Site Overlay

Lee Hoon Leong – grandfather of Lee Kuan Yew

Situated at a nondescript corner of Bukit Brown Cemetery sits the grave of one Lee Hoon Leong. If one had not known better, one would just give it a cursory glance, just as one would perhaps the more than 100,000 other graves at the graveyard just off Lornie Road. But Lee Hoon Leong is no ordinary man, given the distinguished lineage of which he is part of, and his role especially in the early life of his grandson, Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister and Minister Mentor of Singapore. In his memoirs, Lee Kuan Yew refers to his immigrant background as a fourth-generation Chinese Singaporean: his Hakka great-grandfather, Lee Bok Boon (born 1846), emigrated from the Dapu county of Guangdong province to the Straits Settlements in 1862. “My grandfather, Lee Hoon Leong – whom I addressed as Kung or ‘grandfather’ in Chinese – was born in Singapore in 1871, and according to my father was educated at Raffles Institution up to standard V, which would be today’s lower secondary school,” Lee Kuan Yew said in his memoirs. “He himself told me he worked as a dispenser (an unqualified pharmacist) when he left school, but after a few years became…

Police questions Martyn See over forum invites

Mr Martyn See, Executive Secretary of Singaporeans For Democracy (SFD), was called up and questioned by the Singapore Police on Wednesday, 12 October, SFD says in a press release signed by its Executive Director, Dr James Gomez. The group says Mr See “spent an hour and a half at the Cantonment Police Complex from 10am to 11.30am answering questions pertaining to an investigation under the Public Order Act 2009 for a private forum he organized on behalf of SFD on 24 September 2011.” The forum, titled “Lee Kuan Yew: liberal democracy will do us in. Will it?”, featured Members of Parliament, Mr Tian Chua from Malaysia and Ms Mu Sochua from Cambodia, ex-ISA detainee Mr Vincent Cheng and blogger Mr Alex Au. Among the topics raised was Singapore’s retention of the Internal Security Act (ISA). Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak had announced that his government would abolish the Act in his country. At the forum, Mr Tian Chua said he feels the Singapore government is under “tremendous pressure” to follow in Malaysia’s footsteps and do away with the Act as well. The SFD says Mr See received a formal notice from the police on 5 October requesting him to present…