PM Lee Pays Tribute to Teacher Who Taught Him Malay When He Was a Child
"I am grateful for his support and friendship through the years," PM Lee said.
Malay language teacher Haji Muhammad Amin Shafawi, better known as Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s teacher for the language, died on Tuesday morning (Sept 1).
He was 84 years old.
PM Lee Pays Tribute to Teacher
Following the news of his death, PM Lee wrote a tribute to the man he affectionately called Cikgu Amin (teacher Amin).
“Very saddened to learn that my old Malay teacher Cikgu Haji Muhammad Amin Shafawi passed away early this morning,” he wrote.
PM Lee revealed that Amin had been his teacher since he was five years old.
“His passion for the language rubbed off on me and gave me and his many other students a good foundation in the language for life.”
He attached a photo of the two of them smiling, taken when he visited his teacher prior to the start of the circuit breaker.
Despite his illness, Amin had “made a great effort to vote” in the recent general election, PM Lee added.
“I am grateful for his support and friendship through the years.
“My condolences to Cikgu Jamilah Ghazali and the family.”
Amin was present for PM Lee’s first swearing in as Prime Minister back in 2004.
Former Minister Mentor and PM Lee’s father, Lee Kuan Yew, thought it would be useful for his children to learn Malay, as he did growing up as a Peranakan.
In an interview with Berita Harian in 2003, PM Lee revealed that he reads Malay language papers every day. But as he doesn’t get to speak the language often, he still has to practise and brush up on his skills before delivering a speech in Malay.
His proficiency in the language hasn’t gone unnoticed, especially during his national addresses this year, where he was observed seamlessly switching between English, Mandarin and Malay after taking sips from a blue cup.
This article was first published on AsiaOne and republished on theAsianparent with permission.
Lead image source from Facebook / Lee Hsien Loong
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