Raffles laid foundation for other visionaries

We should not deprive Sir Stamford Raffles of the honour of being the founder of modern Singapore just because his government failed to provide sufficient welfare to the people (Inappropriate to mark anniversary of colonisation, by Mr Anthony Oei; May 26).

It was his foresight that allowed him to recognise Singapore as a natural strategic spot in the major trade route between India and China.

The free trade he instituted got a flourishing port going, attracting thousands of migrants who believed a better life awaited them.

The work of Raffles laid the foundation for other visionaries who came after him.

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It is true that our ancestors held a lower social status than the English or Europeans.

But we should not feel ashamed or humiliated, as they worked hard and had the ingenuity to use whatever little resources they had to raise the next generation and contribute to a great part of the economy at that difficult time.

Their experience is not a badge of shame, but a demonstration of human resilience.

Lee Kay Yan (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 30, 2017, with the headline 'Raffles laid foundation for other visionaries'. Print Edition | Subscribe