Our Hero Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

remembering lee kuan yew

Our Hero Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew



Our Hero Tribute to Mr Lee Kuan Yew

Mr Lee ‘s home at oxley road

Those who see it for the first time are astonished that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s home is so humble. But it is a comfortable house, a home we have got used to. Though it does look shabby compared to the new mansions on our street, we are not bothered by the comparison.


MM  Lee home
(The British colonial era 5-bedrooms bungalow house of Lee Kuan Yew was built a century ago by a Jewish merchant)


lee kuan yew house

Broaching the subject was Mr Lee himself, during an interview with a team of Straits Times journalists for the book, Hard Truths, to be launched.

When the conversation veered to his home, which he has described as ‘a big, rambling house with five bedrooms, and three others at the back originally used as servants’ quarters’, he said: ‘I’ve told the Cabinet, when I’m dead, demolish it.’

His reason? ‘I’ve seen other houses, Nehru’s, Shakespeare’s. They become a shambles after a while. People trudge through. Because of my house the neighbouring houses cannot build high. Now demolish my house and change the planning rules, go up, the land value will go up,’ he said.


Mr’s Lee home office


lee home office
The screen of his computer,
on a desk beside the bed, flickered as e-mails arrived.

lee home office


One of Mr Lee’s favourites was the polka-dot shirt.


mr lee favourite shirt

“Mr Lee ordered shirts from us, and we also had pyjamas made for him. His name was usually embroidered on them in full.

In the past, he was served by my father who was in charge of sales at the time in the 1960s.

I remember my dad was very impressed with him, saying that Lee Kuan Yew was his hero.

– See more at: http://www.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/more-singapore-stories/story/remembering-lee-kuan-yew-man-simple-tastes-says-tailor-2#sthash.cnzQaVot.dpuf

 He had very simple tastes. His favourite colour was pink and patterns were very unlikely. He usually ordered work shirts, and didn’t really choose the expensive materials.

He wasn’t very concerned about what he wore, Mrs Lee always took care of all that.”

Mr Lee’s favourite food


Mr Lee favourite food
Mr Lee Kuan Yew sister Monica Lee, 85 shares her
elder brother’s favourite dishes.

I know best what my brother liked to eat. He loved our mother’s Nonya cooking and sometimes he would crave his favourite dishes.



When he lost weight after Mrs Lee died in 2010, he called me and said: “Mon, I’ve lost 2½ pounds. What can you teach my maid to cook so I can put the weight back on?”



So I taught his Indonesian cook how to prepare satay, gado gado, mee siam and rojak. And to help him build up an appetite, I presented the food on beautiful dishes that I carried by hand back from Italy.


When he saw the way the food was laid out, with vegetables on the side and fruit in the middle, he called out to his daughter, who calls me Gu Ma (aunt in Mandarin): “Wei Ling, come and see what your Gu Ma has done. Come and join me!”



Sometimes he would call with a special request. Once he asked for a Dutch-style chicken but I did not know how to prepare it. See, whatever he wants to eat, he thinks I’m such a great chef I’m able to produce it! Thankfully, I could and it came out perfectly.



Later, he decided he would put on weight by eating dessert. He asked me to prepare tiramisu, caramel pudding and souffle for him. These were the sweet treats he used to have when he was in Cambridge and London. But I had not made souffle for 35 years!



I took care of my brother in his old age because he took care of all of us when we were young. He looked after everybody’s affairs, and whenever he saw that I was sad or unwell, he would call me into his office to find out why.



Even until recently he would ask me how often I see my heart doctor… He wanted to make sure that as long as he was alive, we were alive too, my youngest brother Suan and I. We were all very close, and he was more like a mother to us than our own mother.



This article was first published on Mar 23, 2015.
The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.


– See more at: http://www.soshiok.com/content/mr-lee-kuan-yews-favourite-dishes#sthash.vGRDbTR6.dpuf





Share on Facebook0Share on Google+0Tweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn0Email this to someone