At Dr Toh Chin Chye’s wake




Went to Dr Toh Chin Chye’s wake this afternoon with several Boon Lay grassroots leaders to pay our last respects to one of Singapore’s founding fathers.

In an interview with ST back in 2003, Dr Toh said that his most significant contribution was in “nation building” and that the greatest pleasure of his life was that there were no race riots in Singapore.

Indeed, our founding fathers like Dr Toh lived through tumultuous times. But they had the courage of conviction to fight for what they believed in, and to forge a nation from our diverse cultures and religions.

One journalist at the wake asked me whether young people today are sufficiently informed of the contributions of Dr Toh.

I suspect that there are many out there who are still not aware of what Dr Toh and other founding fathers have done to create modern Singapore.

I hope that the recent media reports of Dr Toh’s life and achievements will encourage them to take a deeper interest in the Singapore story, and to understand how we got to where we are today.

Some of this is already being taught in schools.

But interest in history cannot be driven solely by the government or the education system.

Parents and grandparents also play an important role – by providing the links to the past, and passing down their convictions, sentiments and values.

Ultimately, we need to have many voices to keep alive the story of Singapore, to celebrate our heroes, and to remember the good times and hard times we’ve been through together.

By remembering our past, we strengthen our sense of identity and roots, and we move forward with greater confidence to build a more resilient and united nation.



note :
the clips for Dr Toh were broadcast on TV and are also available on CNA website


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