Our Founding Father
Mr Lee Kuan Yew and his roles as a loving father, husband and grandfather.
The man we knew as MM Lee, the brilliant lawyer-turned politician, who led our nation from Third World to First, was also a family man. A devoted husband who read to his bedridden wife, a strict, yet, fair father who took time to understand his children, and a loving grandfather, Mr. Lee was greatly admired by family and nation alike.
His passing opened the floodgates to myriad eulogies and opinion pieces about his life, achievements and writing. Some criticised his politics, others expressed admiration. Many more fondly recollected their time with him. Perhaps the ones that stood out the most were those about his more tender moments: his early years at Cambridge, his marriage, and his foray into fatherhood.
“I wanted someone my equal, not someone who was not really grown up and needed looking after, and I was not likely to find another girl who was my equal,” shared Mr. Lee in his memoir, The Singapore Story.
A man ahead of his time, Mr. Lee treated Mdm. Kwa Geok Choo, or as he called her, Choo, as an equal, and often went to her for counsel. She was his ‘tower of strength’, and he in turn, was a faithful and attentive husband―their marriage was often described as steadfast by others who had seen them interact. In his eulogy at the private funeral for Mr. Lee, PM Lee Hsien Loong shared the extent of his father’s devotion to his mother. “We learnt from watching him grow old with Mama,” he said. “She meant the world to him, as he to her.”
Full feature in our May – July’15 issue.