This week, the passing of Mrs Lee Kuan Yew dominates local media. My mum sent me a text message from Singapore to Melbourne to update me on this piece of news. Although her illness has been much reported and her soon demise is expected, I couldn’t help feeling sad nonetheless.Sad because I cannot imagine how MM Lee is feeling right now and what he is experiencing. I am not able to relate to having a companion for 70 years, for my age is less than half that figure. I cannot imagine what it is like to have lost the other pea in a pod, a pod that they have built together through the storms and trials that we each will go through in our own journeys. Currently, MM Lee is battling with chest infection. I know, from head knowledge, that one’s emotions can affect one’s physical and I can only pray he will be able to find some strength to go through these hard times, dealing with the pain in his flesh and the ache in his heart.
I don’t write about politics – can never understand a thing about it. Don’t like to get involved in it because everybody can have a lot to say about it but unless they get their hands dirty into politics, they would not understand the full spectrum of the roles and responsibilities required of them.
I’ve had my fair share a list of why I do not like Singapore and Singaporeans. But over the years, I’ve learned that we’re really good at complaining (which benefits no one) and it ultimately stems from pride. We think we’re better off without this country, this government system and we think we have a good idea of what better looks like. Fact is, we don’t. Look around the world and we can see that history has given us an idea of the various types of political systems but which one was perfect? They had their own set of both good points and flaws. For a nation like Singapore, I think we did a pretty good job. I think we did a pretty good job because, like it or not, we have a pretty decent government. They don’t have all the ideas, and they may not know what is best all the time but they try their best, given that they too are Singaporeans, trying to make the best out of it for everybody. Does anybody remember that?
This blog post stems out of two things that’s been on my heart. Firstly, I’ve been subscribing to The Temasek Review and The Online Citizen, two online medias that pride themselves on bringing unbiased news to the public. With the recent boost in articles about MM Lee, so have the number of comments generated by discontented Singaporeans. What I find disturbing is the comments people have been making as well as the number and quality of articles putting down MM Lee. Gosh, some are already awaiting MM Lee’s passing when the poor guy has much to deal with right now. Would you, you naysayers, have been able to make the same sacrifices he did building the nation, if you were in that same position?
Secondly, I think we have forgotten the wisdom of our elders and placed too much emphasis on youth. Yes, the young have a life ahead of them, prospects to uncover, talents to be honed but those cannot be done without the wisdom of the older generation. We may think the older generation is stubborn in their ways, narrow-minded even, at times, but there is great wisdom to be tapped upon and perhaps we ought to approach the older generation with humility instead, with a keen attitude to learn. Given the history that MM Lee went through, something that this generation will not experience, don’t we have much to learn? This is an issue I hope to blog about again later.
I pray MM Lee will be well and that the Lord’s comfort will be upon him. This tribute video for Mrs Lee below (part 2 can be viewed on Youtube as well) shows us a bit more about the relational side of him and I think it shows us that, he too like any of us, is human.