Sunday, March 29, 2015

Debunking the deification of Lee Kuan Yew's legacy

There has been a great deal of debate about whether Lee Kuan Yew single-handedly transformed Singapore from a fishing village into a first-world country and plenty of postulations that without him, Singapore will not be where it is today.

Without going into historical details (because history is like a bad case of Rashomon on an endless loop), there is actually a simple litmus test to debunk the deliberate deification of Lee Kuan Yew's legacy by unreliable narrators.

Unfortunately, the test probably works best for those with children (or at the very least, have some experience in mentoring responsibilities).

Here's how it goes: I want you to read the sentence below out loud.

Without me, my child will not be where he is today.

Ok, say that out loud again. This time with a straight face.

Without me, my child will not be where he is today.

Sense something wrong?

True, you've probably contributed much to the current state of your child (whatever that may be) through providing financial support, food and a roof above his head, and hopefully some parental love along the way.

But if people were to attribute the success (or lack thereof) of your child entirely to you, they are essentially undermining the growth potential that is inherent in every child and the hard work that the child has put in. To give credit to just one man is also to ignore the contributions of many people who may have a hand in guiding your child to where he is today.

Does that make sense to you now?

So let's give credit where credit is due, but there is no need to put Lee Kuan Yew on a pedestal.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Hard truths for weak souls

So did Lee Kuan Yew single-handedly shaped Singapore and transformed it from fishing village to sprawling metropolis?

Watch this video of Singapore in 1957 and judge for yourself if the fishing village miracle is revisionist history at its best.

Related stories:
Blind gratitude is not gratitude
The Intolerance of Grief
What LKY's death tells us about the culture of Singapore
The Lee Kuan Yew that very few Singaporeans know about

Monday, April 21, 2014

Internet fossils

I just found a piece of news online that is more than a hundred years old.

Monday, May 06, 2013

Well done, Malaysians!

Despite the Pakatan Rakyat not winning the election due to massive fraud by Barisan Nasional, you have taught the cowards in Singapore a valuable lesson on how to vote without fear.

True, the PAP may not employ the same dirty tricks played by BN, but what do you call gerrymandering, pork barrel politics such as HDB upgrading carrot and withdrawal of essential services from opposition wards, and using defamation suits to silence dissenting voices? It's just electoral fraud executed on a more sophisticated level.

But do not despair. Change will come if you keep the hopes alive. Let us Singaporeans return the favour in 2016.


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