Reflections on MM Lee’s wife

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Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, pictured with wife, Kwa Geok Choo.


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.

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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.



Learning Again

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and we all learn...at some point...

I find myself slow to learn practical life lessons sometimes and for thepast week or so, upon reflection, have relearnt the following:

1. There is a need in me that only God, and nobody else, can fill.
2. Making decisions can be tough but sometimes, but what’s more important in life is to continuously press on in the direction of that decision.
3. The right decision is to make a decision and not dally between two and/or many – that itself is the wrong decision.
4. His grace is more than enough and He will never give up on us, even if sometimes we give up on ourselves.
5. Attempting to predict the outcome of a mixture of consequences can also be a new age form of fortune-telling in the likes of horoscope. It idolises self and is manipulative. Let God be in charge instead.
6. Stop trying to see things/people from lens of judgment, i.e. if I think a person will behave in a certain pattern, he will because whatever he does, I will come to that conclusion. Judgment is not up to us.
7. There are lessons from the past we can learn from, but we gotta let them go after that.

A Dance

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I’m in a bit of a tired, sappy mood today. Didn’t feel like going to church and felt some lone time would do me some good. After some time alone with God, I got in front of the telly and got mesmerised by a documentary on birds and mating and I came across Clark’s Grebes:

And I teared. Because they’re so beautiful. That when two come together in tandem, it really is like a beautiful dance, and these waterbirds couldn’t have demonstrated that better.

Guess it didn’t helped the sappy mood but I just wanted to share this anyways.

Longing for Authenticity

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I’m not sure what it is that is seething within my soul but I’ve been feeling this strong sense of the need for authenticity, be it around me, in the people I meet, or within me.

Being away from home and being surrounded by unfamiliar faces, unfamiliar accents and trying hard to integrate into a new culture is perhaps having that effect on me – feeling a greater longing for what is real, what is true and what is lasting. I see faces different from my own, people from all around the world collected within a common sphere that challenges my way of thoughts, my attitude and sometimes my narrowmindedness. Sometimes it’s exhilarating, sometimes it is tiring. I play like a boy, but feel like a girl and more often than not, I feel the struggle of being alone with God in dealing with all these mixed emotions. Often, people tell me that being away from home makes them draw near to God even more. I’m guessing that, stripped of all the distractions and regular noises in one’s life, forces a person to realign and relook at his/her life. I know I am not alone, but often when I struggle with what I feel, that certainly isn’t the case.

Longing for authenticity in a new city.

Often I look around me and I see people with a veneer over them – people trying to hide behind a facade. Today, a friend showed me a different side of the Melbourners when I hung out with him. Where he chose to be friendly first, people responded in delight. A city where everybody, like me, longs for authenticity, a friendly smile and a caring touch.

Perhaps therefore the one who hasn’t been authentic is me and perhaps the one with the veneer is me. What am I really afraid of or trying to be?

Maybe that’s why I had to pick out a bunch of wild flowers today from the Market. Wild flowers, oh unrestrained au naturale-ness.

How I long for more of Thee.


They are flowers, not twigs. The picture decided to turn out unpretty.

Another new chapter

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Leaving *SCAPE behind.

A personal moment of emoness as I left my staff tag behind, after a madly busy weekend executing *SCAPE’s launch festival. Another new chapter, new season. And I still have trouble locking up the office door. This is *SCAPE indeed.

Uni Melb, here I come. May it be a season of new learnings, refreshment and leaning ever more on You.