Read more about late Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s lifelong desire to master the Chinese language, and how he was a ‘gentle lion’ to his Chinese tutor.
Koh Hock Kiat, 54, is the former director of the Confucius Institute at the Nanyang Technological University
I still remember clearly the first Chinese lesson I conducted for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
It was a rainy day in 2006. Even though I was well-prepared, I was slightly nervous as I stepped into the Istana to make my way to his office, where the lesson was to be held.
Mr Lee, after all, was Singapore’s founding father. Many viewed him as a stern man, not to be crossed, a “shi zi” (lion), as some would say in Chinese.