My Last Mile with MM Lee Kuan Yew

Walking Through History

On yet another hot Spring Wednesday, the skies waver between gloom and shine midweek in the time of national mourning
over the passing of our beloved MM Lee, Founder of Singapore and Father of all Singaporeans.

For none desiring him to go so soon before their children and grandchildren could know the Man without whom, there is no modern Singapore as the World knew us.  I did not know that I would be walking through History as I join the queue to pay my last respect to MM Lee Kuan Yew as he lays in state at Parliament House.
My Q position was only 3km long from the House and the journey took almost 6 hours.

The Q snakes along both banks of the Singapore River from South Bridge Road through Clarke Quay along UOB Plaza through Battery Road, to swing around Standard Chartered Building and MayBank, passing by Bank of China whose staff passed out bottled water, before crossing Cavenagh Bridge at One Fullerton arriving at the Asian Civilisation Museum next to Parliament House.

Along Clarke Quay, I looked out at the Singapore River; saw flashes of the tongkangs and bumboats that once dominated the River so central to our economic survival those early days.  They are gone now.  Looking ahead beyond Cavenagh Bridge, the skyline of Opera House and Marina South loomed, flanked by One Fullerton, formerly the General Post Office; the old and new have co-existed as Singapore developed from 3rd World to 1st in just 40 years led by MM Lee Kuan Yew.
He promised in 1965: “I will make this a Metropolis in 10 years!”.
He delivered as he always does in whatever he promises.

As the Q moves at a snail pace, at times only 15 meters in an hour, I could only begin to grasp the true meaning of the moment; for just a stone’s throw away, the Stock Exchange and Banking Sector continue their hustling and bustling wheeling and dealings
amidst other commercial and trading activities, seemingly oblivious of the solemn ceremony taking place; Singapore as a global financial hub continues in vibrancy unabated with the heartbeats of the Man whose own heart has ceased; for as he laid in state, MM Lee’s energy and vitality continue in the daily life of Singapore. The Man has not just given his life and all to Singaporeans; MM Lee has in fact interred in the Singaporean soul the embodiment of his spirit, dreams and aspirations of an exceptional Singapore nation in the global community, of a free, prosperous, racially harmonious, sovereign nation deserving of respect, admiration and friendship by all.

And after nearly 6 hours, I arrived; to walk past his body with a momentary pause of respect and remembering our first meeting in 1983; this last mile’s walk with him will always be cherished. Even in death, he has reminded me and all Singaporeans, Singapore in not easy; it takes hard work, dedication, vision, perseverance, resilience and Leadership.  And so he left as he has lived, not a monument to his name nor his image on any ornaments, with just the grateful hearts of millions of Singaporeans privileged and honoured to know and have him for many seasons of his life.
“Goodbye, my Leader, Mentor, Brother and Friend”.

I could still sense his heartbeats continued strong as he laid resting at last; his work unfinished but for us to build upon by remembering his pillar legacies based on social peace with justice, regardless of race, language or religion, on this tiny sunny island by the sea.

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Virgo49 said...

Wah piang now already 08.54pm (2054 hours) and still no comments ah???

Must be the longest mile!

Anonymous said...

my mind is still lining up at padang.
meditating as I walk.
agreed with mikospace it's like walking through history.

Anonymous said...

Great pictures @ Mikospace!
Suddenly, VERITAS so quiet,eh?!
Where are u, man?
Taking a walk at Padang?