Mrs. Lee – in memoir

Before i close my internet for today and focus on my others thing to do until probably later at night, i really have to write about this on my post.

I do not know her personally nor meet her by chance for the past 10 years since i lived here in Singapore. But I can really feel her influence toward the society here in Singapore. Being modest and simple is one way of looking how the Singaporean generally are. Her aspiration of the importance of education has also captured my strong memory about her. She is one dedicated mother who spends her life to nurture the next generations well.

Almost everyone here in Singapore or the media speak about her simplicity despite the fact that she is the wife of the No. 1 man in Singapore and I happened to marry one of Singaporean government ARMY officer, and I know what it is all about.

Different from the society I came from, back home in my country, if you are some ONE’s wife it is one good opportunity for the wives to step to the limelight. It is chance for them to get noticed by public and showing all they got as display of the husband’s success. They gain fame, popularity and public interest the same time as when their husband in power. This can also goes beyond the wive, the children and the family will get the same treatment from the media or public as well.

Here in Singapore, things are different. Being the spouse of the government’s officer is far from bing publicly notable. We stay behind and subtle. Most of the wives focus on running the family as the husband’s focus on assisting the public and nation’s need. You will hardly see the officer’s wives pictures on the newspaper or media even though the husbands hold the top posts here in Singapore. The same goes to the rest of the family member, nobody knows that you are actually related to someONE important here.

Mrs. Lee has set the example to all of us. Don’t judge the book by it’s cover … it is not about her outlook, but it is about her content. It is reside deep inside her, right on the core of her character. Her focus toward life is strong which become the backbone for her family as well as the society of this nation.

This is the quote by Deputy Prime Minister Wong Kan Seng:

A kind, warm and caring woman. “My wife and I are very sad to learn of the passing of Mrs. Lee. We express our deepest condolences to MM Lee, PM and their family. We had known her since I joined politics in 1984. She was a very kind, warm and caring woman. Although she did not hold any political office, her contribution to Singapore is immeasurable. Her care and love for her family enabled MM to devote his time and energy to develop Singapore from the Third World to the First in one generation. We will all miss Mrs. Lee”.

About Mrs. Lee

Madam Kwa Geok Choo was born in Singapore on Dec 21, 1920. Her parents were Mr. and Mrs Kwa Siew Tee. Her father was the OCBC general manager from 1935 to 1945.

1936 – Completes secondary education at Methodist Girls’ school. First in the senior Cambridge examination for the whole of Malaya.

1937-39 – Join Raffles Institution Special Class, where she meets Mr. lee Kuan Yew.

1940-46-Enrols in Raffles College in 1940 and returns in 1946 after end of World War II

1947 Graduates from Raffles College with First Class Diploma in Arts, winning the Queen’s Scholarship

1947-49 Reads law as a second year student in Girton College, Cambridge University. Places first in part II of the Law Tripos – the first woman in Malaya to win this distinction.

1947  Secretly marries Mr. Lee in December

1950 Passes Bar final in may , both she and Mr. Lee are called to the bar at the middle temple on June 21. Returns to Singapore, Marries Mr. Lee again on september 30

1951 is admitted to the Bar in Singapore on Aug 7. Joins and becomes senior partner of a local law firm

1952 Gives birth to son Lee Hsien Loong

1955 The Lee and Lee law firm is established by Mr. Lee, his brother Kim Yew and Madam Kwa

1955 Gives birth to daughter Lee Wei Ling

1957 Gives birth to second son Lee Hsien Yang

1959 Mr. Lee Kuan Yew is elected Prime Minister of SIngapore. His brother and Madam Kwa take over the reins of Lee and Lee. they remain as consultants even after retirement from active practice.

1965 Helps in drafting parts of the separation agreement when Singapore leaves Malaysia

2003 Suffers a stroke in October while on a visit to London. Recovers soon after and continues to accompany her husband on official trips.

2008 Suffers two strokes in May and in June, which leave her unable to get out of bed, move or speak

2010 Dies at age 89, 11 weeks before her 90th birthday.

May you rest in Peace Mrs. Lee … your view about life, family, society resides strongly in me as you are one of the role model as a mother … Thank you for that!