Obituary Message On The Passing Of Singapore’s Founding Prime Minister Mr. Lee Kuan Yew By Penang Chief Minister And DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng On 24 March 2015 In Komtar, George Town.
Lee Kuan Yew – The great moderniser
On behalf of the people of Penang and the Democratic Action Party, we offer our deepest condolence to Prime Minister Mr Lee Hsien Loong, family members of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, and the people of Singapore on the passing of the founder of their nation, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, at the age of 91.
In his more than sixty years of public life, which included a very brief period as a Member of the Malaysian Parliament, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was renowned for his eloquence and sharp wit. But he was internationally regarded for how he modernised his beloved nation, and helped Singapore punched above the weight of a small city state, in global affairs.
Lee Kuan Yew was the moderniser par excellence. But he was not perfect. Often leaders come and go, leaving some good deeds and some not-so-good ones. Whatever his flaws and weaknesses they were outweighed by the remarkable success of transforming a poor, backward, fractious nation without any natural resources and even inadequate water into a united island of self-sufficiency and prosperity.
Lee Kuan Yew relied only on the human capital at his disposal and good governance centered on rigorously rooting out corruption. That became known as the Singapore success model, emulated and followed by nations great and small, where even great nations like China sought his counsel.
I hosted Mr Lee at Komtar, the seat of Penang State Government, on his final whirlwind tour of Malaysia six years ago in June 2009. Even at that age, he was still a dynamic thinker with trenchant arguments and clear in his vision.
He displayed tremendous ambition in pushing his nation hard and those around him to excel. That is the full measure of the man who inspired others to reach beyond themselves to scale unimaginable heights. If politics is the art of the possible, for Lee Kuan Yew, nothing was impossible to achieve provided one was hungry enough to work hard. May Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace.
LIM GUAN ENG