We, the youth, have been accused of apathy, of being weak-willed. I come from a generation where everything comes covered in a dull coat of moral ambiguity – shades of grey. There were no communist boogeymen to rally against, no unrelenting economic machine to be a cog of.

With the passing of elder statesman Mr Lee Kuan Yew there was no doubt that all sorts were going to come out of the woodwork. The self-righteous, barely-coherent haters, the babbling sycophants.

But we found no need for excessive mourning or otherwise – this was a man who has had his fair share of years on this world, this was a man that was not “gone too soon”.

This was a man that did what he saw was right and in doing so, grasped greatness in the palm of his hand. There was no great love, but tremendous respect – how do you love someone whom you’ve only read about in books?

Queues still exist past midnight outside Parliament House for Lee Kuan Yew's public wake.

Queues still exist past midnight outside Parliament House for Lee Kuan Yew’s public wake.

We’ve been accused of being apolitical. But we see no need for excessive political leanings in a world where there is no need for revolution. This is a world that has not treated us unfairly – perhaps we are pampered, but we know very well this is only possible because of Mr Lee’s work.

We may be apathetic, selfish. But this apathy gives us clarity – understanding of a system unmarked by any strong political leaning. We see schools getting a half-day off to mourn his passing – and comment that this is not what Mr Lee would have wanted: unnecessary slowing of progress. This was a man that had no patience for BS, one who valued efficiency and results.

Mr Lee once mentioned that youths in Singapore do not know what it’s like to be poor.

I guess we have him to thank for that.

Photos: Isabelle Chan for Popspoken