Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew considered euthanasia in his final years, daughter reveals

Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew considered euthanasia in his final years, daughter reveals

Ben Westcott
Lee Kuan Yew was prime minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990. Photo: EPA

Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew discussed the possibility of euthanasia with his doctors and family in his final years as he struggled with illness and mourned the death of his wife, his daughter revealed today.

In an opinion piece published by The Straits Times today on the 50th anniversary of the city state’s independence, Dr Lee Wei Ling said her father, who was prime minister from 1959 to 1990, found his last few years “sad and difficult”.

“He raised the topic of euthanasia with his doctors, and they told him that was illegal in Singapore,” she wrote in the newspaper.

“I also told him it was illegal for me to help him to do so elsewhere.”

Lee Kuan Yew, whose strict, authoritarian leadership helped turn Singapore into one of the world’s richest nations, died on March 23.

In the last 5 years of his life, he suffered from a range of health complaints including a chest infection, cardiac dysrhythmia and severe pneumonia.

Lee had previously alluded to his desire to die on his own terms in his book One Man’s View of the World, published in 2013, where he wrote he wanted his death to be quick and pain-free.

“There is an end to everything and I want mine to come as quickly and painlessly as possible, not with me incapacitated, half in coma in bed and with a tube going into my nostrils and down to my stomach,” he wrote.

Flinders University’s associate professor Michael Barr, who has studied and published on Singapore, said Lee had been left lost and distraught following the death of his wife, Kwa Geok Choo, in 2010, to whom he had been married for 60 years.

“When she died my first thought was you can’t be 60 years with someone like that and just carry on,” Barr said.

“They were really close … she kept the family together and she really funded his early political career. They go right back to Cambridge [university] days when they were secretly married.”

Barr said towards the end of his life, Lee had trouble with walking. “He’d lost steadiness on his feet, so he started wearing trainers all the time,” he said.

“He changed the gait of his walk so he was walking wider steps to give him balance.”

PUBLISHED : Monday, 10 August, 2015, 1:01pm
UPDATED : Monday, 10 August, 2015, 1:12pm

#LeeKuanYewStruggles   #LeeKuanYewEuthanasia    #KwaGeokChoo   #OneMansViewoftheWorld
#TwinSouls   #TestOfFaith   

Robert’s View

You have no idea what is it like to lose your spouse of many years unless you have experienced it yourself. Seeing Brenda, my wife of 17 years die in front of me over 23 hours 23 minutes was the hardest test of faith I had to go through in my life.

I’m very grateful that Brenda is now my guardian angel, and I’m living our Twin Souls Mission to bring unconditional love, light, metamorphosis, magic, wisdom, truth, and inspiration to the world.

Read what’s its like to see a loved one die in front of you >

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Robert Chaen

Global CEO-Founder of ChangeU and Movsha Movers & Shakers, Hero-CEO Whisperer, Writer, The #1 Alpha Change Expert, Father of Asian FireWalking Robert Chaen is an International Keynote Speaker, writer, researcher, and corp games designer. He is famously known to be the “Hero-CEO Whisperer”, 1-on1 coaching with many CEOs and Celebrities for corporate strategies, staff & office political issues, personal branding, and even public figure OSHA safety drilling called Drager Defense. He has transformed CEOs and managers in Coca-Cola China, TVB Hong Kong, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airport Services, VADS, TM, Public Bank, Auditor General's Office Maldives, etc. He is the prolific creator and online Author of innovative management tools such as DragonCEO, Diamond Leader, Papillon Personal Effectiveness, OSHA Drager Defense, KPI Bank, etc. He is also the Founder of Movsha, an international networking with monthly mingles with MOVers & SHAkers, Angels, Entrepreneurs, CEOs, Celebrities, HR-PR-CSR, HODs, and the Most Influential IDEA people. ​Chaen is widely considered as one of the top International Platform Keynote Speakers for Resorts World Genting Senior Management Conference (Manila), 7-Eleven HK, Samsung, Coca-Cola China Mini-MBA @Tsing Hua University, Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Jockey Club, The Story Conference where he interviewed Datuk Kamarudin (Chairman of AirAsia) and Siti Nurhaliza. He has been widely featured in TVB, AWSJ, CNBC, SCMP, The Star, and Sin Chew. As “The Father of Asian FireWalking”, he coached TVB celebrities (Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin) to walk on 650°C fire; and raised HK$68M in the world’s 1st and only live TV Charity FireWalk (TVB Tung Wah Charity Show), before Tony Robbins even came to Asia. If Robert can get you to walk on 650⁰C fire, he can inspire you to be THE BEST. He champions CN-HK-EU-US Tycoons to be philanthropic, and to be angel investors to support the next generation of Jack Mas, Steve Jobs, Richard Bransons, Steven Spielbergs, or Barrack Obamas. With some slick motivational speakers with fake doctorates out there, graduates often describe Robert to be "the most credible, empowering, truthful Coach" who believe in his graduates to believe in themselves. ​However, clients have described Robert as "The #1 Cool Badass Alpha Change Expert". He has the coolest first class stature, rapport and trust from clients. He will not hesitate to tell the badass truth ever so gently because clients are paying him big bucks to reveal the truth, find solutions, persuade the hostile HODs, and align cross-teams within the organization. Originally based in Hong Kong for 20+ years, he had worked with top Branding/Ad agencies at J Walter Thompson and Leo Burnett, and was a certified FranklinCovey (7 Habits) in USA, and NLP MasterCoach (USA). His warmth is known to soften the most hardened, resistant sceptics. He will inspire your team to Go for Top 1, or to be a Dragon CEO. With boundless energies, Robert owns 15+ successful business Joint-Ventures, and created unique products under his global VC network called Chaen's Angels VC. He is deeply passionate about ChangeUTH Youth CSR, Science-Based Medicine (vs. quackery), short films and Reality TV. Touched by a personal tragedy through the loss of his HK-born Portuguese wife, co-coach and business partner, Brenda José of 18 years, Robert explores the many ways in which the spirit world is communicating with the living with real scientific studies and evidence. He gives inspiring conferences on The Secret Afterlife.

2 thoughts on “Singapore’s first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew considered euthanasia in his final years, daughter reveals”

  1. If you ever feel depressed and have overwhelming suicide thoughts, get help and talk immediately to Samaritans, Suicide Prevention Lifeline, Hospital, Doctor, your best friend, OK.

    You’ll feel a lot better when you share with someone who listens to you.


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