Singapore — The Christmas message in 1965 from Singapore’s first Prime Minister is back 54 years later, this time on the Internet.
Lee Kuan Yew said: “Christmas is a festive season for all of us in Singapore. Not so long ago, singing Christmas carols in Singapore was quite a hazard. This Christmas it is different. We are all on our own, free to do what we will. We must resolve that we shall always be tolerant of each other. A time of good cheer for all is a time to remember that peace and goodwill in a multi-racial society do not always result from doing what comes naturally.”
“It is necessary to concede and protect the other man’s right to own his festivities and his own prayers if we are all to live happily together”, he added.
“My greetings for a Merry Christmas to one and all, for in Singapore, Christians are not the only people to celebrate Christmas.”
In elections on May 30, 1959, the People’s Action Party won 43 of the 51 seats in the Legislative Assembly. Singapore gained self-government with autonomy in all state matters except defence and foreign affairs. Lee became the first Prime Minister of Singapore on June 5, 1959.
The impact he had on Singapore and its people is seen in the comments by netizens, with many praising him and saying that he will not be forgotten.