|In an emotional speech that was broadcast live from the Istana at 8am, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong paid tribute to Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. He says he is "grieved beyond words" at the death of his father, who died on Monday morning at the Singapore General Hospital aged 91. — Photo The Straits Times/ANN
SINGAPORE — Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said he was "grieved beyond words" at the death of his father, Singapore's founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, who died on Monday morning at the Singapore General Hospital aged 91.
In an emotional speech to the nation that was broadcast live from the Istana at 8am, PM Lee paid tribute to the elder Mr Lee in Malay, Chinese and English.
Initially calm and composed in a grey shirt and navy tie, PM Lee had to stop several times during the Chinese portion of his speech to gather himself before continuing.
Speaking in Chinese, he thanked Singaporeans for conveying their care and concern when the elder Mr Lee lay critically ill in hospital.
The messages of support gave PM Lee and his family much comfort, he added.
Switching to English, PM Lee said: "The first of our founding fathers is no more. He inspired us, gave us courage, kept us together and brought us here.
"He fought for our independence, built a nation where there was none, and made us proud to be Singaporeans. We won't see another man like him."
Noting that "to many Singaporeans, and indeed others too, Lee Kuan Yew was Singapore", he added that Singapore was his father's "abiding passion".
"As he himself put it, towards the end of his life, and I quote: 'I have spent my life, so much of it, building up this country. There's nothing more that I need to do. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.'"
But even as Singaporeans mourn the elder Mr Lee's death, PM Lee urged them to also "honour his spirit".
"Let us dedicate ourselves as one people to build on his foundations, strive for his ideals and keep Singapore exceptional and successful for many years to come," he said.
"May Mr Lee Kuan Yew rest in peace." — The Straits Times/ANN