I count myself fortunate having been alive during the lifetime of Lee Kuan Yew. I have actually seen with my own eyes how the transformation of Singapore was done.
When he was alive, stories were rife about how strict and stern he was. How uncompromising his position was, woe be those who tried to oppose him. His very presence in the same room as you would cause balls to shrink and you started to squeal like a little girl (yes it’s just an exaggeration).
Like everyone else, we don’t know what we have, until we no longer have it. Lee Kuan Yew passed away on 23 March 2015, and suddenly, the guiding light of Singapore was extinguished. What happened next was unexpected, and unprecedented.
People from all over Singapore came to Parliament House to pay last respects. Not a few thousands mind you – HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS. All in all, in the 4 days, over 1.2 million people have paid tribute to him, with something like 450,000 having done so in person at Parliament House. Putting that in context, that is 20% of the entire population of Singapore (foreigners included) have paid their last respects to him.