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The Giant who transformed Singapore Lee Kuan Yew (换天的巨人李光耀). Quick reflections March 28, 2015

Posted by @Karen_Fu in Leadership, life challenges, Singapore.
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The hardest part to build a nation is from scrap. The thing I admire about him and his first generation of ministers was they start from scrap. Actually the smaller the country the harder it is to build a nation ’cause defence is a problem, credibility is another. The problem we are facing now is a different set of problems. The type that we could collapse in a other way if our leaders do not have the kind of qualities like them. That’s another set of issues. The thought if this makes my heart heavy ’cause I think there is no one like him to lead. We have a good set of social problems that stem out from when we had very little of them then. I don’t know if we have the tenacity ’cause the motivation now is very different from last era.

We don’t have anyone like Lee Kuan Yew, and I see that a real problem. The foundations he had set prosper us. But if we were not as wise, as smart with the perspectives and the character he had; I doubt the prosperity will sustain. You need leadership, loyalty, some punches, and a pretty good number of stellar qualities to handle people, tasks, politics with a steely personality that is also easy-going —— Easy on the commoners and the needy, though on the people who would ruin the system to common prosperity. That’s what he was to get where we are today. He had his misgivings but the contributions to the nation far outweigh the misgivings. No ones perfect. And commoners only care about a peaceful and prosperous life that is healthy and sustainable. Commoners do not bother about power and politics. I believe most don’t care about politics.

In any case, I’ve already thrown my SG50 calendar of events into the bin when founding Prime Minister was critically ill. I knew he couldn’t pull through because the love of his life went before him five years ago. There was nothing important to hold on.

I don’t think anyone has the mind to think about the celebrations. I embrace trouble ahead, but I hope my thinking is totally wrong. We do not have any one like Lee Kuan Yew and I doubt there is anyone like him in the near future. If we can have rising social problems like addicted gambling etc with interrupted public transport, we have the right to have real concerns how the post Lee Kuan Yew era would be.

Though I do not like his handling of matters on a staunch domineering force but his contributions in the earlier years were, if not, far more then exemplary. He gathered his team to set up what others do not have the world. Public housing was like no other. An education system that rivals with the best in the world but I would never agree that we are not the intellectual class because we came from the southern parts of China where peasantry was dominant. Afterall, aren’t many successful people themselves come from the so called peasantry class?

I don’t believe in social classes. I may have some belief in genetics but at times even genetics could wrong where smart parents could have retards. Both nature and nurture can only have probabilities. There are not absolutes, only estimates and predictions.

The mind of Lee Kuan yew is unmatched by many and that includes his own children. We must be fair on his achievements and not criticize because we do not agree. I admire his brains, his witty astute sense of words and his strategic use of people like the late Goh Keng Swee, Hon Sui Sen and the likes. Which country in the world, this small, could go this far? And which country in the world this tiny could come up from the dead? This country.


’cause we had the brains and the guts with the right people. But question is: do we still have them now?

Do we have a future? – when gambling problems are along with rising marital problems. And not to forget petty street crimes and shoplifting to bigger crimes like murder.

Do we have fine minds that do not hold regard to money before the people, the people before self ?

Do we have people who will stand before justice ? Where people do not have to worry about retirement, making ends meet and money to lean and to grow ?

Do we have people to bring the old people who need to pick carton boxes for a living to a comfort level?

I am worried that we might be regressing. We used to have first class transport but now it’s hiccups every now and then. Why?

And how come students are so selfish these days and love to differentiate amongst themselves in terms of academic streams and schools? Why?

I buy thee not the pukes that we seem to see in recent years. We dearly need people who are multiculturally inclined, extremely impartial, and very innovative for the world today is no longer relying on strict fundamentals in a linear fashion. Current affairs in social economics has changed to become a problem that seeks sustainable measures in the goods and services we choose and the policies we embark on to stay alive. It is only with lateral thinking that we can grow and depend on our own to be our own CEOs. If our education is so rightly cool, then the best leaders, in at least most of the industries, should be us. There is no need to hire foreign talent at all.

I long for a Nobel prize from this country, a might that is like Great Britain which is physically small but undeniably huge in influence. Like our demised founding PM Lee Kuan Yew, who came in small, and walk out big where leaders from other countries would even come here to pay respects before him. Don’t say Singapore is easy to manage cos the smaller you are, the less credibility and might to get others to even look at you. You must feel super confident and motivated with a special character that exudes original substance to win hearts. He had it, will we have it too?

Founding PM Lee once said if anything goes wrong, he would get up even if he was in the grave. That is the eagle eye that people are weary and to some hate him for it. I’d say, if there is an impending problem going to sprout, let him come up and save us.

After thinking apart from memorials, I seriously think we should wear mourning (戴孝) for founding PM Lee Kuan Yew. But I think this is a little too late to suggest it.

No longer are the days where a resounding ‘merdeka’ would do. We need someone more original and more impressive cos the new era has set in. – @Karen Fu.


(Image credit: China.org.cn on Twitter)


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