Heartfelt testimonies about Lee Hsien Yang by ordinary Singaporeans pour in

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Lee Hsien Yang with his wife, Lee Suet Fern

Following Facebook user Dennis Lim’s post recounting how Lee Hsien Yang treated construction workers at his wife’s law firm so well, more heartfelt testimonies from ordinary Singaporeans have gone viral.

Check out 13 personal experiences Singaporeans have said they’ve had with Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew’s younger son, who has been embroiled in a bitter public feud with his elder brother, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, over their family home at 38 Oxley Road:

Tim Chan: “Yes I agree with Mr Lim, I was LHY runner during my NS days 1992-1993. He was the commander of HQ2SIB Changi then. To me LHY was a down to earth and humble person. Unlike some other officers who has many different demands and request. His usual drink in his office was a simple ice cold glass of water. I didn’t have to rinse his running clothes after his morning runs nor wash his personal stuff or run errands for his private matters, unlike what I heard from other runners from my batch.

“During our Taiwan field exercise for 9 days, his meals was again simple, Taiwan instant noodles and combat rations, like what the HQ troops like me and other lower ranks would eat. Noodles alternating with tulip canned sausages, and Campbell cream of mushroom soup, all prepared in mess tin and served to him. He didn’t once complain how the food was cooked or tasted.

“When HQ Encik gave LHY a list of items for the Taiwan exercise, which included hot water flask, metal bunk bed, mattress and pillow, GS table and chairs for his sleeping tent. He told me to inform Encik not to bring all those into the field, all he wanted was the usual SAF safari bed and he brought his own sleeping bag, which he used during the entire 9 days.

“A practical man, who doesn’t need a entourage to follow him during reconnaissance trips and actual exercise, if he doesn’t need a signaller or any officer, he will tell them to stay back, he takes only what he needs, unlike some officers.

“I have also been told by other NS men quite a few times that LHY even open and hold the doors for lower ranks when they enter into the exercise planning rooms, as well as him greeting them even before others can greet him when walking along the corridors in camp. Didn’t intend to share my thoughts, but after reading Mr Lim and what others have posted, i thought I share. I don’t think he LHY has change much, and I Respect him.”

Athena Lee: “He was the CEO of my ex company, and he would join the queue with us for morning coffee in canteen. Very humble person and has no airs.”

Sabrina Fernando-Briche: “Many years ago I travelled back to Singapore from Paris and LHY and his wife were on the same flight. At the CDG airport duty-free in Paris they were in the same boutique where I was doing some shopping and I overheard him tell his wife that he needed to look for a present for ‘mama’, I thought to myself how sweet that was.”

Yoshiyuki Endo: “I was at SP for a seminar and he was the speaker. when he arrived, everyone stood up and clapped to welcome him. he however, told everyone to sit down and not treat him as a vip. he said he is just an ordinary person invited to share something he knew. I was impressed.”

Fazlena Kaswadi: “Many years ago, when I was working at the airport handling arrival and departure flights, I remember that he refused any sort of escorts to assist him and his family down to arrivals and baggage claims, even though the chief purser of Singapore Airlines insisted. Instead, he walked on his own, holding hands with his family and I thought to myself that he must be a humble guy. Not like his brother.”

Freddy Neo: “My wife and I often see him at Thomson Plaza Fairprice in shorts doing his weekly grocery shopping. No airs!”

Norazli Razali: “Still remember back then during my teenage years. Was working at raffles hotel and we do banquet at his then singtel office. Once event was over he stayed back talk to us and gave ang pao. He’s a nice guy to talk to.”

Erik Seeto: “He was my CO in 46SAR. botak, friendly, and very low key. Once I even mistook him for a recruit (botak + jocky cap) and did not salute him. But he just smiled and went on his way, and my IC asked WTF was I doing. Unlike some COs, there was no pressure to be best unit or anything. We just did our best. Many officers were genuinely sorry to see him transferred . I hope people realise that whatever the difference of opinion amongst the siblings, they are all doing it not for selfish reasons. There is no need to tar and feather one because we agree with the other.”

Wilson Toh: “When I was in Armour, I was told LHY having no TV at home, for better education for his children. And he kept coming back to Armour joining us for running even he became BG. Well like by us Armour guys.”

