Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, who was Mr Lee Kuan Yew's principal private secretary from 1997 to 2000, wrote about Mr Lee's red box in a Facebook post on Tuesday.

The red box was used to contain his papers, speech drafts, letters and "a whole range of questions, reflections and observations".

Mr Lee used the box until Feb 4, the day before he was hospitalised.

Here are snippets from the post.

His breakfast

Mr Lee's daily breakfast was a bowl of dou hua (soft bean curd), with no syrup. The accompanying drink was always room-temperature water.

His workout

Mr Lee exercised - which included treadmill, rowing, swimming and walking - in the evening. Instead of music, he listened to the evening news or his Mandarin practice tapes.

His bicycle

During his time as Prime Minister, Mr Lee would ride his bicycle in the evenings. He kept the same bike for many years, described by Mr Heng as "one of those old man bicycles".


His study

Mr Lee's study was converted from his son's old bedroom. His wooden work table had a glass top under which he kept his family memorabilia, including a picture of PM Lee Hsien Loong during his national service days.

His evenings

Mr Lee often sat with his wife in the study and read, classical music playing in the background.

His bedtime

When he was PM, Mr Lee would work through the night, going to bed only at around 3.30am.

His love

In 2010, Mrs Lee died while Mr Lee was in hospital. After attending the wake, he asked his security team to take him to the Singapore River, where he walked along the bank - an activity he and Mrs Lee used to do together.