Baey Yam Keng: What I learned from Mr Lee Kuan Yew
The first time Mr Baey Yam Keng met Mr Lee Kuan Yew, it was during his interview before he was fielded as a candidate for the People's Action Party in the 2006 General Election.
"He was the one among the panel who asked the most questions," Mr Baey told The New Paper at the Tampines Community Plaza, where residents were penning tributes to Singapore's first Prime Minister who died on Monday (March 23), aged 91.
Mr Baey Yam Keng (from second left), Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, Ms Indranee Rajah and Associate Professor Koo Tsai Kee celebrating the PAP’s walkover in Tanjong Pagar GRC on Nomination Day in the 2006 General Election. PHOTO: BT File
"Even though my views were not entirely congruent with the Government's views, he was very patient in listening to me, to understand where I was coming from.
"He took the trouble to listen to a young man like me."
Mr Baey, Member of Parliament for Tampines GRC, was at the community plaza on Tuesday speaking to residents. He was formerly an MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC, where, he said, he could sense the "admiration and love people have for him (Mr Lee)".
"It's through the sincere gratitude and respect for him that we have this outpouring of emotions for him after his passing."
Mr Lee Kuan Yew (seated) with (from left) fellow Tanjong Pagar GRC MPs Sam Tan, Indranee Rajah, Koo Tsai Kee, Lui Tuck Yew and Baey Yam Keng at an event marking the completion of a covered linkway in Jalan Membina, and the annual Tree Planting Day in the GRC in 2010. PHOTO: ST File
On Mr Lee Kuan Yew as a mentor
"He would be the one doing most of the talking. I think that's where we could learn a lot from him, listening to his wisdom.
On Mr Lee Kuan Yew's relationship with Mrs Lee
"On different occasions we could also see the loving relationship he had with Mrs Lee.
"Mrs Lee would always be the person who would put in a nice word to lighten up the sometimes tense atmosphere, because the younger ones would always be in awe of him."
On Lee Kuan Yew's legacy
"He has lived a full, long life. We can take comfort in the fact that he is now with Mrs Lee and the loving couple can now be together.
"What we can do to remember him, to let his legacy live on is to have Singapore be a good place. We Singaporeans should continue to do our best for the country."