LKY Passing: Good Intentions Gone Wrong

When Lee Kuan Yew passed away in March 2015, many people mourned for him. In India, some of the villagers were really sad, and even though they did not meet the man, they believed he did great things.

And many posters that can make you cringe can be found and above are 2 examples which shows good intentions of the villagers going totally wrong. One would simply as; if you really care about your benefactor that much, would you not recognize him? Or not know how Singapore flag looks like?

Or is this just a political move to show the popularity of Lee Kuan Yew overseas getting backfired?

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Was the reception to Lee Kuan Yew's passing just a knee-jerk reaction?
When Lee Kuan Yew passed, he was apparently no longer just a great man; in the eyes of many, he had become a perfect man too

I have no doubt that Singaporeans and many people around the world felt genuine, emotional stirrings at the death of this giant, but that it was so short-lived makes one wonder. I suppose we can't expect people to be writing eulogies to him every day. We all know that life goes on. However, I believe that if you asked the people who had either strongly negative or neutral feelings, or those who could rationalise how they felt about his life and passing, the conviction of their sentiments would be the same now as they have been for years and will be for years to come.

So what of the seven-day mourners? Was it a knee-jerk reaction? Was it that people didn't expect to feel as much as they did when he left us? Or was it just that many had never thought about it before and never weighed the importance of this man in our history and future until he was gone? How much of it stemmed from pure ignorance?

One of the main things that struck me was the disgust with which people who had anything other than a kind word to say about him were treated. They were called ungrateful and disrespectful. They weren't allowed their own opinions — God forbid any judgements — or their own parting words to a man they had a different relationship with. When Lee Kuan Yew passed, he was apparently no longer just a great man; in the eyes of many, he had become a perfect man too.

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Unlike-Lee admirers around the world may be missing significant details

In an amusing case of mistaken identity, a banner honouring Lee Kuan Yew has appeared in India, bearing a photo of another Singaporean elder statesman, President Tony Tan. Both are white-haired ethnic Chinese males, but Tan, as you have may noted from Channel NewsAsia’s coverage of Lee’s funeral today, is rather more alive.

The picture has been making the rounds on social media in Singapore, bringing smiles to an otherwise sombre day. It serves as a useful reality check for Singaporeans, that although Lee has been lauded by world leaders as a 20th century giant, not everyone can recognise him from Tom, Dick or Tony.

Some other cases of mistaken identity are less trivial. It’s nothing new. For at least a couple of decades, he has been all things to all men who aspire to a certain kind of leadership. They see in him a model, a kind of proof-of-concept that they can point to when defending their own missions and methods. Leader X is Country A’s Lee Kuan Yew. How often have you heard that line.

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Dabu County: The Ancestral Place of Lee Kuan Yew and Overseas Hakka

A trip to Dabu County of Meizhou Municipality in Guangdong Province, exploring the Hakka history, houses and heritage. 

Why is the ancestral house of Lee Kuan Yew a Chaoshan-style house? Check out the video.

LKY already has a memorial to his name in Chinese region he has never visited

The Founders’ Memorial notwithstanding, there is already a memorial to the first Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kwan Yew. Mr Lee, on the other hand, had been known to say that he had no wish for a monument dedicated solely to himself. In Parliament on April 13, 2015, however, his son, now Senior Minister Lee Hsien Loong, called to honour his father but said that his father had been conscious that he had been part of a team that worked together to build the city-state. “One idea that has been suggested is to have a memorial for all of the founding fathers, perhaps coupled with an exhibition gallery to honour their legacy and educate future generations.

Indeed, Mr Lee himself had thought that there was value in such a memorial,” he said. The project broke ground last month and is set to open in 2028. The Business Standard reported two days after Mr Lee’s death on March 23, 2015, that many Chinese were coming to Mr Lee’s ancestral home in droves to pay homage to him. The report said that the village is located 500 kilometres away from Guangzhou “in search of a glimpse” into his life. It described the ancestral home as made of brick and wood, having been constructed in the traditional Chinese style in 1884 by Mr Lee’s great-grandfather, Li Muwen, with his earnings from Singapore. The home was called Zhonghandi. It also noted that the Lee family descended from the Hakka, a subgroup of China’s Han community, and came to Singapore in the middle of the 18th century. Local authorities refurbished the home and its surroundings between 2007 and 2008. Exhibitions of the Lee family tree, Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s family and political accomplishments, and an introduction to Mr Lee Kuan Yew were also set up within the structure.