Nelson Poon: “I was a perm staff in Base 2 in ROC some time in ’93. LHY came to visit as BG. As usual, stuff gets painted and the camp is made as tip-top as it can be. Overlooked was a dump where we threw all the broken parts of the armored vehicles at a mud track somewhere at the back. He wasn’t expected to go there anyway. But obviously someone forgot and after inspecting the vehicle park he was taken on the short cut which runs past the dump.

“LHY saw and we all had “gg” written on our faces. We thought he would make a fuss about it during debrief and there would be hell after that.

“He said absolutely nothing about the dump. There’s nothing more for lower ranks to be thankful about, when superior officers would not make a big fuss over stuff like that.”

Steven Lee: “We were colleagues for at least 4 yrs in an organisation, tough training, harsh and risky work environment, irrational irritations and taboo, he remains calm and composed, honest , always contribute most surprising solutions in learning, problems solving, play and even struggle in the face of adversity. He was very fit and down to earth good man, remembered him participated as the anchor runner running the last lap of a 16 miles road relay..”

Brian Vittachi: “When I was running a pub in Klliney Road in the mid 90’s he passed by a few times and always had a nod and a smile for my staff or the customers sitting outside. Since he wasn’t a politician I took that as a sign of a genuine person. Some say he was more people-smart than his elder brother.”

Jason Lim: “I used to work at Caldecott Hill and there was once I was just outside my company and a colleague of mine saw a car drove past and tell me that the driver inside is LHY, I was still young back then not knowing much about him (because he was very low profile) but I got a shock when my colleague told me that he is the son of LKY and I couldn’t believe that the car that I am driving (a Honda Civic) is much better looking and newer than his. Can’t really remembered what car it was but it look like those Japanese nissan sunny COE car.”

155 COMMENTS

  1. I saw him once at the top floor of Orchard Central where I was the signage consultant a few years ago… . He walked out from a room in a restaurant.. nodded his head while walking toward the toilet…

  2. Great to hear testimonies about him but remember, don’t deify him. We don’t need another god or dynasty. Anyway, thank goodness he has the good sense to stay out of Singapore’s version of politics.

  3. I believed anyone who had work under LHY when he was in SAF would know that he is a mild manner, fair and humble person to work with. The same cannot be said of LHL as I heard many negative stories about his cockiness, even when dealing with officers of higher rank than him.

  4. Excuse me if a man is humble he will not Attack his own siblings over a house to be demolish, sell n get $. A humble man will talk nicely n settle nicely but not using force, destroy n defamed.

  5. A person respected most. Humble, friendly and no airs about it. If he was a politician, he would have been the most loved and not forgetting, an effective one.

  6. I have an army friend of 43 years, who happened to work with LHY in Singtel days, and even happened to seat next to him in one of the meetings LHY chaired. My friend commented during a gathering of fellow army friends last Tuesday, that he has 101% respect for LHY for his professionalism, integrity, intelligent, sharpness with numbers, humility, and above all LHY has the mind and character like his father, LKY. Speak his mind and never mince his words, but a real Gentleman.

    • At the very least , we get to know that old fart is capable of producing good offspring ,
      Unlike that spoiled brat with a blackened tiny heart whom think that he’s and his families are natural born aristocracy .

      Salute to LHY and LWL lah . Uphold

  7. Never has an opportunity to know him personally but I hv friends who work in Sintel who speak highly of him…. being Humble, sincere and compassionate….

  8. “Proverbs 26:25-26 “When he speaks graciously, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart; though his hatred be covered with deception, his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.”
    Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. Hebrews 4:13 (NIV)”

  9. I do not know LHY. From the feedback and testimonies, LHY seem a very down-to-earth guy. Hope to see more of our leaders and future leaders to like him.

  10. I had a long day. Tired. But when I read this write up and the comments I felt pleased and somehow rejuvenated. Dear People, thanks for sharing.

  11. I once went to an SPC petrol station along Bt Timah Rd to top up petrol. There I saw LHY coming out if his Lexus 250. We met each other at the payment counter. He gave the cashier a credit card who apparently didn’t know who he was and asked for his IC for verification. That was in the 90’s. And he went on to provide his IC with no airs. He thanked and smiled to the cashier after his payment. It was a pleasant surprise for me seeing him so down to earth.

