Today is D day… the day of our Founding Father laid to rest.
Along with the many Singaporeans, we remained glued to our television sets for the duration of the state funeral which was televised live. We decided to head down to Raffles Place to join the thousands to catch a glimpse of the gun carriage carrying Mr Lee’s body. But the skies turned grey and it started to drizzle a little.
I had hoped that the rain would go away but then the rain didn’t show signs of easing up and it poured heavily. Yet, despite that, Singaporeans didn’t head straight for the shelter. Instead, ponchos/ umbrellas sprung up and they stood by the roads, patiently waiting for Mr Lee’s cortege to pass by.
This reminded me of what I read in our history books – in 1968, it rained heavily on our National Day Parade. Mr Lee Kuan Yew sat in his seat at City Hall and despite the heavy downpour, he said ‘The whole world is watching us to see what we are made of. We will brave on.” And just like that, the people involved in the NDP then braved on.
Today, the mood was sombre all round and it’s like the heavens cried for him too, along with the people of Singapore…
PM Lee Hsien Loong said in his eulogy, ‘This has been a dark week for Singapore. The light that has guided us all these years have been extinguished.’ As I watched on, my tears silently fell. Yes, our Founding Father – Lee Kuan Yew – is gone but his legacy lives on and it’s up to us – the children of Singapore – to carry on the work that he has started. So, the light that has guided us has not been extinguished, it lives on in each and every one of us and let us be responsible to pass on that light to our children.
After the state funeral was over, I looked out of the window and saw the sun shining brightly. I know the weather in Singapore is fickle but on 29 March 2015, this weather is no freak incident. It’s a sign, I told my mom, the heavens have cried for him and now the skies have opened up and are welcoming him into heaven.
Your work here is done..Rest in peace, Mr Lee Kuan Yew…
He rallied a nation with a dream. Speaking to the Singapore Press Club in 1996, he said: “Thirty years ago, my colleagues, younger and more dreamy eyed, settled the words of our pledge. We did not focus our minds on our navels or we would have missed the rainbow in the sky. We pursued that rainbow and that was how we came to build today’s Singapore.”
Of his life, Mr Lee said: “I cannot say I planned my life. That’s why I feel life is a great adventure, exciting, unpredictable and at times exhilarating.”
His political genius swept Singaporeans along the arduous but rewarding journey of hope and discovery. And his courageous spirit continues to inspire Singaporeans, young and old, to take their country towards an even more meaningful tomorrow.
A fledgling nation, once floundering, now claims its place among the world’s most modern – all within the lifetime of an indomitable leader.
In his own words, Mr Lee said: “For the young, let me tell you the sky has turned brighter. There’s a glorious rainbow that beckons those with the spirit of adventure. And there are rich findings at the end of the rainbow. To the young and to the not-so-old, I say, look at that horizon, follow that rainbow, go ride it.”
(Excerpt taken from Mr Lee Kuan Yew: Public Man, Private Life article)