leekuanyew

Honouring his Pinnacle achievement

For businessman Laurence Ooi, 59, Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the reason he moved to Tanjong Pagar.

Mr Ooi moved from Jurong West five years ago, buying a unit in the iconic public housing development, The Pinnacle@Duxton.

The 50-storey complex has won design awards, and made headlines in January when a five-room unit sold for more than $1 million.

Mr Ooi said he paid around $450,000 for his four-room unit.

Speaking at the Tanjong Pagar Community Club's tribute site, where he had just watched the 10 eulogies delivered at Mr Lee's funeral service, Mr Ooi said: "Mr Lee is the reason I chose to move here. This was his first constituency, and his last, his legacy." Mr Lee represented Tanjong Pagar for six decades.

Mr Ooi held up the Pinnacle as lasting proof of how far Singapore has come in his generation. "I grew up in an attap house, in a kampung near Thomson Road, behind the old Chequers Hotel.

"The wooden toilet we had was unforgettable: there were huge 'commando' houseflies, mosquitoes, big lizards crawling around.

"Today, friends who visit from overseas cannot believe the flat I'm living in is public housing."

The grateful resident has, in the past week, visited various community tribute sites, attended a night vigil and queued up at the Padang with his family to pay their respects at the lying-in- state at Parliament House, as well as seeing off Mr Lee's cortege.

Mr Ooi said Mr Lee's passing was a momentous occasion worth remembering and passing down through the generations.

"Mr Lee Kuan Yew had diplomacy, foresight, wisdom - he had the Midas touch," said Mr Ooi. "Whether it was defence, water, Garden City or incorruptibility, he was all of these policies. No politician will ever have this kind of overwhelming support again."

yanliang@sph.com.sg