21st April 2014 – Cornered in the elevator of Hotel Labourdonnais, there he was standing! The man I was longing to interview for over four years.
He was heading to a Press Meet to announce the Initial Public Offering of one of his flagship companies. Reading my eagerness and having 45 minutes to spare, he called me into the adjacent room and said ‘ I am not good at interviews. If you want, we could chat for the next 30 mins and may be that could help clearing your doubts’. Over the next half an hour I experienced the most intense exchange of my career. He concluded our discussion by saying ‘ I wish I could take all my countrymen on a journey across the world, so that we could start to think differently …‘ . That day, I carried home some quite blistering piece of knowledge which has sharpened my mind forever.
He was well seasoned, cultured and seemed to have flown out of the Enlightenment Age.
Not only was he a dreamer, but also a believer and above all a doer.
For sure he was living in the wrong world.
His brilliance would overshadow all the lights of the country, whose media relentlessly tried to darken.
He responds to hatred with an unflinching broad smile and would bevy envy with humility.
For years have been fazed by every piece of writing about the great Singapore experience and encountered so many stories in their never ending edited versions. I never had the chance of meeting Lee Kwan Yew, instead I met this guy, whose vision for our country would adorn the hallmark of greatness.
A leader driven by Purpose, fueled by Passion, Pride & Peace.
Let us bow to the magnificence of this outstanding patriot.
Thank you Carl
( by Rajen Valayden)