Overheard from Joe
A Tribute To The Founding Father of Modern Singapore:
Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
As every one of us hold vigil in hope for a turnaround of Mr Lee’s condition,
Allow me to humbly put forward a post in recognition and tribute to our founding father of the Singapore I live in today, Mr Lee Kuan Yew.
A post which I write as a apolitical bystander,
And a proud Singaporean,
Who feels grateful and blessed to be staying in the Singapore we live in today.
1) A Man Who Took No Prisoners and Made Tough Decisions.
History don’t lie. The merger with Malaysia to become Malaya in 1963, and subsequently its separation from it in 1965. The prevalent local riots, and foreign threats in the form of Konfrontasi during that period. The eventual declaration of Singapore’s independence on 9 Aug 1965 and the raising of our own defence force to defend ourselves thereafter. The evolution of a third world country (with no natural resources whatsoever) into a modern lion city, known as Asian Tiger today.
All these were not realized by the way. We have what we have today, because of individuals like Mr Lee, who dared to make tough decisions. These decisions were not ones that required simply a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ as answers, and were definitely not popular ones. They were ones which had many implications both locally and overseas. In doing so, he may have made many friends, but also many enemies too. But what was important was he took no prisoners, and he dared to make these decisions, with one thing in his mind: The progress of Singapore. With that, all we have, are but the fruits of his labors for a country all of us today call, our home.
2) A Man Who Made Singapore, The Most Diverse and Yet Most Peaceful Country In The World.
Foreign talent or not. There is no denying that Singapore is one of the most diverse and multi cultured country in the world. Not only that, we are one of the most peaceful country in the world too. We must not take the peaceful and diversity Singapore has today for granted. We must not forget the detrimental aftermath of the 1969 racial riot where 4 were left dead and 80 wounded. 46 years on, Singapore has not witness any racial riots of that magnitude (the 2013 Little India Riot was not considered a racial riot). You see, we must never undermine the importance of racial harmony and forget the people who worked hard to make it happen. For the reason for our peace is but the hard work of our founding father and his team, who worked tirelessly to establish a generation of multi racial friendships forged through hard work and kampong spirit.
Today, even as we move towards a more modern and connected world. We are still holding steadfast onto our racial unity. Simply because we have a strong foundation in our parents, and parents’ parents who made us who we are today. We are strong and sensible enough to understand that religious beliefs cannot be manipulated to conduct disruptive actions. We know that the Singapore we live in, have friends and families that we love, whom we would never harm. All these, because of the foresight of Mr Lee, who saw the urgent need to create a harmonious and inclusive society for all, so that we can have the peace we enjoy today.
3) A Man Who Modernise A Country in 50 Years.
While many countries take close to a century to modernize. Ours took only 50 years (in fact lesser if we were to be more specific). From a country filled with kampongs into one littered by clusters of high rise housings and commercial centers. These are not created by chance. These are but the result of the execution of highly strategised plans which took great foresight to achieve. And these were done while Mr Lee was at the helm. Sure, there might be certain glitches here and there that we may complain, but if we look it at a practical point of view, these problems are really not that big a deal as to really topple our country and turn it into shambles.
Look at our country today. I have grown up in a society where my parents weren’t even educated into one where now I’m a university graduate, and have a jobs (albeit competitive) opportunities that I can find work in. I live in a country where we have clean water, safe infrastructure (housing and commercial), safe transportation system (not perfect, but safe), and technologically connected society. I live in a country where my currency is stronger than the rest of the countries in ASEAN, and that I can afford to travel as and when I want to. All these, because one man, Mr Lee, made the bold decisions to push Singapore towards rapid modernization, thus allowing us to enjoy the fruits of the labor earlier, instead of waiting for the generation(s) after us to enjoy it.
Thank You Mr Lee Kuan Yew,
For Being Our Founding Father,
And For Bringing Us To Where We Are Today.
Stay Strong, We Will Stand By You,
Like How You Stood By Us Through Our Nation’s Tough Times.