Mr Lee was one passenger whom we revered (a feeling or attitude of deep respect tinged with awe). Most people jolly well knows that Mr Lee was a no nonsense prime minister. Whenever he flew with SQ,the crew as well as the ground staff from our chairman to the guy who prepared his food would be on their toes.
One complaint from him you would get into serious trouble (but he never complained against cabin crew).
As for me, I liked having Mr. Lee as my pax, as long as Mrs Lee, his late wife was also on the flight too. You see,she was our protector and refuge from her husband (will blog about her later). If there was any lapse in the service, we will approach Mrs Lee and she would forgive us (Mr Lee would automatically follow suit). Also,whenever Mr Lee was on the flight, things would go on smoothly eg. the toilets would be scrubbed clean, the service wares would be new and if not so new would be at least very clean, there would be stringent security checks (during those days there was not much security threats like after September 11) etc.
The following stories were related to me by the crew.
Flying the plane into Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport with Mr Lee seated behind him in the "jump seat", Captain M was trying to impress Mr Lee by the naming each islands below them. But Mr Lee wasn't interested at all. Before Capt M could finished, Mr Lee shot back at him "I rather you keep your eyes on the control than talking to me". My guess was Mr Lee was rightfully concerned with the safety of everyone on the flight including himself.
Another pilot told me while taxiing on the runway for the take-off,he noticed Mr Lee who was seated behind him, fumbling with the shoulder harness (seat belts). Thinking that Mr Lee did not know how to fasten his harness, the pilot verbally taught Mr Lee how to do it. Before the pilot could even finished his teaching session, Mr told him.." if I don't know how to fasten my harness, how can I run Singapore".
The late Cyril Teo , a check steward then was eating his dinner in the first class galley when Mr Lee suddenly opened the curtain. " Oops sorry sir.....do you like to join me?" asked Cyril. "What are you having young man ?" Mr Lee asked Cyril. " Chicken with rice, Mr Lee" replied Cyril sheepishly. "Fine, I will also have exactly the same dish please" he instructed Cyril. (Mr Lee earlier on declined to have his dinner when it was served to him and the other first class paxs).
You see, Mr Lee, like one of his brothers told me on a flight to London that Mr Lee was careful with what he was eating. It wasn't about calories or nutrient but he was a little careful in case the communists poison him.