‘Thank You Mr Lee’ book launch

We were born in the late 1980s, a few years before Mr Lee Kuan Yew stepped down as prime minister of Singapore. While we enjoyed the fruits of his policies, we rarely saw the man in action. 

For our generation, Mr Lee lived in our textbooks, in taxi conversations with drivers grumbling about the ‘gahmen’, and in National Day telecasts. When we entered university, we read papers criticising his hardfisted stance on opposition parties, censorship and other issues. As a teenager transiting to young adulthood, it was easier to be sceptical than grateful. 

After Mr Lee’s passing, we saw a gamut of media celebrating his life, from documentaries broadcasted on television to special editions of newspapers dedicated to him. Social media was flooded with old clips of Mr Lee’s interviews, articles such as ‘91 Quotes of Lee Kuan Yew That Show Why You Either Love Or Hate Him’ and many other articles. Facebook became a platform for heartfelt tributes. 

What we saw in the days after his passing was truly remarkable and many of the pictures in this book will attest to that. But even more important than the individual actions, was that we, as a nation, felt a collective sense of loss. 

We made this book in the hope that it will bear witness to those feelings, for us and for the readers. And while we should continue to be critical in our thinking, at this time we are no longer shy in showing our gratitude. 

Project Directors, 

Bernice Wong & Juliana Tan


There were a lot of decisions we had to make (very carefully!) along the way - from choice of paper, to layout and colour of book, to the location of the book launch etc. 

But we couldn’t have done this in the tight timeline without such an amaaazing team including Minister Mentors Tay Kay Chin & Darren Soh, kickass designer Tan Xinning, uncle Doraemon Sebastian Song, Yu-Mei Balasingamchow for meticulously looking through all the text, and my partner in crime Juliana Tan. I’m truly blessed to have been part of this project; it’s been a great learning journey for me. 

Anyway, we’ve already sold 500 copies of ‘Thank You, Mr Lee’ last night, so if you haven’t gotten yours and would like to, you can grab them from Basheer Graphic Books, Kino and soon, Times bookstore as well. 

Have a good Friday, y’all!

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