Tuesday, 5 October 2010

The Light Left Behind

When a great woman dies, for years the light she leaves behind her, lies on the paths of men
(paraphrasing) Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Today, and with considerable sadness, I record the passing of one of Singapore's greatest pioneers, Madam Kwa Geok Choo.

In his autobiography, Lee Kwan Yew acknowledged her enormous contribution and support.  She was his sounding board and intellectual equal.

As Minister Mah Bow Tan records: "She was so much a part of our history, our progress, development as a nation. And yet she chose to stay out of the limelight deliberately.

"She was always behind the scenes; I will always remember her every time I see her with (Minister Mentor Lee); she's always next to MM.

"She will be talking to him, advising him, guiding him, sometimes she would gently chide him. But she was always there to support him, always loving him." 

The condolence letters from the President of Singapore S.R. Nathan and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong are particularly poignant.

Ordinary Singaporeans have taken time out of their busy lives to queue and pay their respects as this photo gallery and video record.   

Madam Kwa Geok Choo's dedication, sense of duty and the manner in which she conducted herself will always be cherished by the Nation.

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