In 2016, the year after Mr Lee passed away, authorities in Dabu County in Guangdong said that his ancestral home would be turned into a tourist attraction. Hong Kong’s Wen Wei Po daily reported at the time that the site would become an international rural tourist destination that incorporated Chinese Hakka cultural characteristics. A total of 40 million yuan, then equivalent to S$8.8 million, was allocated for the endeavor. Constructing the site had begun the previous year, and the first phase, Lee Kuan Yew Memorial Hall, was set for completion by the end of 2016.

Media Overdose on Lee Kuan Yew
Hope Family, Government Do Not Fall for Sycophancy

Anything that is overdone will almost invariably result in it having the opposite effect. Two weeks have passed since Singapore lost its founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and I am beginning to get the feeling that the media here are getting swept away by excessive passion and melancholy.

The Straits Times and other local newspapers are continuing with an overdose of tributes for the late leader. I am hoping the family and the government are not ones to fall for a fawning practice, which is what the writers appear to be doing. Today’s edition of The Straits Times had many pieces waxing lyrical about Mr Lee and I hardly found anything that has not been said in the last two weeks. Why persist with such rhapsodies that readers can find tiring?

Sycophancy is something that is alien to First-World countries but embraced in impoverished personality-centric democracies. Let Singapore not fall into that pit.

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Put It To Rest, Please

Dr Lee Wei Ling should really stop telling tales. She may not realise it, her frank candor could unravel the intricate tapestry of pagan worship being crafted by the state propaganda machinery (TODAY Special Issue, 5 Apr 2015, "Farewell Papa, I Will Miss You")

On the plus side, the victims of Operation Cold Store and Spectrum gets to be consoled that their wretched tormentor was suffering miserably during his last five years as dictator. We now know he developed Parkinson's disease 3 years ago, which limited his mobility, but not accessibility to his full MP allowance. Too proud to be sighted in a wheelchair, he misused his security officers (SOs, pronounced ass-holes) as human walking sticks. Perennially plagued by bouts of hiccups, he could swallow solids and liquids only with great difficulty. Rest of us had to swallow his insults and castigations for decades.

The once vaunted thinking prowess must have been adversely affected too. His internet research led to use of rabbit skin and chicken feathers to induce sneezing, surely an unorthodox therapy for curing hiccups. He entertained other weird theories too, like excessive food intake precipitates an involuntary spasm of the diaphragm and respiratory organs. And you thought stop-at-two was bad enough.

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Are You Suffering From LKY Fatigue?

I love that man. I really do. But there is such a thing as too much of a good thing. I am getting an over dose of niceties and nostalgia. Give that man a break please. Leave some mystique and mysteries.

I get it. LKY was a good person. He was a good father. He was a good leader. But the next time I hear about the red box or his anecdotes, I am going to kick a kitten.

Enough of this `papa’ and `dada’ and stories about his eating and exercise habits before it degenerates into something called TMI (Too Much Information). Just re-name the Airport to honour him and be done with it. I would like to cherish him. I would like to remember him. But just please STAHP!

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Honouring someone’s life and memory doesn’t have to mean mindlessly glorifying him/her, or ignoring the areas where he or she fell short. It’s more complex that that.

The same person would have been different things to different people, and it doesn’t make sense to take the measure of a man’s life by either his best or worst decisions.

At church last Sunday, we prayed to be saved from the forgetfulness that results in ingratitude. This is the lesson I hope to keep with me from these recent events.

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We are already paying the price for unrealistic views of LKY

Mr Yap should look at Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea and understand that the futures and freedoms that Lee steered us away from didn’t make us a better place. Many of us who use South Korean mobile phones and watch South Korean TV dramas should realize that economic prosperity need not be sacrificed on the altar of freedom.

