A former journalist remembers Lee Kuan Yew

I was a Straits Times reporter back in the 90s when I accompanied Mr Lee Kuan Yew on an 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 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 incident 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 showed us that at the very core of his existence, he was also just another family man.

Dr Sunny Goh

Lee Kuan Yew