Lee Kuan Yew: Singaporeans mourn 'charging lion' | Biz Info


Lee Kuan Yew: Singaporeans mourn ‘charging lion’

Death of Lee Kuan Yew

As the sun rose over Singapore General Hospital, paralympic athlete William Tan arrived in his wheelchair at a tribute area for Mr Lee Kuan Yew and bowed his head in silence.

He told the BBC that as a child, he had watched Mr Lee cry on television as he announced one of the country’s most traumatic moments: its separation from Malaysia in 1965.

“It’s a sad day for all Singaporeans. I lived in the era where he built Singapore, and I’ve seen it progress,” said the 58-year-old.

For Sayeed Hussain, who brought his two teenage children to pay respects before they headed off to school, Mr Lee’s legacy was social harmony. “He did a lot for us, helped to shape a multi-racial and multi-cultural Singapore,” he said.
The country’s newspapers darkened their mastheads and published Mr Lee’s picture on their front.

Mr Lee was a towering figure in the lives of many Singaporeans, leading a team that transformed Singapore to a rich, stable country.

He has also been strongly criticised for his human rights record, his ruthless pursuit of political opponents and views on race and genetics. But in the immediate hours after his death, few Singaporeans were willing to touch on the more controversial aspects of his legacy.

Even opponents, such as politician Chee Soon Juan who was sued for defamation by Mr Lee, expressed only condolences. Low Thia Khiang, the leader of Singapore’s main opposition party in parliament, Workers’ Party, said Mr Lee’s contribution would be “remembered for generations to come”.
‘A charging lion’

Online and offline, the country mourned. Radio and television played tributes and downbeat music, newspapers darkened their mastheads, digital billboards were blanked out, and television stations ran tickers announcing his death.

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