  12. 7years ago, at ikea alexandra, I saw him standing at one side, holding onto the pushcart, waiting patiently.
    I guess he must be waiting for his wife to pick some items.
    What amazed me was given his status, the pushcart task should be done at least by a maid or a bodyguard, but I looked around and didn’t see any.
    He was the maid, the bodyguard for his wife.
    Sincerely, I admired him from then onwards.
    I hope the saga he is facing would resolve in a peaceful manner, and that he would live a peaceful life.

  13. Yes….he was indeed humble with no airs n down to earth person
    My hubby told me on 16 June that they were indeed colleagues ….. that was well respected

  14. Are you all saying that LHL is not down to earth and not humble? Hv You all ever met him and HC or not? They are so down to earth and humble to a fault despite their status leh.

    • Sas Karma no I’m not kidding. I don’t know him personally but once my Wife and I bumped into them. They were very down to earth and posed for pics with us.

    • Suhaimi Lazim, not proud to take pictures with dishonourable n useless leader. Very unlucky n u will hv sufferings as u go on with yr life.

    • His public record is filled with corruption, self interest and vindictive towards any criticism and opposition. His life is an open book for all to see except for those who can’t.

    • @Thomas Teo – I m doing good thank you despite having a picture taken with them. I’m just a singaporean feeling blessed to live in a country that is peaceful, secure and provides opportunities for people to succeed if they work hard. I don’t know what they hv done to you to deserve so much hatred from you though as if they are your personal enemy number one. Hv you personally met LHY and his Wife?

    • Koh Chua Lian hi. What public record filled with corruption and self interest are you referring to? I’m sure a lot of Singaporeans would want to know if you hv some information that the general public does not know about. By the way, talk about an open book, I thot LKY’s description in his own book about LHL clearly shows that LHL came back to Sg after studying because he wanted to serve the country. Did you read LKY’s description of LHY in comparison? Maybe you shd find out for yrself. LKY has very different thots on his own children which may explain why how the FamiLee saga turned out as it is.

  15. Good Smart and humble BG not like others scholars. Yaya papaya. His brother like to take credit and Medals to himself only eg Sentosa cable cars rescure mission. All his work not the men on the ground.

    • the worst scholars i have met and worked with – heng swee kiat that plp clown, and leo yip that clown. both are backstabbers. and that cobra – maliki osman, not a scholar but expert backstabber, small mind and v jealous, a busted good for nothing.

  16. This is the man I respected yrs ago when I was a part time driver serving delegates for an International event. I was inside the limo when he came down fm the lobby n asked me whether I had my lunch. I told him hvnt n he told me to go for lunch first as it’s important. I was so honoured to hv met with this more than humble VIP.

  17. LHY is a very good and humble person, my bestfriend worked in SingTel before and said he was always thinking about staff’s welfare during his time as a CEO.

  18. Mr. Lee Hsien Yang as like most in contact with him will know his a person with no air and easy going …..
    Back in 90’s I was teaching his 3 sons swimming at his in-laws plc(which just a unit away from his house) During then Mr.Lee will always be the first one to say “Hello” or greet whenever he is in and once I was shopping at Raffles City……and out of nowhere someone called my name as I look up it was him and the family waving at me !I am Honor to be able to served such extra ordinary person .

  19. stop all the complaining of petty reunion.,etc,tc ..and create further issues..leave all your family issue out from public…are they asking for public pity…or indirect disgrace between themselves in this family and sibling affairs…

  20. Both Him and his Wife is a gracious person. Unlike his elder Brother LHL. but usually the good person always gets bullied and taken advantage, life is just unfair. However, it’s also fair in a way, there is alway a choice given. U always get what u voted for. Lol. . 30% utility price increase, MRT breakdowns, HDB lifts falling, CPF Lockdown. Job employments FT over locals. U always get what u voted for.

  21. After reading the comments by others, I am beginning to like LHY more and more. Wish both LHY and LWL success in demolishing 138Oxley according to LKY and wife’s wishes. God Bless

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