The passing of Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Father of the modern metropolis of Singapore is indeed a sad loss for the people of Singapore. When he said that he would build an oasis of prosperity he meant it. The wealth and prosperity enjoyed by Singaporeans today, owes much to this founding patriarch.
Mr Lee graduated with 1st
class honors in law from Lincolns Inn UK and later returned to practise law in Singapore. He was a giant in the political landscape of our times. He was a great champion of multiculturalism. A visionary leader he was an advocate of racial harmony, meritocracy and a great supporter of the minority. While countries like Indonesia and Malaysia decided on assimilation and integration of their multicultural citizens Mr Lee emphasized cultural diversity. He recognised that while the population of Singapore came from different backgrounds they were all Singaporeans in what he termed a socialist democracy.
A Singapore built on the equality of races, freedom of religion and meritocracy, is a shiny example of an affluent Asian state, a developed state. The transplantation of Western democracy into Asia is no guarantee of success. As an English educated lawyer, Mr Lee understood Western democratic principles, and as a Chinese, he understood Asian traditions. A modern blend of Singaporean democracy, built on the best of East and West worked, a Singaporean legacy, which brought wealth, prosperity, security and future for his fellow citizens.
On behalf of MCC NSW, I wish to convey our condolences to the PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong & family, for the loss of his father and to Singaporeans for the loss of their Founding Father.
We shall mourn his passing, but more importantly, we shall remember him for his exemplary contributions to his people, and hence, fully deserving the title of “Elder Statesman of Asia”.
Rest in Peace.
Dr Anthony Pun, OAM
Multicultural Communities Council of NSW
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