Rest in Peace, Mrs Lee!

2 10 2010

Sincere condolences to MM Lee and family. Mrs Lee is a great woman, a legendary Singapore woman icon – someone who stood behind MM Lee and Singapore during the political hardship years till now. Singapore has lost a great citizen. She will missed by many people. Farewell Mrs. Lee. Rest in Peace

Mrs Lee Kuan Yew dies at age 89
Posted: 02 October 2010 1933 hrs

SINGAPORE : Madam Kwa Geok Choo – the wife of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, and mother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has died on Saturday.

Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, age 89, passed away peacefully at home at 5.40 pm.

A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office said the wake is held at Sri Temasek, official residence of the Prime Minister located within the Istana grounds, from October 4-5.

Visitors who wish to pay their last respects may do so on October 4-5 from 10am to 5pm.

Members of the public may call 6835 6614 for any queries.

A private funeral will take place on October 6 at Mandai Crematorium.

The family requests that no obituaries and no wreaths or flowers to be sent.

All donations will go to the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Health Research Endowment Fund.

Madam Kwa was one of 8 children.

An outstanding student at Methodist Girls’ School, she also topped the 1936 Senior Cambridge Examination for the whole of Malaya and Singapore.

At Raffles Institution, she caught the attention of a young Lee Kuan Yew when she gave him unexpectedly stiff competition for a Queen’s Scholarship.

But academic rivalry aside, he knew he had found his equal, and his soul mate.

Their relationship grew through the years of Japanese Occupation, and by September 1944, love had blossomed.

When World War II ended, Mr Lee left to study law in England in 1946. But he was miserable until she joined him at Cambridge University a year later.

The two married secretly on 23 December 1947.

She had just turned 27, and he was 24.

Mrs Lee said: “You can’t explain these things … He had tremendous aplomb, self-confidence, very jaunty, he was a handsome young man.”

When they returned to Singapore in 1950, they tied the knot again, this time with their parents’ full knowledge.

When Mr Lee got more involved in politics and became Singapore’s Prime Minister in 1959, it was Mrs Lee and his younger brother, Lee Kim Yew, who built up and expanded Lee & Lee – the law firm all 3 had set up in 1955.

Mr Lee once said his great advantage was that he had a wife who could be a sole breadwinner and bring the children up.

That was his, quote, “insurance policy,” which allowed him to play the role he did in Singapore’s history.

In October 2003 – Mrs Lee suffered a stroke while on a visit to London.

Fortunately, she made a swift recovery and was again seen in public at her husband’s side at community events, and on official trips overseas.

And she was there when Lee Hsien Loong was sworn in as Singapore’s third Prime Minister.

Although she had shied away from a high profile, her contributions to Singapore had been most significant, and pivotal to its history.

“If she weren’t an influence, supposing I had married somebody else, I might have become a different person, not that I would be a different person, but the things that I would have been able to do, the kind of backdrop I would have had, family, support, would have been different,” said MM Lee. – CNA /ls

Source: Channel NewsAsia


President’s tribute to Mrs Lee

Oct 2, 2010

PRESIDENT SR Nathan and his wife paid tribute on Saturday night to Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, who died at her home earlier in the day.

In a statement issued by the Istana on Saturday night, Mr Nathan said the loss of Mrs Lee, wife and life-long companion of Minister Mentor, ‘must be heavy and immeasurable’ to MM Lee.

Here is the President’s tribute to Mrs Lee, who died at age 89.

‘My wife and I are deeply saddened to learn of the passing away of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, wife and life-long companion of Minister Mentor. We send our deepest condolences to Minister Mentor, whose grief over her passing away must be heavy and immeasurable.

To know Mrs Lee’s greatness, one has to listen to what has not been said of her until now. Mrs Lee was great in many ways – as a legal luminary, as a mother of an illustrious family, and more than that for her stoic presence next to Mr Lee Kuan Yew during times of turbulence and tension in the many years of his political struggle. Many would not know of her quiet but important contributions to the State, as she walked that long road with him.

She followed him faithfully – always by his side – throughout all changes that befell him in his political career. By his side she helped him pursue his chosen path in politics, preoccupied always with the good of Singapore before anything else, which she shared. She was his companion, confidante and counsel, and we may never fully appreciate the impact and influence she had in shaping Minister Mentor’s thinking and life.

There was not a single important event or development that she was not an intimate witness of. Indeed she lived a life that had its fair share of pain and uncertainty, which was not evident in public.

To her family and close friends she has left a treasure trove of memories, experiences, knowledge and personal bonds. There can be no substitute for the place she had in their life, nor consolation for her family. The sorrow and pain must be great for them as well. As it is for us Singaporeans who had been touched by her in one way or another.’

Source: Straits Times


Mrs Lee Kuan Yew has passed away

Sat, Oct 02, 2010

Mrs Lee Kuan Yew, wife of Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and mother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, died on Saturday at 5.40 pm, said the Prime Minister’s Office in a statement.

She was 89 years old.

Mrs Lee, whose maiden name was Kwa Geok Choo, was born in Dec 1920 to banker Mr Kwa Siew Tee.

She graduated from Methodist Girls School in 1936 and was the only female student in Raffles Institute where she first met Mr Lee.

Their first date was on Mr Lee’s 21st birthday in 1944, during the Japanese Occupation.

She won a Queen’s Scholarship to study Law in Cambridge University in 1947 and was secretly married to Mr Lee that same year.

She passed her bar exams with First Class Honours two years later in 1949 and returned to Singapore in 1950.

She was admitted to the Singapore Bar in 1951, and founded law firm Lee & Lee with her husband and brother-in-law in 1955.

She was quoted as saying: “I walk two steps behind my husband like a good Asian wife” while on a diplomatic trip to Kuala Lumpur in Dec 1976.

Mrs Lee suffered a mild stroke in Oct 25, 2003 while in London on a diplomatic visit with Mr Lee.

She suffered another stroke on May 12, 2008 and was warded in Tan Tock Seng Hospital. She suffered another stroke on June 24 that same year.

She is survived by her husband Lee Kuan Yew, her sons Lee Hsien Loong and Lee Hsien Yang, and daughter Lee Wei Ling.

The wake will be held at Sri Temasek on Monday and Tuesday. Visitors can pay their last respects there from 10am to 5pm.

The Sri Temasek is the official residence of the Prime Minister and is located within the Istana grounds.

A private funeral will take place on Wednesday at Mandai Crematorium.

Mrs Lee’s family has requested that no obituaries, wreaths nor flowers be sent. All donations will go to the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Health Research Endowment Fund.

Source: AsiaOne



One response

7 10 2010

Wah, dia bener2 inspiring woman 🙂

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