MM Lee, SM Goh continue to go all out for S’pore

I refer to the letter to Straits Times by Steve Tan dated 31 Oct 2009.

Mr Tan feels that the glowing tributes by American dignitaries place in context the vision and stewardship of MM Lee. But many of those tributes don’t even make sense. Mr Clinton said that MM helped millions of people across Southeast Asia to live better, more prosperous lives. Yet, much of Southeast Asia remains in poverty. Should we instead say that MM helped millions across Southeast Asia to stay in poverty?

Mr Bush said that MM has done so much for Singapore and desserves the recognition for making Singapore the thriving, prosperous nation it is today. But the fact remains that Singapore was already a thriving city under the British. MM merely inherited a Singapore that had been thriving for more than a century. Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea have similarly thrived and prospered without the stewardship of any one ‘legendary’ figure. This suggests that the prosperity that we experience today is not necessarily the work of any one individual but the result of something common amongst East Asians.

We should ask ourselves what this incessant pursuit of growth is for? Do we pursue growth for growth’s sake? Or do we pursue growth to become prosperous? But we are already prosperous. The developed economies have shown us that as we near the apex of prosperity, growth slows naturally. Like a child who improves by 10 marks every year, very soon, he’ll hit 100 marks.

When Sir Stamford Raffles brought in immigrants, Singapore was just a colony. Now that Singapore is a nation, can we continue to behave like we are a colony? When will we ever start behaving like a nation?

The recognition and honouring of our leader doesn’t automatically translate to the honouring of our country. Just like the honouring of Stalin or Hitler doesn’t automatically translate to the honouring of Russia or Germany.

Both MM and SM have shown us that at ages when many can no longer find gainful employment, they are privileged enough to continue to work for the millions they pocket every year.

You don’t need the harshest critics to see the meaninglessness of it all. I wish MM good riddance for the good of Singapore.

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2 Responses to “MM Lee, SM Goh continue to go all out for S’pore”

  1. Yes We Can Change Says:

    Theirs are not leadership by example but rather leadership by bad examples.

    By continuing to work at the age past 80, these dinosaurs are actually showing all of us very bad examples – i.e. selfishness, power-crazy, status conscious, name and fame, hoarding of wealth at the expense of others, unable to let go, still immature, not able to mellow down, unable to come down to earth, depriving others of their posts, thinking too highly of themselves, and most important lack of vision and wisdom. How can such people be great men?

    Yes, I can agree about “legendary” but in the negative sense, not as praise or honour.

    How can a good leader show bad examples instead of good examples to their citizens? I have yet to come across any leader in the world who shows such bad examples, except in our uniquely PAP-tightly-gripped Singapore.

    A suppressed society will one day revolt. I think time is running out for the dictator and the mini-dictators.

    This coming election (just round the corner as the White Men have started to go around visiting their constituencies already), we must show our displeasure in a resounding way.

    Vote wisely. Vote for a better future for our future generations, instead of the status quo and impasse.

    The power is in our collective hands to ensure that the social divide and income gap between the rich and the poor do not widen further and further.

    Yes, we can!

  2. Alana Says:

    Good read.

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