Preserve Mr Lee's legacy

The outpouring of tributes paid to the late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on the first anniversary of his death speaks volumes of the people's respect and affection they hold for him ("Gone, but forever in their hearts"; Monday).

While it is important for us to preserve Mr Lee's legacy of a multicultural, multiracial and multi-ethnic society, there are other valuable lessons which are beneficial for us to learn and practise.

Being cognisant of the fact that Singaporeans are living longer, Mr Lee exhorted everyone to keep on working and learning for as long as we can and continue to perform the job that we can do.

He wanted us to stay productive and financially independent so as not to impose an ever heavier burden on the young.

Our water situation is much better now and this is due to Mr Lee's determination to see Singapore achieve water sustainability.

Given the threats of having our water supply from across the Causeway cut, Mr Lee used to remind us that only we could rescue ourselves if faced with the water problem.

There are many things that Singaporeans, including myself, have taken for granted, such as the need to have a strong defence and a robust economy which can help create job opportunities and, in turn, lift our standard of living.

I always remember Mr Lee's words of wisdom.

One of his wise beliefs was that nobody owes us a living, and that all of us have to create our own opportunities and achieve our own successes.

Although he is no longer with us, it would benefit us all to reflect on his foresight and wise words.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 23, 2016, with the headline 'Preserve Mr Lee's legacy'. Print Edition | Subscribe