good post. thanks for sharing.Anyways, I don't think there is anything wrong in passing comment on the deceased, or that being dead renders you immune to criticism. I'm sure we can think of a number of names that will stink in history without me going into specific examples. It's just that it's rather bad form to do when it's a period of mourning. I'm pretty sure that Mr Lee Kuan Yew would not have minded, if you take a look at his quote below.
Here's my tribute:
It's been a solemn week or so since I woke up on the morning of the 23rd and saw the news. It was just a routine check of Facebook but there was nothing routine about the week since.
Martin Luther King Jr once said that "the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy". I would think that by that measure Mr Lee Kuan Yew would have performed remarkably well. The Singapore that we know today is a testament to the work that he and the founding generation have put in collectively.
But past it all, a man should not just be measured by the big things he has accomplished, but also the small things. By all accounts, this was an upright man who pursued nothing less than perfection - not just of others' work, but of his own as well. He was a dedicated husband, a caring father and grandfather, and managed to be all of that despite putting in so much into building the nation. These are aspects that we can all appreciate and learn from.
This week was a week of mourning and grief. But it was also a week of love and unity, as we Singaporeans (and many others as well) reflected and came to terms with the reality of the passing of a giant. While I was not able to pay my respects at Parliament House, it was invigorating to see all of us come together as one and watch out for each other, the way it should be.
I thought of finding a place in Singapore which could be linked to him. There were so many options, in all honesty - the sparkling skyline, the layers of public housing, the many parks that are scattered throughout the island - we could draw a link to nearly everything we see around us today. Then I recalled the story of Marina Barrage - how the challenge of cleaning up the Singapore River was a preamble to his vision of damming up its mouth. Earlier this week, it was recounted that he would drop in regularly on Sunday evenings during the period after the Barrage was opened.
I made a visit there this evening at sunset with my wife. The place was filled with people, young and old alike, some just sitting around chatting, some flying their kites, some taking a run. As we watched the sun set, I thought of a quote from "LKY: The Man & His Ideas", one of the first few books about him that I had revisited recently. He was responding to a question as to whether he would live life differently if he could do it all over again:
"Among those of my generation, very few are alive, very few have been as fortunate as I have been, very few have taken the risks I have taken and survived. Why do I want to live my life all over again?
A golf pro once demonstrated a trick shot. He took an egg, put it on a tee and he took a sand wedge. And he said, "I'll hit that tee, snap it, and the egg will drop on the grass unbroken." And he did it. He snapped a tall wooden tee and the egg dropped down unbroken. I wanted to see how actually it was done. I thought he turned the blade, so the blade snapped the tee, and did not touch the egg. So I said, "Do that again." He said, "No, I may not be as lucky the second time."
I think I will give you that answer. I may not be as lucky a second time in so many things... All I can say is, I did my best. This was the job I undertook, I did my best and I could not have done more in the circumstances. What people think of it, I have to leave to them. It is of no great consequence. What is of consequence is, I did my best."
Thank you for hitting the tee, Sir. And goodbye.