Sunday, 3 October 2010

Wife's illness hardest for MM

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MRS Lee Kuan Yew, wife of Minister Mentor, died peacefully at home on Saturday at 5.40 pm at age 89, said the Prime Minister's Office on Saturday.
Madam Kwa Geok Choo had been bedridden for over two years after suffering two strokes in May and June 2008.
When news broke of Mrs Lee's death on Saturday evening, her elder son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 58, was in Belgium on a four-day official visit, which ties in with the eight biennial summit of the Asia-europe Meeting (Asem), which takes place on Monday and Tuesday.
Her younger son, Hsien Yang, 53, ran Singapore Telecommunications, the country's biggest company, for 12 years before becoming chairman of property and beverages conglomerate Fraser & Neave.
Daughter Lee Wei Ling, 55, is a director of the National Neuroscience Institute.
Her husband, MM Lee, 87, has been hospitalised since Wednesday for a chest infection. But he was seen in good spirits on Friday, meeting International Air Transport Association President Giovanni Bisignani in his hospital room.
In an unusually frank interview with the New York Times on Sept 1, MM Lee said his wife's illness was one of the hardest things for him to face.
'What to do? What else can I do?' he told the NYT. 'I can't break down. Life has got to go on. I try to busy myself, but from time to time in idle moments, my mind goes back to the happy days we were up and about together.'
'She understands when I talk to her, which I do every night,' he added. 'She keeps awake for me; I tell her about my day's work, read her favourite poems.'
'I told her, 'I would try and keep you company for as long as I can.' That's life. She understood.'
But he also said: 'I'm not sure who's going first, whether she or me.'
Both attended the same school in Singapore, Raffles College, and then attended Cambridge University to study law. They married in 1950.
Mrs Lee founded Lee & Lee, one of Singapore's largest law firms, in 1955 with her husband and her brother-in-law Lee Kim Yew.
'I wanted someone my equal, not someone who was not really grown up and needed looking after. And I was not likely to find another girl who was my equal and shared my interests,' Mr Lee wrote in the first volume of his memoirs, 'The Singapore Story'

Mdm Kwa Geok Choo - the first Asian woman to be awarded a first-class honours in Cambridge University.

A great, humble, brilliant and kind lady has passed on....Mrs Lee has been a shining role model for women - strong, highly intellectual, supportive wife & mother, a brilliant lawyer.

A True Role Model of The Woman behind A very Successful Man.

"The traits of a great wife and a great mother. Despite her high level of intelligence and capabilities, she decided to play the roles behind her husband. Only an enlightened person could do that, for it demanded of her to give than to take, to sacrifice for her conviction and belief for her countrymen and women. Present and future day men and women have a lot to learn from Mrs Lee."

"Mdm Kwa Geok Choo is truly the 'Iconic Mother' of Singapore even as her husband is the founder of modern Singapore. Mrs. Lee's contribution to supporting the building of Singapore, she is truly the 'Mother of Modern Singapore'! Truly a great loss to Singapore!"

You be the judge.