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Former youth delinquent Lawrence Koh cleaned up and went on to illustrate a book on Lee Kuan Yew

Published on Jul 21, 2014 6:17 PM
Lawrence Koh has updated his 2000 bestseller, Growing Up With Lee Kuan Yew, with a portion about the death of the founding prime minister’s wife. -- ST PHOTO: STEFFI KOH

At the height of a troubled adolescence spent mixing with bad company, 15-year-old Lawrence Koh rushed out of the house with a parang hastily wrapped in newspaper to join a fight.

But he stopped dead in his tracks at the sight of his mother's tears.

"It broke my heart and - I did not know this was such a physical feeling - my chest literally hurt," says Koh, now 41.

At the door of their one-room flat in Tanglin Halt, his mother tearfully asked him why he, like his father - whom she had divorced - made her cry.

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