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'A long and full life'

While preparing his eulogy, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recalled a speech his

father had made to a congress of cardio-logists in 1972 - about cardiac health, decrepitude, the right to die, advanced medical directives (though before the term was coined), and much more.

"I re-read it with delight. It was vintage Lee Kuan Yew - thoughtful, erudite, elegant, witty, but with a deeper point.

"Sadly, nobody makes such after-dinner speeches any more," said PM Lee yesterday during the private cremation service.

In the 1972 speech, the late Mr Lee had said: "Life is better short, healthy and full than long, unhealthy and dismal. We all have to die. I hope mine will be painless. As de Gaulle said: 'Never fear, even de Gaulle must die', and he did."

Said PM Lee: "Pa had a long and full life... He was healthy, active and vigorous, until advanced old age. He used to say that life is a marathon, not a sprint. Pa's marathon is done.

"He went away peacefully. He will leave a big hole in our lives and in our hearts.

"But his values, his love, and his words - these will stay with us, inspire us, and live on in us for a long, long time."

PM Lee also thanked the Security Command team who had protected his father.

He said: "You not only ensured his security, but were always by his side, round the clock, beyond the call of duty. You became friends, and almost part of the family.

"Thanks particularly to the SOs who served as coffin bearers just now, for carrying my father today, on his last journey."