Home News Lee Hsien Yang looks back at his mother's passing

Lee Hsien Yang looks back at his mother’s passing

Mr Lee said of Li Shengwu's eulogy was poetic to remember the grandmother's love for poetry




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Marking the 10th year since his mother’s passing, Mr Lee Hsien Yang took to social media to share a clip of a eulogy by his son, Li Shengwu.

In a Facebook post, Mr Lee, brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong wrote: “My mother passed away 10 years ago on 2 Oct 2010. Shengwu gave the closing eulogy at the funeral”.

Mr Lee said of Li Shengwu’s eulogy: “He (Li Shengwu) quoted poetry extensively as she (Mdm Kwa) so much enjoyed poetry. He (Li Shengwu) also talked about her (Mdm Kwa) having “the patience to sow the seeds that take longer to fruit” and described his grandparents’ love for each other as “steadfast” rather than in youthful romantic terms”.

In his post, he shared a video of his son.

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My mother passed away 10 years ago on 2 Oct 2010. Shengwu gave the closing eulogy at the funeral. He quoted poetry…

Posted by Lee Hsien Yang on Friday, 2 October 2020

Last week, in a video interview with Yahoo News, Mr Lee’s wife, Lee Suet Fern recalled feeling frightened of her mother-in-law when she and Hsien Yang were living in Cairnhill Mansions when her husband was often away for military training. They were living just above Hsien Loong and his first wife Wong Ming Yang after their marriage.

She said: “I did feel a little isolated and unprotected. I confided that in Yang, that when I first got married, she (her mother-in-law) was quite frightening. Yang just gave me every assurance that it was him that I married and not his mother and that he would always put me first.”

A turning point in Mrs Lee’s relationship with her mother-in-law apparently came after Wong’s death due to a heart attack in October 1982. She said: “Thereafter, she was much more reserved and reticent and more careful.”

Mrs Lee also revealed that she was irked by some of her mother-in-law’s advice after she had children: “I was often ticked off by her (but) not in a terrible way. And when I had my first two sons, this was her typical refrain.”

“You know Fern, you must raise your children like the queen. Leave others to raise your children, and inspect them every day at tea time’.”

The young mother even hid the fact that she nursed her babies due to her mother-in-law’s disapproval of breastfeeding.

Suet Fern said: “She would say, ‘Yang’s fully bottle-fed and he turned out all right, leave them to maids and a bottle’.” /TISG

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