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Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 7:41:15 AM
SINGAPORE: Good wishes are pouring in for former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who turned 90 yesterday.
On The Straits Times Facebook page, hundreds of people sent in their wishes while others sent their greetings to email@example.com.
Many expressed gratitude to Lee for what he had done to transform Singapore.
Reader Yuen Kah Yin said: “I will live here all my life because I am proud to be a Singaporean because of you. You are and will always be well-respected by us.”
Another reader Rajasegaran Ramasamy said his parents and father-in-law had come to Singapore in search of a better life years ago.
“They have lived through your time and are benefiting from your great leadership and consequently we, their children and their grandchildren, are reaping the fruits of your labour. Thank you Mr Lee,” he said.
Mohd Naser Ahmad said Lee had done “so much beyond imagination” for the tiny island. Some shared anecdotes about Lee, who became Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959 before stepping down in 1990 and from Cabinet in 2011.
Kian Tan said he attended a community dinner with his father 50 years ago and Lee came to his table and “patted my botak (bald) head”.
“I refused to wash my head for several days. I am 55 this year and always remember his touch. Blessed birthday Mr Lee. You have done so much for Singapore.”
Ahead of his birthday, in an e-mail interview with The Straits Times, Lee said: “I am lucky to reach 90.”
Asked what had given him the greatest satisfaction in his life, he said it was “to see Singapore’s progress”.
Parliament also took time to honour Lee.
Leader of the House Dr Ng Eng Hen said Lee had left a lasting legacy and achieved greatness through lifting a nation from poverty into prosperity and improving countless lives.
He said it would not be possible to recount all of Lee’s accomplishments in a few minutes.
His speech came at the close of parliamentary proceedings and ended with MPs rising to applaud Lee, who had entered the chamber about 10 minutes earlier.
Lee made a “special effort” to be in the House and it was against his doctor’s advice, Dr Ng added. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network
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