A moment to remember for these NTU students

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday received a book of letters to his late father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, from several Nanyang Technological University students. They had launched a project to collect letters by Singaporeans expressing their appreciat
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong yesterday received a book of letters to his late father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, from several Nanyang Technological University students. They had launched a project to collect letters by Singaporeans expressing their appreciation for the late Mr Lee. PM Lee later took a "jump shot" with them, which he posted on Facebook. "Glad the knees are still working," he wrote. PHOTO: FACEBOOK PAGE OF LEE HSIEN LOONG

Singapore's founding Prime Minister would have turned 92; MPs share memories of him

Online tributes to the late Mr Lee on his birthday

Politicians and citizens yesterday remembered with fondness the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew on what would have been his 92nd birthday.

Many took to social media to pay tribute to the founding Prime Minister, who died on March 23 this year, while others attended an exhibition to remember his legacy.

Mr Lee's death triggered an outpouring of emotions, and over 100,000 people lined the route of his funeral procession to bid him farewell in heavy rain on March 29.

Yesterday, a group of Nanyang Technological University students made a special imprint of people's memories, including theirs, of the late Mr Lee.

They gathered their letters of appreciation, written during the seven-day national mourning period, into a book and gave it to his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG, IN A FACEBOOK POST YESTERDAY ON THE LATE MR LEE KUAN YEW'S BIRTHDAY:

Today was Mr Lee Kuan Yew's birthday. He would have been 92.

I was reminded of this visiting the NTUC FairPrice Hub, when I saw this Happy Birthday sign at a stall. This afternoon, a group of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore students came for tea. After my father passed away, they wrote letters to him to express their appreciation, then launched a project to collect such letters by fellow Singaporeans and published them in a book. They printed only two copies - one for themselves, and one for me.

It is a very special gift, which I will treasure. - LHL

#RememberingLeeKuanYew

#RememberingLKY

Said PM Lee in a Facebook post: "They printed only two copies - one for themselves, and one for me. It is a very special gift, which I will treasure."

Among the MPs who shared warm thoughts of Mr Lee was Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, his principal private secretary (PPS) from 1997 to 2000. He recalled Mr Lee insisting on attending Parliament on his 90th birthday, despite his poor health. His wish was for the Government to stay clean and honest, and for all of us to uphold the highest moral standards, Mr Heng said.

"No matter how old he was, no matter the occasion, Mr Lee never stopped thinking about Singapore. Even when he was asked to make an impromptu birthday speech, he had only one wish - that we keep politics clean," he added.

Newly elected MP Chee Hong Tat, Mr Lee's last PPS before he stepped down as Minister Mentor in 2011, shared a photograph of him and others celebrating Mr Lee's birthday last year.

He recounted that on a previous official trip to London, Mr Lee chose the restaurant Compleat Angler to celebrate his birthday "because he and his delegation had dined there more than 50 years ago when they were in London to fight for Singapore's independence".

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen referred to the recent General Election results in his Facebook post, referencing a famous line of Mr Lee's.

"Tomorrow is Mr Lee Kuan Yew's birthday, (he) who once said he would even 'get up' while lowered into his grave, if he felt something is going wrong for Singapore," wrote Dr Ng. "I think Mr Lee will be in great peace about our future, knowing the results of GE2015, where Singaporeans voted in wisdom for continuity in stable politics and national progress."

The People's Action Party garnered 69.9 per cent of the total votes at the Sept 11 polls, winning 83 of the 89 seats in Parliament.

Dr Lily Neo, an MP of Tanjong Pagar GRC before her ward became part of Jalan Besar GRC this year, posted online a picture of Mr Lee with the GRC's MPs at her house in 2011 to celebrate his birthday.

She also recalled remarks he made at their last dinner in November last year, that told of his frugal ways. He related that in his student days in England, "beef was expensive and whale meat was cheaper so he had whale meat for protein''.

She added: "He also said whale meat tasted much like steak."

At Tanjong Pagar Community Club, housewife Cheong Siew May, 58, was among 4,000 people who visited a week-long photo exhibition on Mr Lee, organised by Chinese evening newspaper Lianhe Wanbao. It ended yesterday.

Ms Cheong, who has lived in Tanjong Pagar for more than 20 years, said she did it "to refresh my memories about Mr Lee and what he had done for us on this special day".

Separately, the National Museum will open an exhibition on the work of Mr Lee and other founding fathers next Tuesday. Exhibits include furniture from the dining room of Mr Lee's home at 38, Oxley Road.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2015, with the headline 'A moment to remember for these NTU students'. Print Edition | Subscribe