More well-wishers leave cards and gifts at SGH as Mr Lee Kuan Yew's condition worsens

SINGAPORE - Four-year-old Lim Kai Jun is usually at his English tuition class on Saturday afternoons.

But this week, he skipped the class to go to the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) and wish Singapore's former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew well.

His father, Mr Adrian Lim, said in Mandarin: "I want my son to understand that we have to be grateful for what Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our founding father, has done."

Mr Lee, 91, has been hospitalised at SGH since Feb 5 for pneumonia. On Saturday, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said his condition had worsened.

Although Kai Jun does not understand much about Singapore's history, he now remembers Mr Lee's face and identifies him respectfully as "grandfather" whenever he sees Mr Lee's picture, said Mr Lim.

On Saturday, the Lim family placed a daisy at a public area outside Block 7 at SGH - which the hospital has designated for well-wishers to leave cards and gifts - to convey their best to Mr Lee and his family.

As of noon on Saturday, people from all walks of life had left more than 100 bouquets as well as handwritten cards and notes, balloons, soft toys and a box of paper cranes.

There were also those who just came to pray silently for Mr Lee to get well.

National Junior College student Hari Haran, 17, was one of them.

He said: "Mr Lee is the one who brought Singapore from third world to first world. Without him, we would not have such a good life."

Mr Lee took a turn for the worse on Tuesday and has been critically ill since then.

Since news emerged of his condition, many members of the public have visited SGH to wish him well.

Karate instructor Peter Chong, 74, dropped by the hospital yesterday and told reporters he had once trained Mr Lee’s security officers.

“I met him (Mr Lee) once, and he's a tough guy. He’s a fighter,” he said. “We owe him something – if not for him, Singapore wouldn't be what it is today.”

Madam Lim Kwee Lian, 85, a wheelchair-bound retiree who lives in Boon Keng and took a taxi to SGH, spent some time sitting in the area outside Block 7 with tears in her eyes. “I’m very proud of him. Singapore is very lucky to have such a wonderful leader.”

Hawker Shi Piong Seng, 67, echoed her sentiments. 

“You don’t know how poor Singapore was before, we had nothing before Mr Lee built it up,” said Mr Shi, who is also a member of the People’s Action Party (PAP) at its Kolam Ayer branch.

“A good leader is hard to find. Last time, people didn't know where Singapore is, now, everybody knows and its because of Mr Lee. He put us on the map,” he added.