Personal encounters with Lee Kuan Yew
It was one of the most heard sentiments this week, ever since Mr Lee Kuan Yew died on March 23.
"I wish I could have met him."
Some people who have had the privilege of brushing shoulders with him have shared their stories with us and on social media.
By all accounts, Mr Lee cared deeply for his wife and people.
Do you or do you know someone who has a story to share about Mr Lee?
Email us at email@example.com and we'll compile it into a tribute.
But from everything we have received and seen so far, here's what we can tell of Mr Lee:
1) He is one loving husband
"Twelve years ago, I chaired the Lee Kuan Yew Ministerial Forum for Singapore undergraduates. For 12 months my team worked closely with Mr Lee's office and there are many stories to share. But this anecdote stays with me.
"Post Mr Lee's address, I stood waiting to escort him into the press conference. He lingered outside the auditorium and after a minute, I asked if he was ready to join the reporters in the room. He asked if we could wait for a moment.
"(He said) 'Mrs Lee is in the bathroom. It is cold. Maybe she will want my jacket. Let's wait, she will want me to wait.'
"Upon her return, he offered his signature navy windbreaker which she asked that he keeps for himself. He then nodded to me that they were ready. I watched on from behind, as they walked into the press conference, hand in hand, side by side.
"A sign of a man's strength is how gently he loves his wife. Amongst all the other things you have gifted me with, thank you for showing me this first hand. Rest well, our great founding father."
2) He is your bragging right
3) He will not let you go hungry
"I was a reporter back in the 90s when I accompanied Mr Lee on a three-week official visit to China. I sat next to him at one dinner and, as usual, the then-Senior Minister was firing questions at us journalists at the same table from all angles and we hardly had a bite of the delicious Suzhou food.
"Mrs Lee, who was sat on the other side of him, reminded him that we poor reporters were exhausted and should not be 'interrogated over dinner'. A smiling Mr Lee quickly let
off a hearty apology and never raised another question again! Us hungry journos had a hearty ('peaceful') meal that evening.
"While most of us remembered Mrs Lee for that trivia at the time, it is only today, more than two decades later, that it dawned upon me the incident reflected as much about the man as did his wife. Mr Lee was a wonderful husband and like most of us ordinary husbands, needed the occasional nudge from our other, better half.
" Yet while some of hubbies may feel annoyed or embarrassed at being chided in public, here is one great man who shows us that at the very core of his existence, he is also just another family man."
- Dr Sunny Goh
4) He will get you places
"I was away for a period of time in KunShan, China. Not many people know the existence of KunShan. It was like Silicon Valley.
"I needed to file some documents etc for me to stay there. The China Police commonly known as 公安, thought that I was an illegal immigrant. No Visa nothing. (Singapore to China don't need Visa at all.)
"My personal assistants who are locals of KunShan tried telling them that I was from Singapore. And I even had air ticket. They fiddled with my passport and still could not come to a conclusion. No, they did. They wanted to lock me up.
"I was so pissed and was thinking in my head, 'How can you not know of Singapore?' And suddenly out of nowhere, I blurted 你不懂新加坡。李光耀，你知道谁吗？(You have never heard of Singapore. But you know who is Lee Kuan Yew?)
"Their eyes lit up immediately and said '李光耀，小红点' (Lee Kuan Yew, the little red dot). They were nothing but full of praises for Mr. Lee Kuan Yew. And of course my documents were processed fairly quickly.
"Nobody knew what and where Singapore is BUT they know, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew and His Little Red Dot."
So, if you have met and spoken with Mr Lee before, do send us your stories and pictures of that encounter.
More reports at tnp.sg/leekuanyew