Mr Lee Kuan Yew, I think, has inspired millions of us in ways that maybe some of us still don’t really understand yet. He was a man of the people, and he has such an admirable quality of tenacity, something that is not easy to find these days.
It’s been said many times – He turned our little island into a Third World to a First World country in a matter of under 50 years. That isn’t easy – not at all. I dare anyone to try.
There is so much to learn from him… so much I have learnt from him. Over the past couple of weeks, I have been flooded with posts about the great man – his contributions, some quotations… his life story. His passion to serve the country – to keep it going, keep it safe is so intense, and so inspiring.
The older generation would know how he changed our lives better than I – they would’ve felt the difference. But for me? I am grateful for what he did before my time. Because of him, I feel safe when I walk home late at night. Because of him I don’t need to be scared about shootings. Because of him I have a house to live in, I have a school to go to, a place to be inspired by others and an education that makes me a better person each day. Because of him I am here today.
He was a man of vision – a pragmatic figure who brought a small kampong into a cosmopolitan city. He was far-sighted. He was ready to get into the gutter, roll up his sleeves, and do work to improve the country with the people. Lee Kuan Yew was involved in every aspect of Singapore, and his views were reasonable and were in the best interests of the country – that is clear for all to see. He knew he could not please everyone, and frankly, I don’t think he cared to please everyone. He did what he thought was best for the country as a whole each time – and turns out, he was right. He cleaned up the city streets, the government system, the everything.
Of course, he did not do all this single-handedly. But he had the vision – he led the team – he rallied the people.
And you know what, okay, without him there wouldn’t be a Singapore today. There would not. It would not be the same. It would not be Singapore.
And for all of you whining and lamenting about some bloody bubble gum ban, and saying that LKY was a dictator disguising himself as a democratic leader, I have one thing to say to you: If he was a dictator, you wouldn’t be able to say that.
First of all, can I just say that yes, the freedom of speech is limited in Singapore, but does that matter? What kind of horrible person are you to throw racial and religious slurs at others and slander others for no reason, on some baseless argument?
Seriously, if you want to criticise someone, can you get the facts, and can you do it in a diplomatic manner? Because you really don’t need to keep on throwing some random phrase of detriment to someone’s reputation, politician or not, when you have no reason other than “I think so” to back it up.
And yes, okay, I admit some laws are quite stupid, like the fact that a gathering of five or more people requires a police permit, but can I just ask: Has anyone ever arrested you for hanging out with your group of friends, no matter how big, when you weren’t doing anything wrong?
Singapore is not perfect, and it might never be.
But we can strive to make it so. And to do that, instead of complaining and whining and insulting others we should think about how to make it better. Nothing ever changes without work.
The Best Is Yet To Be, right?
In school the other day, we were posed the question: How are we to carry on Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy as citizens of Singapore?
I have my answer: Keep true to his principles.
It doesn’t mean “follow his regimes and glorify him” and be dogmatic about it. I don’t mean go all Social Studies Textbook on yourself and recite and memorise his views and all that fluff. I mean be faithful to Singapore. Do what is right and not what is popular. I mean Keep adapting – Keep making Singapore a better place. Do what is correct, and not what is simply politically correct. All these little things. That is how we carry on his legacy. That is how we keep his memory alive – through Singapore.
I don’t think I have really said all I really want to say, but I don’t know what else to write at the moment.
“Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”
I guess we’re doing alright.