An Aussie on Lee Kuan Yew – How to lead by example



I WAS very taken with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore.

I happened to be in his island country for a weekend the week after he died and I became swept up in the outpouring of love and grief for this 91-year-old man who took Singapore from a third world country of mud flats and shop houses to the glittering metropolis it is today.

It was quite extraordinary to be in a place at such a significant time and to feel part of something I would have otherwise tuned into only briefly as one more global item on our Australian news.

I watched the long queues grow and grow at the Padang as more and more people came out to wait up to 10 hours for the chance to file briefly past his coffin as he lay in state.

Ten hot and no doubt boring hours for an ephemeral five seconds in front of his casket, to stop for a fleeting moment to wipe tears, make a gesture of condolence or a sign of respect.

No one complained of the long wait, indeed thought it a privilege to do so.

The people came in wheelchairs, on walking frames, in prams…and they kept on coming despite the sweltering heat, until the authorities had to tell them to go home and rest.

The television in my hotel room repeated many of Mr Lee Kuan Yew ‘s memorable National Day speeches made over past decades.

With each hour that passed I grew to admire him every bit as most of the locals who had known of him and his strength and determination all their lives.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s charisma swamped me. What if the world had more leaders like this?

Leaders who so inspired, made people changed the way they lived?

Mr Lee Kuan Yew ‘s memorable quotes – repeated hour after hour on the television – inspired me, motivated me.

Many of them amused me to the point of laughing out loud.

He used quirky humour and great personality while telling his people what to do in a manner that left no doubt he was boss.

He wouldn’t tolerate a whiff of corruption in his ministers.

And as for even a hint of a sex scandal? Well…don’t even dream it.

Of course he imposed his strong will without mercy and clamped down on his opponents, and he had his critics and detractors – but they were silent in that extraordinary time after his death. Nothing could shatter the love.

Listening to him talk, one thing stood out above all else. Everything he said he would do, he did.

And all of it was just simple common sense.

He knew his people were everything.

But what I loved most was his strong belief that people should continue working and learning for all of their lives.

He did.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew continued his lessons in Mandarin until he was not only word and accent perfect, but dialect perfect.

He had his last lesson in Mandarin the night before he went into hospital to die at the age of 91.

But enough of my new found love for a great man just dead.

I’d better go off and have a French lesson.

Source –фитнес ссср дзержинскийнгоронгоро национальный парк


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