" Mr Lee Kuan Yew is no more."
And yet when a person leaves us corporealy, is he or she really no more? We live our lives on this earth and hope in some way to leave a legacy when we depart. For many, that legacy is in our children and grandchildren.
For this reason, I think many people of our generation who were born in relative comfort, myself included, felt a deep sense of grief at his passing. He was a man that I had never met, yet because of him, and those who fought alongside him, their actions and sacrifices, we are their legacy, the legacy of an independent and secure Singapore.
Much has been said about the man, both good and bad, fair and unfair. I will not add my piece to it but just ask that we read critically and recognise that while we may see a speck of sawdust in someone else' eye, we seldom recognise the plank in our own, myself included. Too often we are only too happy to accept without thinking someone who voices a position that you agree with, and dismiss those who disagree. I personally think that there is no such thing as objective writing, even by academics. A mere presentation of facts is not a mere presentation of facts because choice, informed by the position that one holds, was exercised in the choosing of and interpretation of said facts.
What I will say is that I am thankful.
I am thankful that I did not have to make the difficult choices but am able to enjoy the fruits of that labour.
I am thankful to live in a country I love, a country that is at peace, where women and men are treated as equals, where I can worry (and complain) about the mundanes of life, and forget that what may sometimes be deemed as an entitlement is actually a privilege.
I am thankful that apart from economic success, I can, among other things, practise my religion freely, receive a good education, drink water straight from the tap and get around relatively easily even though we do not own a car and have 3 young kids.
I am thankful that my children can run ahead of me and I don't have to worry unduly about their safety, that I can enjoy a park a few steps from my HDB block, that there are 4 to 5 different playgrounds (and the beach!) where my kids can play within a 5 min walk from home.
I am thankful that God had provided Singapore with a first generation of passionate, visionary, capable and dedicated leaders who loved Singapore and were willing to fight so damn hard for our survival/success.
No one owes us a living. They didn't then, they still don't now. Not individually, not as a nation.
I am glad that we had a chance, as a family, to pay our respects at Parliment House and at the procession. And I hope that we and our children, never take for granted the peace, prosperity and progress that was built on the backs of our pioneers, my parents included.
Marilah kita bersatu
Come, let us unite
Dengan semangat yang baru
In a new spirit
Semua kita berseru
Let our voices soar as one
Love this video. Gives us a glimpse of Mr Lee's brilliance that did not dull with age.