9. Happy Father’s Day (Sunday, June 17, 2018) – Story #9: A Tribute To One Of Our Founding Fathers

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

9. Happy Father’s Day (Sunday, June 17, 2018) – Story #9: A Tribute To One Of Our Founding Fathers

On Father’s Day, I want to pay tribute to one of our founding fathers, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapore.

I grew up during the hard times, a period of turmoil and civil unrest in the history of Singapore.

Our people were poor, mainly uneducated, and of migrant stock.

I am a living witness of the harm that extreme communists and other dissidents did to the nation.

At one point, they had enormous power in their hands and were not afraid to use them on the street.

They could have destroyed us just like what many toxic leaders have done to their countries.

Today, there are many romantic notions of those rebels and attempts to make a hero out of them.

I wish they know what life was like in the past. How our destiny could have gone down the tube with these dangerous people.

Mr Lee came on the scene when he and his team were not in power. Life was tough for them and for all of us.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew went into the gladiator’s arena to fight not for his life but for the country.

His enemies were stronger then, and they had support coming from different countries.

There were dark forces lurking behind shadows, manipulating many impressionable minds and agitating people at their worst instincts.

The battle had no rules.

Nobody expected a fair fight.

It was more than a game of chance. It would be a fight to the last breath.

The prize was not for fame and glory but for the destiny of a people.

A largely migrant people that were made up of more spectators than players, more observers than participants, and more critics than supporters.

That was the context of the battle.

It took a man of courage and street smartness to turn the tide.

An iron hand to restore stability and engineer growth for our economy and society.

It took a strong leader to galvanize the energies of our people and channel them in the right direction and build on a dream.

It required great leadership to inspire a talented team of leaders to transform Singapore from an accidental country to become a first-world country.

It required a clean heart and mind to free oneself and the government from the clutches of corruption, abuse, and destruction.

It required effective vision, execution, and grit to turn a little red dot into one of the most admired countries in the world.

Thank God, we had Mr Lee Kuan Yew fighting on our side.

He was a man of our time and together with his team, he led us out of a dark period.

Along the way, he made many sacrifices for our nation.

He led us to victory and helped to bring forth a successful Singapore.

He is not perfect but his contributions have made a positive difference to our future.

I can’t think of another leader that could have done the same for us.

As a politician, he took on his opponents in the courts of law, not a norm in western democracy but a necessity to ensure that our leaders have the moral authority to lead the country.

Libel suits are controversial but I prefer that honorable politicians press such charges rather than swing to the other extreme.

We have seen how many of the leaders in the western world were made to look like clowns in a circus and their political systems became a mockery.

My take is that if another team of leaders had assumed power, they wouldn’t have made it any easier for the politicians who were on the opposite side of their camps.

Although political power was prone to abuse, Singapore has largely escaped from suffering detrimental effects such as corruption.
We were not led by self-serving politicians with unclean hands and systems.

After Mr Lee left us, the country continues to grow.

We can look forward to the future with a sense of hope and optimism.

That was how our history was made. Destiny crafted.

It happened because of one man and his team.

I’ll always be grateful and thankful for what Mr Lee and his team did for us.

I pray that we will never take our hard-won achievements for granted.

And never for a moment believe that whatever we have built cannot be destroyed very quickly.


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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