In Memoriam: Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, 1st Prime Minister of Singapore

As a Singaporean, I am very affected by the passing of this remarkable man.

As a Singaporean, I am very grateful that he gave his life to the noble cause of developing Singapore from a 3rd world country to a 1st world one. I was born in 1983, in a time when Singapore was already thriving and prosperous and was just about to usher in the era of information technology, which would put Singapore on the map as an economic force to be reckoned with.

As a Singaporean, I am a beneficiary of the incredibly outstanding work that Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and his pioneering and highly capable team had put in, along with the generation of civilians who supported the cause and worked hard together with Mr. Lee’s government.

Whatever our political convictions are, and I myself have developed strong political views, and despite the fact that we may not always agree with the way Mr. Lee did things, we must give credit where credit is due.

What can we learn from a brilliant man such as Mr. Lee Kuan Yew? How can we apply some of those principles in our lives and in our work?

For me, Mr. Lee’s principle of being very realistic but at the same time overcoming the obstacles to achieve one’s goals is a profound lesson for me, and one that I certainly wish to apply in my life and work as a musician. His ability to see the situation for what was and not lie to himself that such range of problems did not exist was his first step to carving out firm and effective solutions. This also required an extremely in-depth analysis of the situation or problem, which the world agrees, is one of Mr. Lee’s talents. From there he was able to steer his team and his people towards more economic growth and an improved standard of living.

Mr. Lee was also very decisive even when faced with making difficult choices because he believed it to be for the greater good of his people. That means you cannot please everyone. You will always be judged for the choices you make, but in time the end results will reveal the truth behind your choices.

Mr. Lee had a heart for the less fortunate and did great work to improve their lives. Whilst I pursue my goals and ambitions, I also want to extend whatever help I can to the less fortunate around me. Thus in my work as a musician and coach for example, if I could teach a person from a poor background how to play the drums, that could give him or her a skill to find a way out of poverty and do something that is positive for the world at the same time.

I mourn Mr. Lee Kuan Yew’s passing but I also celebrate his life and his work. Rest in peace, Sir, and thank you for all you have done for SIngapore.

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