Lee Kuan Yew was the first Prime Minister of Singapore. He was a greatly admired leader and was a force to be reckoned with, in these parts of Asia. He had his fair share of positives and negatives, as does any human. But his reputation as one of the greatest leaders in history is well-deserved, as evidenced by the hundreds of people who turned up under umbrellas and lined the streets on a rainy day, to show their respects during his funeral procession.
My friend’s sister wrote a poem in Tamil in his honor and I have tried to translate and recreate its meaning in English. I hope you get to see his greatness through our words and are inspired to know more about him, his legacy and his Singapore.
This man Our very own Iron-man Our treasure Our savior Lost too soon To the wiles of time. This man Our very own Force of resistance Our immunity Against the evil That threatened To cloud the nation. This man Our very own Warrior Before whom The ghosts of failure Scattered into smoke Decayed into dust. This man Our very own Lethal legend Who brought back From the brink Of decline and demise And let this nation Strive and thrive. This man Our very own Revolutionary Radical leader Who gave us The Tamil tribe A home and haven An island and identity. This man Our very own Keeper Nourisher Who served and sacrificed To forge this red dot Into an exemplar Of trials and terrific triumphs. This man Our very own Messiah A timeless titan Who vowed To rise from the dead To vanquish future misery To punish the sinners Who dared to harm His precious nation His beloved people. This man Our very own Father A fearless leader Admired, respected By the whole wide world Seemed immortal In his glory But passed away Humbled by life’s mortality. Dearest Sir Our Lee Kuan Yew Can you hear This nation’s hearts Beating as one Celebrating your life Unwilling to let go Of your legacy But bidding farewell A final applause Before you leave To rest in peace.