I understand how some feel about the tributes to Mr Lee Kuan Yew being overwhelming and maybe even overbearing. Speaking for myself, 95% of my newsfeed on Facebook is filled with news of his bereavement, eulogies, and almost “real time” coverage of his body lying in state in Parliament building.
However, the thing is this. An event like this doesn’t happen often. To me, Mr Lee’s passing is a turning point of sorts – not in the way foreign media or political pundits may paint it to be, but as a kind of communal yet personal clarion call for Singapore.
This is perhaps best reflected by 5 Rs…
1) Reflection – Mr Lee’s demise compels us to reflect upon many things. How much Singapore has changed over the past 50 years since its founding. What we have done well – and not so well – and what lessons do we bring into the future? This applies not just for us collectively but individually too (yes, I’ve done a fair amount of soul-searching).
2) Reminiscence – Reading on Singapore’s history and LKY’s role in it brings forth a deep sense of nostalgia. There are so many chapters in our nation’s story that are deeply intertwined with our daily lives. This is a time to sit back and re-live those times. To me, it is the real #SG50 event.
3) Resolution – I don’t know about you, but watching the old videos of how LKY turned around Singapore and looking at the long winding queues of people waiting hours to pay their respects ignited something fierce in me. Somehow, the problems and issues I face pale in comparison to what is being stirred inside.
4) Revolution – No, I am not talking about a political revolution more so than a national one. Love him or loathe him, Mr Lee’s death has sparked something in many of us. For the first time in like forever, the silent majority have made their feelings felt everywhere – online and offline. We are not emotionless and passionless. We care and we show it when the occasion calls for it.
5) Reunification – I am not sure about you, but I feel that there is a certain coming together of Singaporeans with this event. People from all walks of life, young and old, educated and less educated, rich and poor, all united in one spirit to offer their respects. The process of queuing and waiting, the generous giving of drinks and snacks, the willingness to extend the opening hours – from 10 am to 8 pm, then till midnight, and then 24 hours – binds us together like nothing I’ve seen here in a long time.
Let us put aside our ideological differences temporarily, at least for 4 more days this week, and spend our time #RememberingLeeKuanYew.
There will always be time enough to resume our battles and pit our wits later.#ThankYouLKY #RIPLKY
Source: Walter Lim