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Monday, October 4, 2010

Mdm Kwa Geok Choo (Mrs Lee Kuan Yew)

On 2nd October 2010 at 5.40 pm S'pore time, Mdm Kwa Geok Choo had her final rest in peace. After her second stroke in 2008, she was immobilized. And for two years,she was bedridden. She persisted on maybe because MM Lee without fail would be by her bedside every evening to read to her. She sensed his presence. In MM Lee's own word he said "My most difficult moments come at the end of each day, as I sit by her bedside." He added; "She understands when I talk to her, which I do every night, I tell her about my day's work, read her favourite poems."

That was the relationship between MM and his wife Geok Choo. The meaning of the marriage creed truthfully manifested itself. The undying love of a dear one.

The greatness of Kwa Geok Choo can be traced back to the early years of MM's political career. I think many of us dared say that without Geok Choo, there would be no Lee Kuan Yew(LKY) and there would be no PAP of today that shape the history of Singapore. LKY was and still is the leader of PAP to this day.

The turbulent years of politics in Singapore when LKY was trying to consolidate power under his grasp. LKY did nothing but fight his political opponents. And the epitome and pillar behind him was none other than Mdm Kwa Geok Choo. She has her law firm of Lee and Lee, managed by Geok Choo. Without that LKY would be financially in the doldrums to even have the money to further his political ambition. LKY by profession is also a qualified lawyer. But he spent all his time on the volatile political scene then.

When LKY was Prime Minister, Mdm Kwa did well not to be in the limelight but discreetly accompanied LKY on his official functions as the PM's wife. Her poise, unassuming and friendly nature went down well with the ordinary people and other countries' dignitaries. She performed her duty as a caring wife and when Lee Hsien Loong(LHL) married and had his children, as grandmother. She then acted as mother and grandmother when LHL's wife died.

Mdm Kwa Geok Choo lived a full, wholesome life. There will be no regrets that she left behind her legacy of a complete family. In life we treasure the living, in death we lament for the loss. Life impermanence brings forth the threshold of human existence. Everything is a passing, everything is transient.

Many of us would feel the loss of a mother of Singapore who quietly shaped and influence the future of Singapore in a man who believe in no one but his wife Kwa Geok Choo. We might well said LKY is 'uxoriously' devoted to his wife, and in her last two years of immobility, MM repaid back by constantly keeping her company at her bedside. The toil taxed on his general disposition and emotional wellness.

It might be a little ironic that Mdm Kwa chose to pass off when MM was hospitalised for a lung infection. Only daughter Wei Leng was with her when she died. WE all wish
her a next life of eternity if there is such a next life !?

Mdm Kwa did Singapore proud to be the wife of MM LKY.

Chua Mui Hoong (Deputy Review Editor) wrote an eulogy befitting Mrs Lee in the Sunday Times on 3rd of October 2010, devoting many pages to her. The fame, fortune
and greatness in a life of a person come to nought as death is a leveller of all things. (as said by late president Wee Kim Wee in his book "Glimpses and Reflections").

patrick lee song juan