Singapore's PM Lee shares personal memories of LKY as 'Papa'

Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong pauses as he delivers an address at the funeral of his father and Singapore's former leader Lee Kuan Yew at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore March 29, 2015. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Keeping up with his Mandarin lessons was a priority for the late Lee Kuan Yew -- "his last appointment on Feb 4, before he was taken ill early the next morning, was with his Mandarin tutor", Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Lee's eldest son, revealed in his eulogy at the State Funeral service on Sunday.

"He inspired us all to keep giving of our best," he said.

Although speaking as the nation's prime minister and spending most of his speech paying tribute to his father as Singapore's independence leader, PM Lee did include several touching personal memories.

After recalling an incident where his father encouraged him to resume meditation, which he had tried to practise before, PM Lee said, "I was nearing 60 by then, and he was nearly 90. But to him I was still his son to be worried over, and to me he was still a father to love and appreciate, just like when I was small."

Later, at the private cremation service for his father, PM Lee shared in his eulogy, "When I was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, Papa once rang up all the way from the Philippines. He was on some official trip. He called back and  I thought it was something important.  But actually he called to say he had arranged to send me some durians. He wanted to make sure I was properly nourished during my chemotherapy."

PM Lee ended his speech, which has been made available on the website of the Prime Minister's Office, saying, "Farewell, and rest in peace, Papa."

Read PM Lee's State Funeral eulogy in full here.