March 23 Monday
The day Singaporeans woke up to the realization that they have to live in a country without their founding father Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
I read about his passing as early as 4.45am when I woke up somewhat begrudgingly to pump. After reading the news, I glanced at my firstborn and felt a tinge of regret that my children will enjoy the benefits of being a Singaporean without meeting the man who made it all happen.
It is hard to watch the news. On other days, I would have complimented Channel News Asia broadcaster Glenda Chong on her chic black and white ensemble but today, I noticed how hard she was trying to maintain her composure and keep her chin from trembling - I would have been a teary heap.
Over lunch, an auntie gave me a free sample of cheese pineapple tarts with my popiah. She served me with a smile, which I returned with a half-smile given the heavy feeling in my heart. In this air-conditioned food court where you don’t even have to clear your trays given the efficiency of cleaning aunties and uncles, I'm again reminded of these creature comforts that we take for granted.
There has been much anti-government rhetoric over the past couple of years. If you are a Singaporean ranting about Lee Kuan Yew from the comforts and security of your hipster cafe, condominium or country club, I guess you have neither the maturity nor tenacity (or bluntly put, the balls) of the man himself. If you are a Singaporean bitching about our policies even after migrating, do remember, You gave up on your country, Lee Kuan Yew didn't.
Like most Singaporeans, I have never met Mr. Lee Kuan Yew personally but I will forever be in his debt. So thank you, Mr. Lee and to your children for sharing your father with us.