If I may borrow Mr Yap’s words, a part of Mr Yap’s humanity has been sacrificed when he expressed happiness that Lee Kuan Yew never apologized. Although Lee Kuan Yew never apologized, he admitted that not everything he did was right. So Lee admitted he was wrong sometimes but he just couldn’t bring himself to apologize to those he had been wrong to. Is Mr Yap glad that Lee admitted wrong doing without apologizing? Is that how Mr Yap will teach his children? Mr Yap should put himself in Dr Lim Hock Siew’s or Dr Chia Thye Poh’s shoes. What big time terrorist was Dr Lim or Dr Chia that they had to be locked away for twenty, thirty over years? Why did Tang Liang Hong had to run away from Singapore when PAP’s Choo Wee Khiang could say Little India is pitch black on Sundays without getting into any trouble? Even Lee Kuan Yew’s good comrade Mr Lim Kim San admitted that Lee made very racist remarks during our short period of merger with Malaysia that incensed the Malays and contributed tremendously to the racial riots.

Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy is crystal clear but not to Mr Yap who like many Singaporeans talk much without ever anchoring what they say on facts or complete facts. If Mr Yap wants us to truly remember who Lee Kuan Yew was, villain or hero, he should first get the full facts and avoid substituting opinion for fact. For all we know, both he and his children are already paying the price for the unrealistic views he has of Lee Kuan Yew.

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Why does India consider LKY as their new God?

Several villages in the city of Tamil Nadu, India, made banners to commemorate the passing of Singapore’s Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The banners read:
  • “Peak of The Himalayas that has fallen”
  • “We used to live in huts and now we live in concrete houses (after working in Singapore).
  • “You are our god.”
Most foreign Indian workers send $1,000 back home every month. If we have 1 million workers, that works out to one billion per month being sent to India. Per year this amounts to 12 billions!!!!

So, would not they take LKY as their new god?

related: Indian villagers compare LKY to God

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The Credit For Singapore's Success

During the past fortnight, many accolades were heaped on the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore's first prime minister, who died on 23 March. Many of the accolades ignored the contributions of others who contributed to the Singapore success story.

Who were some of these people? Mr Lee's fellow cabinet ministers in the 1960s and 1970s such as Dr Goh Keng Swee, Dr Toh Chin Chye, Mr Sinnathamby Rajaratnam, Mr Hon Sui Sen and Mr Lim Kim San.

Unlike Mr Lee who remained at the centre of political power, these men stopped participating in legislative duties and have dropped out of public view, and possibly public consciousness, for more than a quarter of a century. Mr Lee said:
"I'm not a one-man show. You see my picture everywhere; it make it easier for you to symbolise it with one man. Don't believe it is a one-man show. It cannot be done."
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Amos Yee: Spawn of Lee Kuan Yew's grand experiment

The other week, all eyes were on the funeral of the founder of Singapore Lee Kwan Yew, with the country’s media network practically running a 24-hour program since the start of the public viewing of his body. YouTube was full of these skits as well as postings of old videos showing Lee in action – defending his policies, deflecting criticisms, and proud about what he and his country achieved.

One example of such confident riposte was Lee’s September 2008 interview with CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria, where Lee outlined his views on his critics, the United States elections (John McCain’s odd choice of the empty-headed Sarah Palin amused the old man), and his favorite argument that Western-style (American?) democracy would not work in a place like Singapore. Zakaria was practically drooling in his mouth as he listened to Lee.

But shortly after the news of Lee’s death was announced to the world, in came another Singaporean, Amos Yee, who posted a video on YouTube titled “Lee Kuan Yew is Finally Dead!” In that March 29 video, the 17-year-old Yee gave the opposite description of Lee and Singapore: a narcissistic despot destroying any opposition to his autocratic rule, the country having one of the highest inequality rates in terms of incomes, and the gross discrepancy between the salaries of high officials vis-à-vis the ordinary grunt, and the creation of a society that is not only apolitical but also lacking in imagination.

