In all honesty, I have been feeling an increasing amount of uncertainty ever since the passing of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The internet is rife with articles, social media posts, and now even videos showcasing both ends of the spectrum; do you respect him? do you not?
I’ve always been the kind to agree to disagree. You can’t force feed someone else your opinions. And I am sure they have their own valid reasons why they chose to believe certain way. However, I think there are certain instances where people just believe a certain way for the sake of believing it. To put it across in the simplest way of analogy: I queue for llaollao because everyone’s queuing for llaollao OR I hate llaollao, it’s overrated and (I think I’m cool) I don’t follow trends.
As I mentioned on my Twitter a day ago, I am neither pro-PAP, nor am I pro-Opposition. Simply because that wasn’t the point in the first place. I am pro-Singapore, which means I (want to be able to be) am discerning with my choices on who is capable to run the country.
And should that not be the mentality of every Singaporean? Does it really matter if the person who runs the country is from PAP, or is he/she is from the opposition as long as he/she is doing something constructive (backed with meticulous research and thinking from all angles) towards a better Singapore?
I was a core History student in my Secondary School years. In our third year, we had to study the entire history of Singapore. I felt that to know your country, you need to know its history. &perhaps that is the point that our generation, my generation, is missing out on.
Lee Kuan Yew. His passing has affected millions in our country, including me. Before you jump to your own conclusion that these people are brainwashed by the government, have you ever wondered why so? Why would our fellow Singaporeans (young to old) be moved to tears knowing that he is no longer around? What exactly has he done throughout his entire lifetime to warrant such an outpour of emotions nationwide (and worldwide, mind you)?
To be absolutely frank with you, on the morning that he passed, I was jolted awake by the news. My father came into my room at approximately 7am, shook me gently and said “Lee Kuan Yew passed away already.” My eyes sprang wide open, and I turned on my side and reached out for my phone. Google. Instagram. Facebook. Twitter. Channel News Asia. News of his passing splashed across every single platform. Reading little anecdotes, tributes and watching the news got me tearing up. And then the 8am broadcast on CNA where our current PM Lee Hsien Loong made the announcement (particularly the mandarin version), and I totally broke down. And that was me, tearing up every now and then, all the way till the afternoon.
Call me sensitive, but I respect Lee Kuan Yew a hell lot. From the very little that I read and heard about, 50 years ago, he stepped up and led a team of equally amazing people to build up what we know as Modern Singapore.
I have just started on his book, Hard Truths to keep Singapore going, and I must say that it has been very insightful so far.
“…the main reason he had agreed to this unprecedented series of interviews was to help strengthen in Singaporeans the survival instinct that he feared would be threatened by the very success of his work.”
In it, he explains through a series of interviews why Singapore is what it is now; why certain policies are in place; and why we shouldn’t compare our country to any other country, no matter how similar our situations are; and of course, what kind of democracy are we under. I will not attempt to regurgitate information from within, because I feel every Singaporean should have a vested interest in the future of our country. It’s easy to read the opinions of others, but the flaw in that is that their opinions will then shape yours, and what if their opinion isn’t based on facts? When you make your financial/property investments, do you just listen to what others tell you, or do you at least find out what you are investing in on your own?
I am here, not to sway your opinion whichever way. I am here to implore my fellow Singaporeans, do not take everything you read online for what it is. This is Singapore. This is our country. And we are an extremely small country. One wrong move, one mistake, could unravel all that our forefathers have managed to achieve for the past 50 years. When you question certain policies, please bear in mind the implications in a wider angle. Please do not just look at everything at a macro level.
Ask not what your country can do for you, what can you contribute to your country?
Stop spreading hate, and start thinking on your own, for your own.