Saturday, September 11, 2010

MM Lee says stress of wife's illness harder on him than stresses faced in politics

By Hoe Yeen Nie

11 September 2010 2028 hrs

SINGAPORE : Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said the stress of his wife's illness is harder on him than the stresses he faced for years in politics.

He spoke of his wife in an interview which is carried in the online version of the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune.

Mr Lee said he keeps his wife, who has had a series of strokes, company every night.

He tells her about his day's work and reads her favourite poems, adding that she keeps awake for him.

Mr Lee said that while he tries to keep busy, from time to time in idle moments, his mind goes back to when they were up and about together. And to calm himself, he meditates for 20 minutes at night.

He said in the interview: "The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts. A certain tranquillity settles over you. The day's pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there is less problem sleeping."

During the interview, Mr Lee notes that some young citizens believe that modern Singapore is "a natural state of affairs", that can be put on "auto-pilot". But he said that is not the case.

He said: "They have come to believe that this is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it. They think you can put it on auto-pilot. I know that is never so."

Mr Lee said the young people's demand for open political combat may eventually open the door to race-based politics. And this will rip Singapore apart. - CNA/ms

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