Remembering Lee Kuan Yew

Let us honour Mr Lee Kuan Yew's spirit and life's work, says PM Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong addressed the nation on the death of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew yesterday. In an emotional speech that was broadcast live from the Istana at 8am, he paid tribute to the elder Mr Lee in Malay, Chinese and English. Initially calm and composed in a grey shirt and navy tie, PM Lee had to stop several times during the Chinese portion of his speech to gather himself before continuing.

HIS REMARKS IN ENGLISH

"The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together and brought us here.

"He fought for independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won't see another man like him.

"To many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore. As Prime Minister, he pushed us hard to achieve what had seemed impossible.

"After he stepped down, he guided his successors with wisdom and tact. And in old age, he continued to keep a watchful eye on Singapore. Singapore was his abiding passion. He gave of himself in full measure to Singapore.

"As he himself put it, towards the end of his life, and I quote: 'I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There's nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.'

"I'm grieved beyond words at the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I know that we all feel the same way.

"But even as we mourn his passing, let us also honour his spirit. Let us dedicate ourselves as one people to build on his foundations, strive for his ideals and keep Singapore exceptional and successful for many years to come.

"May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace."

TRANSLATION OF HIS REMARKS IN MALAY

"I am deeply saddened to inform you that Mr Lee Kuan Yew has passed away.

"Mr Lee was Singapore's founding Prime Minister. He had dedicated his whole life to Singapore.

"He built a nation where there was none, and fought tenaciously for Singapore's independence.

"His indomitable courage and resourcefulness carried the day on many critical occasions, and laid the foundations of Singapore's success.

"We have lost the man who had led us, inspired us and united us. As we mourn Mr Lee's passing, let us also honour his spirit and his life's work.

"Let us continue building Singapore, strengthening our multiracial and multi-religious society, and standing together as one united people, something which he had fought for all his life.

"May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace."

TRANSLATION OF HIS REMARKS IN CHINESE

"Today, we lost our beloved leader, founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew.

"Mr Lee is irreplaceable in our hearts. He has a special bond with Singaporeans and was well loved by them.

"When he was hospitalised, people from all walks of life showed their care and encouragement in different ways.

"This was of great comfort to Mr Lee and my family. On behalf of my family, I would like to convey our sincere appreciation for your good wishes.

"Singapore's survival was Mr Lee's greatest concern throughout his life. He dedicated himself to Singapore, uniting us as one people and motivating us to be self-reliant. He took us from Third World to First, building a home that we can be proud of.

"His passing is a great loss to Singapore and my family.

"In this moment of grief, let us always remember Mr Lee's contributions.

"The best way to honour him would be to carry on his life's passion, and stay as one united people to keep Singapore prosperous and strong.

"May you rest in peace, Mr Lee."