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Thursday, 7 October 2010

The Mrs. Lee Kuan Yew I knew

I had the honour and privilege to serve Mr & Mrs Lee Kuan Yew on a few occasions during my years as a cabin crew with Singapore Airlines. I am not to going to talk much about Mr. Lee at this point but rather focus on Mrs. Lee who had just passed away. She was a very approachable,unassuming and nice lady.
I still remember on one of my flights when I was the crew-in-charge, Mr. Lee the then Prime Minister of Singapore asked me for Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nayang Siang Pau and the Straits Times.
Due to a service lapse, we were not supplied the 2 Chinese newspapers. How was I going to explain to Mr. Lee? Will he take no for an answer? I was scared stiff.
Looking at Mrs. Lee who was kind and approachable, I approached her instead when Mr. Lee was not around. I explained to Mrs. Lee about the service lapse and she assured me everything will be alright. "Don't worry young man I will speak with Mr. Lee and everything will be alright"...she told me. Just as we finished talking, Mr. Lee returned to his seat which was at row 1 of the first class but an aisle away from Mrs. Lee.
"Harry there are no Chinese newspapers for you except the Straits Times and please do not bother the crew" she told her husband.  Mr. Lee smiled at us and replied " Straits Times is fine".
Mrs. Lee saved the day for us.
May her soul Rest In Peace.

11 comments:

Edmond said...

I too had the honour to serve Mr and Mrs Lee and I share the same sentiments as you. Indeed, Mrs Lee was truly a great lady. On one flight I was serving them, Mr Lee asked my stewardess a question she found difficult to answer, Mrs Lee intervened with "Harry, don't bother the crew" and the crew were saved from further questions from Mr Lee.
Edmond

Singapore Capt said...

I had the honour of flying Mrs Lee also. Got once I ask Mr Lee to sign autograph on his book, and guess what Mrs Lee said? Harry, hurry up and sign the book, the pilot needs to go back to fly the plane.

Cabin Crew said...

Mrs Lee was always a considerate lady,yes we will miss her dearly.

Cabin Crew said...

I too had the honor to serve both Mr and Mrs Lee when he,Mr Lee was than PM.They were heading fpr China via Hk.As the load was full,had 3hrs 10mins to serve full lunch Sin/Hkg.When took order from Mr Lee who was very busy with his work,he wanted to have it later.It was than Mrs Lee who remindered him that the crew won't have time to complete the service.So MR lee had his lunch with the rest of the pax.Mrs Lee was A wonderful person always thinking of others.She was a peoples person.We will miss her.

Anonymous said...

That is so cool. I'm not Singaporean but Malaysian by proxy. lol. I am Sarawakian, and i just can only dream of a great leader with a cool wife to lead us to victory. Instead we get greedy half a pinch of men who steal from their people. feel raelly touch at such humility.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Mrs Lee Kuan Yew was a one in a million. So unassuming, considerate, down to earth, kind, gracious, and friendly. Despite her position as PM's/MM's wife, did not want special treatment when out on her own. She queued up like everyone else in the post office. I had the privilege of serving her on a flight also. The toilet would be so clean each time after she used it. She would also ask if we had eaten. She treated us better than some of our SQ management staff on our flights.

Anonymous said...

SQ where got good management people??

kawasaki said...

Yes, my exprience with Mrs. Lee was great, How I wish behind every prime minister a great Lady like Mrs. Lee K. Y.
Rest in peace Mrs. Lee you've done very well.

Anonymous said...

Mrs Lee Kuan Yew was a fantastic, kind lady whom I had the honour to serve and Mr Lee, several times
Once we had flown from Bahrain/LON when our aircraft landed in a sand dune due to aborted takeoff.I rushed up to upper deck(slumberette) to check on them,immediately
Very composed and cool, she asked for 2 glasses of warm water.
Another time during meal service, when I spoke to Mr Lee(guess he was deep in thought)there was no
response from him.Mrs Lee gently whispered to him "Harry, the young man is talking to you"
May God Bless gracious and kind Mrs Lee.
Hopefully all the ministers and bigwig wives are capable to emulate Mrs Lee.

Anonymous said...

If there were more people like her, this world would be an even better place to live. The mere fact that so many people paid their last repsects to her at her wake and lined the streets where her cortege passed, tells us what a truly magnificent person she was.

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