legacy

Stefanie Sun on LKY: My loved ones are testimonials of his legacy

Lee Kuan Yew at 90: He blazes with intellect and sometimes warmth

Ms Stefanie Sun, 35, is a singer-songwriter.

Ms Sun on Mr Lee's legacy: I am a product of the late 1970s. At the edge of Gen X, not quite Gen Y.

Those in my generation have parents who are part of the "grateful old" - a term I coined not to offend, but in recognition of the fact that they had witnessed the transition from what was to what is under the rule of the PAP.

But my peers and I grew up in a different era. We read English literature and watched American sitcoms. For us, leaders are not idolised, change is openly embraced and alternative opinions are often taken to be "cool" and to be a sign that one has personality.

As we entered the workforce, we heard phrases like "Lee dynasty" and "false democracy".

Suddenly, it was deemed intellectual for one to have another opinion about the man behind the Singapore Story.

Human rights and freedom of the press were pressing issues of the day for my generation - not wealth or capitalism. Mr Nelson Mandela won universal reverence, as did Ms Aung San Suu Kyi. What about Mr Lee Kuan Yew?

In the midst of this, I remembered my father's advice, that I should always strive to have a mind of my own.

I believed it took special insight, otherwise known as wisdom, that comes only with time, to pass judgments or form opinions. More so on a man. I remained circumspect then.

Today, I do not see myself as a direct result of Mr Lee's exceptional accomplishments. I do, however, look to the people whom I love the most as living testimonials of his legac

My mother once lived in what was effectively an illegal opium den, but later moved into a beautiful HUDC apartment by working long hours and walking home to save on 25-cent bus trips.

My father washed dishes to pay for his doctoral studies, but later could afford to take us on holidays to Malaysia and eventually New Zealand.


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