8 Ways Lee Hsien Yang Won Respect Despite Being Hugely Private, According To Singaporeans’ Stories

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What Some Singaporeans Think Of Lee Hsien Yang

Over the last few weeks, Singaporeans have lived in a surreal world. We’ve been hearing a lot from one man whom, despite being born in the most high-profile family in Singapore, has hitherto kept a relatively low profile.

We’re talking about Mr Lee Hsien Yang, the youngest son of our revered founding father Lee Kuan Yew and brother of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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From Low-Profile To High-Profile

Before the eruption of the 38 Oxley Road saga, in which Mr Lee and his sister Lee Wei Ling sent a barrage of posts on Facebook accusing their brother of all sorts of lurid stuff, most Singaporeans didn’t know much about Mr Lee. Read our timeline of the 38 Oxley Road saga.

That’s probably because the current chairman of the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore is known to be a private person, and didn’t speak out much until now.

Singaporeans were quick to pick sides in the family feud, even though some of those who chose to back Mr Lee and his sister may not know Mr Lee and what he stands for.

Well, now he’s the name on every Singaporean’s lips, we’ve decided to compile some anecdotes on Mr Lee by some ordinary Singaporeans so we can get a better idea of this man who dares to challenge Singapore’s Prime Minister.

1. Admired Army General 

Mr Lee previously held the rank of Brigadier-General in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), just like his brother Lee Hsien Loong.

Though it won’t be surprising for soldiers to fear their superiors, his former subordinates had nothing but good things to say about him.

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A former runner of Mr Lee’s during his stint at HQ2SIB Changi fondly recalled his time spent under Mr Lee, who was then unit commander. He may have held the most power, but that didn’t influence him to abuse his authority to ensure that his stay during outfield exercises were any more comfortable than the rest.

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A soldier involved in the same exercise confirmed the incident.

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Even those who worked under him in different camps had nothing but praise for the way he handled situations.

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What’s more, his noble mentality remained steadfast despite a promotion to BG.

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2. Respected SingTel CEO

Even once he left the SAF and entered the workforce, colleagues and employees under him never had a single bad thing to say about Mr Lee.

For example, he was also respected when he was chief executive of SingTel from 1995 to 2007:

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He was also known for being extremely hardworking and dedicated in anything he did and could always be relied on for help.

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3. No Airs

He was also known to have no airs.

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4. Not Extravagant

Some netizens marvelled at how he was thrifty enough to fly in Economy Class despite obviously being able to afford more:

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5. Not Afraid To Get His Hands Dirty

There was even a time when Mr Lee had offered to take over scrubbing the floors of the kitchen after a meal even though he was not assigned to do so.

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6. Humble

Despite his high social status as the son and brother of prime ministers, Mr Lee never once took advantage of such privileges. He refused to be treated specially and always insisted that he was just like anyone else.

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He remained as humble as ever no matter the situation.


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7. Appreciates Staff

Numerous members of the public have stepped up to confirm Mr Lee’s level of respect for people no matter their job.

A driver recounted how Mr Lee would ensure he had his lunch despite all the international delegates present at an event.

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What was supposed to be a regular working day at Raffles Hotel for a young Ms Norazli turned into an unforgettable experience when Mr Lee took the time to speak to every one of the banquet staff on shift that day and even tipped them for their services.

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A taxi driver also recounted a similar experience where Mr Lee expressed his gratitude by tipping in addition to the regular fare.

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Even though he wasn’t actually patronising a business, Mr Lee still made sure to acknowledge the hardworking staff at a pub in Killiney Road which must have definitely made their day.

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8. Caring Son

In what is perhaps the most telling of his character, family remains the most important aspect of Mr Lee’s life.

His love for his parents speaks volumes through his actions.

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Respect Of Singaporeans

No matter the outcome of the ongoing dispute, Mr Lee Hsien Yang has definitely earned the respect of Singaporeans through his personality and character.

That’s why it’s sad that he’s having a dispute with PM Lee, who has won the hearts of Singaporeans as well. Read our story on ways that PM Lee has won the hearts of Singaporeans.

We hope that the Lee siblings can kiss and make up as soon as possible.

Featured image from Flickr and Facebook

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