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Lee Kuan Yew estate donates furniture, personal effects from Oxley Road home
Two of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew's shirts, one of which is a CYC model with the label "Lee Kuan Yew", are among items that have been donated to Singapore (Photo: Stamford Law)

An England-made brown vinyl bag labelled "L. K. Y." which was used by Mr Lee when he travelled to London in the 1960s. (Photo: Stamford Law)

Executors and trustees of Mr Lee Kuan Yew's estate, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang, have made a Deed of Gift of some furniture and personal effects from 38 Oxley Road, the home of Singapore's founding Prime Minister, to the people of the Republic. The announcement was made in a news release by Stamford Law, on behalf of the daughter and son of the late Mr Lee on Thursday (Jun 11). 

The deed was signed with the National Heritage Board (NHB) on Monday. The items include all the furniture from the dining room, the study room, and work area desks, including the desk he worked on for many years, as well as his clothing worn on a number of historic occasions.

They have already been turned over to NHB in preparation for a planned major public exhibition at the SG50 Tribute Gallery in August or September, the news release said.

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In Memory of Harry
– Inconvenient Questions: Will we continue to eschew political doctrines?
– Fresh Grads: To Demolish or Not to Demolish Lee Kuan Yew’s House?
– Blogging for Myself: 38 Oxley Road, grant the man his wish
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: SG50, LKY, Presentism and BS
– SG Hard Truth: How Lee Kuan Yew redefined leadership
– NewNation: S’pore to retire letters ‘L’, ‘K’ & ‘Y’ from alphabet into hall of fame
– Iron Bowl: Disturbing… Singaporeans
– The Nanyang Chronicle: Correct, Not Politically Correct
– My Singapore News: LKY’s last wish – demolish his home
– Bertha Harian: Honouring LKY
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: The best way to respect LKY
– Food Fuels Me To Talk…: Give LKY his last wish!
– Just Speaking My Mind: Current Ministers Must Learn from Mr Lee Kuan Yew
– Sg Beacon: Yoong Siew Wah, Chia Thye Poh And The Ghosts Of LKY’s Past
– Singapore 2B: Be Like Lee
– Yours Truly Spore: Lee Kuan Yew did not give Singapore our independence
– Likedatosocanmeh: Should we rename Singapore to Lee Kuan Yew City?
– Singapore Notes: Father Knows Best
– Blogging for Myself: What of LKY in LHL?
– Musings From the Lion City: Honor His Wishes
– Inconvenient Questions: Understanding LKY
– Sze Zeng: Michael Barr twisting Lee Kuan Yew’s words?
– My Singapore News: Orang Melayu – Old ties that bind
– MIKOspace: Dr M and MM LKY: The Continuing Saga
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: Battle in cyberspace/ Take the money and BS
– Blogging4Myself: Post Soviet Leaders using LKY for their own self deception
– My Singapore News: Lee Wei Ling: Lesson from LKY
– Reflections on SG: The Credit For Singapore’s Success
– Gintai_昇泰: Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s house for public viewing?
– Singapore Notes: Put It To Rest, Please
– Fresh Grads: An Open Letter To A Dear Friend
– The Nanyang Chronicle: #RIPLKY
– Urban Wire: How LKY’s Death+Amos Yee Fiasco Can Help Shape Our Future
– Must Share News: Are Singaporeans Suffering From A LKY Hangover?
– Laremy.sg: Oxley Cultural Centre
– My Singapore News: From a country to a hotel – LKY’s legacy?
– CooL LinK ZeN ChoiR: 7 & Death
– Embracing Yr Identity: Better To Find A 2nd Home In Australia and not in JB
– Singapore Alternatives: Challenges in Post LKY-Era
– Anyhow Hantam: Why is Oxley Road Stil Closed at Night?
– Everything Also Complain: Dr Mahathir calling LKY ‘kiasu’
– Catherine Lim: To All Who Have Responded to My Piece on Mr Lee Kuan Yew
