Thank You Mr Lee

This morning, the first thing the man did was to turn on the telly and tuned into Channel News Asia. Something quite unlike him. It was like there was something we needed to know, only to realise that the greatest leader Singapore ever had has left us.

I never took an interest in the country's political state of affairs. But being the history student I was, I am fully aware of the struggles this nation has gone through. Perhaps this is the very reason, I sometimes take the comfort and safety of our country for granted because I was born during a time when we were beginning to enjoy Mr Lee Kwan Yew's fruit of labour. 

Reading tributes to Mr Lee that flooded social media today, I thought back to the time I lived overseas as a university student. 

We woke up one morning to realise our house was broken into, yet there was nothing the police could do. 

I was afraid to be driving out at night alone, for fear of being attacked. 

I lamented at how there was little or no street lighting at night. 

Why? Because I had the privilege of growing up in one of the safest countries in the world. 

Similarly, when I travel back home to  the Philippines, I am also sometimes gripped with fear as I once witnessed someone snatching my mum's necklace while we were on a jeepney. 

Many roads we travel on were bumpy and dusty. And why does that bother me? Once again, it's because I am used to what I have in Singapore. 

My parents were not well off. They worked their butts off to earn their keep and send us to school. When I did horribly for my A Levels, the fact that my Dad had good monies in his CPF account, and he was at the age where he could withdraw a portion of it, gave me the opportunity to go overseas to pursue my studies. 

Do I need to say who we should thank for such a savings scheme?

Many things have changed over the years. Policies that worked in yesteryears may not work today. But, I suppose that's for us to figure out as we continue to support what's good for the nation in time to come. 

I want to continue to remember the good Mr Lee has done for the people of Singapore. I am proud to be a Singaporean, and I cannot choose a better place to bring up my son. 

Thank you Mr. Lee for your foresight and for never giving up on Singapore. You will be missed. While I am saddened by your departure, I am actually glad that you can now rest with the one you love most. You deserve it.