Writing the City
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In April 2015, to mark the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, founder of modern Singapore, Writing the City invited Singaporeans to pen a 300-word reflection on what this towering figure had meant to them.

Mr Lee will be remembered as an intellectual, a visionary politician and a statesman who earned the respect of governments around the world. He will also be remembered as a formidable and pragmatic ruler who laid the foundations for the prosperity of Singapore today.

But we asked: what did Mr Lee mean to you personally? How did his vision for the country affect your personal or cultural sense of identity – perhaps even the way that you think of yourself as Singaporean?

This is what you told us.

Remembering Singapore's Founding Father

Founding Father of Singapore; 

Born of early last century;

Brought us into this new century;

Of happiness, modernity and prosperity.

O Founding Father of Singapore,

We shall not forget – nor will we forget!

 

Singapore – an island of mudflats;

Now centre of business, banking and housing flats;

Swamp transformed into a metropolis state;

Growing still at astounding rate.

O Founding Father of Singapore, 

We shall not forget – nor will we forget!

 

You gave Singaporeans what you promised;

You neither stay too long nor take too much;

You neither show fear nor favour;

Nothing can make you waver.

O Founding Father of Singapore,

We shall not forget – nor will we forget!

 

Your body is now lying-in-state;

Your uphill task is done;  

Your laughter and cry we hear no more;

Rest on, rest now in peace.

O Founding Father of Singapore,

We shall not forget – nor will we forget! 

Osman V P Mohamed

Writing the City is a community of new, emerging and established writers who share their work, give and receive feedback and get invaluable opportunities to take their writing forward. We focus on writing inspired by city life. To join us, visit writingthecity.sg