"I've still got two legs, I will make a contribution"

SINGAPORE - Singapore's former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew told the local media yesterday that he will continue to contribute to Singapore for as long as his health permits.

Mr Lee was addressing media questions about his daughter's column in The Sunday Times.

His daughter, National Neuroscience Institute director Lee Wei Ling, had revealed he was suffering from a nervous disease that affected his balance.

The disease, sensory peripheral neuropathy, causes the conduction of sensation from his legs to his spinal cord to be impaired which makes his walking unsteady.

Speaking on the sidelines of a tree planting event at Tanjong Pagar GRC yesterday, he said that he had no doubt at all that his disease had not affected his mind, his will nor his resolve.

"People in wheelchairs can make a contribution. I've still got two legs, I will make a contribution."

He said the disease started two years ago when he was 86 and has since learnt to adapt.

"We learn to adjust. It started two years ago when I was 86, and at 86 many of my contemporaries are either on wheelchairs or are not around. So I am grateful to be still around at 86, although less steady than before," said Mr Lee.

"But as you see, one learns to adjust and I take steps which are wider apart to maintain a sound balance. I have no doubt at all that this has not affected my mind, my will nor my resolve. "

The Straits Times reported that Mr Lee walked steadily without any help yesterday.