– Top of the Word: Media Overdose on Lee Kuan Yew
– Iron Bowl: Good Intentions Gone Wrong
– OKJ Discoveries: How I Would Describe LKY’s Passing to my Grandchildren
– All the world just stopped now: About honouring someone’s life
– Simply Yin: A Nation Mourns
– Mr Miyagi: Merely A Near Namesake
– Yauming Chiam: Lee Kuan Yew his legacy
– Zareth Writes At: Last Song for LKY
– Singapore 2B: The Same-Old Criticisms of Singapore
– Singapore Actually: You Lift Us Up Mr Lee
– Zit Seng’s Blog: LKY Day Petition Remains Phishy
– Likedatosocanmeh: Was Lee Kuan Yew “a horrible person”?
– Yrs Truly Spore: We are already paying the price for unrealistic views of LKY
– TOC: A gay man’s perspective on Lee Kuan Yew
– The Chiongs: A Purely Practical View
– ASS: Responds to Catherine Lim: She Sounds Like a Crow Cawing Away
– Gintai_昇泰: RIP Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 – 2015)
– Loh and Behold: I’m Glad I Stayed
– In my words…: In My Words
– Anyhow Hantam: Flying the State Flag at Half-Mast: Precedent Set for Spore
– Dimsumdolly: B for Bereft
– NewNation: Too much freedom in S’pore equals freedom to be raped
– The New Age Parents: 9 Life Lessons From Lee Kuan Yew To Teach Our Kids
– [FB] Donald Low’s FC: Why Calvin Cheng’s piece is interesting but mistaken
– TR Emeritus: Rebutting Tan Wah Piow: I’ve always been a free S’porean
– Rilek1Corner: Can Someone Tell Alfian Sa’at To Shut Up
– Malaysian Insider: LKY’s legacy to me, a former Asean scholar, Ong Kian Ming
– Mr Brown: Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night
– Catherine Lim: If Only—To The Memory Of Lee Kuan Yew (1923–2015)
– SG Hard Truth: Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I have a confession to make
– Singapore 2B: What is Government For?
– A Singaporean In Australia: Time Travellers
– This Life: “A few years ago, I took up a part-time job…”
– Petulantchild: An emotional farewell
– Life of a simple boy: What I learnt in the past week
– Dewdrop Notes: A Legacy Of Zero Tolerance
– Piji Tailai: NTU President Broke My Heart – Foundation Without Nantah
– Singapore Actually: Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Diet
– Sg Beacon: Sad State Of Political Activism In Spore Exposed By LKY’s Death
– NumberCucumber: Newspaper articles about passing of LKY listed on eBay
– Poached Mag: Epilogue for the Singapore Story
– NewNation: Silent Majority relieved they can go back into hiding now
– The Atlantic: The Lee Kuan Yew Conundrum
– TOC: Our Singapore – between the lines, the nation we all built
– Bertha Harian: Plain and simple living…is so hard to do
– Crazy Angmo And His Angry Wife: The Harder Truth
– Kaffein-nated: Heart-felt story shared by daughter of political detainee
– Signs of Struggle: We will pay the price for unrealistic views of Lee
– Singapore 2B: Inevitable
– Musings From the Lion City: Lee Kuan Yew’s Legacy
– Desparatebeep: The Prince
– Food Fuels me to Talk…: Another way to honour Lee Kuan Yew
– Mother, Inc: Home
– Mamamie’s Thots: Remembrance
– Tribolum: Our 1968 Moment
– Dimsumdolly: Majulah Singapura
– Lukeyishandsome: Five things that went right and wrong after LKY’s Passing
– OhSoFickle: Talk Talk
– Singapore Actually: This Week
– Living Investment: Singapore I know now
– 2econdsight: From India With Love…A Little Gesture & The Long Game
– Everything Also Complain: LKY using chicken feathers to cure hiccups
– The New Era: Religion and politics: when can they mix?
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: SG50/ BKR50: Buffett, LKY & Ah Loong
– Yours Truly Singapore: Response to “LKY’s legacy”
– Singapore Notes: Only You
– Singapore Alternatives: Please Wake Up to Dawn of Post LKY Era
– Unseen Spore: Who is the Mysterious Girl at Lee Kuan Yew’s State Funeral?
– NewNation: S’poreans request for 1-week public holiday to get over loss of LKY
– The Business Times: By gum, the West is wrong about Singapore
