Eulogies

ESM Goh Chok Tong’s Eulogy

TRANSCRIPT OF EULOGY
BY EMERITUS SENIOR MINISTER GOH CHOK TONG
AT THE FUNERAL OF THE LATE MR LEE KUAN YEW
SUNDAY, 29 MARCH 2015
UNIVERSITY CULTURAL CENTRE AUDITORIUM

HE WAS MY TEACHER

Mr Lee Kuan Yew gave his life to us. To truly appreciate this, you had to have marched alongside him in his long political journey. Or studied him closely – his words and actions, his ideas and vision, his values and philosophy. Or carried along by his passion in building a nation and improving the lives of Singaporeans. Or lived his worries, day in and day out.

To Singaporeans, he was our first Prime Minister, our leader who fought for our Independence, the man who turned Singapore from Third World to First, our national father. For me, he would always be my teacher.

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Eulogy by Dr Lee Wei Ling at Cremation Service

Family and friends, thank you for being here with us today.

After Mama died in October 2010, Papa’s health deteriorated rapidly. The past five years have been challenging. But as always, Papa was determined to carry on as normal as possible, as best as he could.

He developed Parkinson’s disease three years ago which severely limited his mobility. He had great difficulty standing and walking. But he refused to use a wheel chair or even a walking stick. He would walk, aided by his SOs.

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Eulogy by Mr Lee Hsien Yang at Cremation Service

Honoured guests, friends and family

Papa was born in 1923 when Singapore was part of the British Empire, the Straits Settlements flag fluttered over Government House, and the people of Singapore sang ‘God Save the King’. He was given the name “Harry” at birth but he soon grew to feel that that did not fit him and the fact that he was a son of Singapore. When Papa was 10, his youngest brother Suan Yew was born. Papa who was only 10, persuaded his father and mother that it was not a good thing to give Suan Yew a western name. And so at 10 years old, he had prevailed in the household. Decades later, when Papa entered politics, he found the name Harry, to be a political liability. And many think it was for politics that he found it but in truth for two decades before that he had felt this was not right for him.

When Loong, Ling and I were born, Papa gave us only Chinese names, and in those days, there was no Hanyu Pinyin so he used the Wade Giles which was the prevailing system to spell the names. And as papa did not have a good commandment of Chinese and came from a Peranakan household, he sought the help from the court interpreter Mr Wong Chong Min in the choice of names. Two years ago, Loong while walking around in Queenstown met Mr Wong’s son, the man who had named the three of us.

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