– Top of the Word: Singapore is Free, Whatever the Western Media May Say!
– Chronicles of a Singaporean Indian Girl: Freedom
– PetuniaLee™: So Loved
– Dollars and Sense: Loving Crevices Within The Cracks
– TechinAsia: Deepest respect to Lee Kuan Yew
– Air-Conditioned Nation: Mistaken Identity
– Bertha Harian: An era is over
– Pressrun.net: Even the heavens wept for Lee Kuan Yew
– Zit Seng’s Blog: Celebrating The Singapore Legacy
– The Lycan Times 狼人時報: Random Discourse – Farewell to Lee Kuan Yew
– Love, Dream, Imagine: How one man inspired me to live
– Blogging for Myself: Bertha Henson: I cannot be like Lee Kuan Yew
– Life 1degN, 103degE: The rain on the parade made it meaningful
– Mr Brown: We, the citizens of Singapore
– Mr Miyagi: A Comrade of The Workers
– Alvinology: Lee Kuan Yew’s other legacy – the Original Unionist
– QING Moments: Goodbye Mr Lee Kuan Yew
– Balancing The Sentiment: Awakening of silent majority and remembering LKY
– RunEatGossip: Remembering Lee Kuan Yew 1923 – 2015
– Tribolum: For Friends
– Seksi Matashutyrmouf : Death of LKY
– Ong Jiin Joo: Mourning gaining momentum
– Everything Also Complain: LKY being lionised into an ubermensch
– The Asian Parent: Tough Love: A Singapore mother’s tribute to LKY
– The Wacky Duo: Good bye Mr Lee Kuan Yew
– Lady J’s Musings: Your legacy lives on…
– Miss ene and the boy: The final goodbye
– A Juggling Mom: Your legacy will live on, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew
– J Babies Dad: Tribute to a Father
– Wei Sze: Goodbye Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Thank you for all that you have done
– Zhun Bo, Singapore?!: The thing about death
– Vicky’s Writings: Queuing because I am a Singaporean.
– Alex Lew Yan Liang: Hello Mr. Lee Kuan Yew
– Daniel Food Diary: He Had A Soft Spot For Chocolate Cake
– ♥ the QUEEN and her BLING ♥: Thank You Lee Kuan Yew
– Ghetto Singapore: The Legacy of Lee Kuan Yew
– Dejiki: In Memoriam: Lee Kuan Yew – exhibition
– Anonymous_X: Nee Soon GRC Community Tribute Random Photos
– My Singapore News: LKY – A moment in history
– MIKOspace: Eulogy to Lee Kuan Yew
– S M Ong: A lot of sky crying on Twitter for LKY
– Senang Diri: Black Knights practice Missing Man formation-SAF tribute to LKY
– Underlige Aftenlufte: I Remember March
– Inspiration: A Tribute To Mr. Lee Kuan Yew
– nofearSingapore: How Is It?
– Defunct Creakings of a Cog: On the Passing of a Great Man
– Just Speaking My Mind: Paying Final Respect to LKY at Parliament House
– Iron Bowl: We will probably not have another leader like LKY.
– Kaffein-nated: What’s next, Singapore?
– PointlessPhilosophy: Importance of Civil Liberties & Dangerous Illusion of Safety
– Letters From Bukit Batok: There Is No Need To Bid Farewell To LKY
– Banalysis: The Intolerance of Grief
– Mindblogging Stuff: Debunking the deification of Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy
– Molitics: Mortal, Myth, Monolith
– New Era: From gums to dialects: What kind of future do we want from now?
– My very lo soh long winded page: The nation mourns for the passing of LKY
– The Heart Truths: My Tribute Message to Lee Kuan Yew
– Barry’s Blog: Singapore After Lee Kuan Yew
– WonderPeace: LKY worship has reached fever pitch
– A collection of thoughts: Is the PAP likely to garner sympathy votes?
– Spore Alternatives: LKY’s Legacy: Good or Bad, Harsh Hard Truth
– Sg NS, Laws and Quirks: Why Singapore needs real democracy
– Sg Dissident: Sg’s weakened LKY’s son cannot stop peaceful protestors now
– Likedatosocan: Governance real legacy of LKY, not myth created by propaganda
– Thoughts of a Cynical Investor: LKY: Lest we forget the Dark Side
– Man Jiang Hong: Where “forgotten heroes” are born – Chinese schools in Spore
– Akikonomu: The Apotheosis of Lee Kuan Yew IV
– Yvonne Ng: This is Singapore.
– Gilbert Goh: Ten personal observations of Lee Kuan Yew’s death