Journal

Remembering Lee Kuan Yew (Part 3): A Solemn Celebration of Life, An Honour to Live Up To

Torrential Rain does not deter the Singapore Spirit
Torrential Rain does not deter the Singapore Spirit

No wind, no rain
Or winters cold can stop me baby, no no baby
‘Cause you are my goal

From “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye

Humans being humans, we seek meaning in everything. Did the heavens really weeped because they were touched by the passing of a great man?

Maybe. Perhaps. I won’t rule out the possibility. After all it’s nice to have a beautiful story to remember by.

Singaporeans bid their final farewell to you today, Mr Lee. You might like to know that aside from your family, those whom have worked with you closely, friends or rivals, the Singapore Armed Forces and the Singapore Police Force, accompanying you on the trip from Parliament House to NUS University Cultural Center were the everyday people. Many of us lined up the streets in the rain for hours just to have a glimpse at you. We have come together to honour you.

Waiting
Waiting…

There are many whom mourned and whom cried. Maybe you can’t see them, but I guess you could hear them, you could feel them.

But this is not the way I think I should pay my respect. Aging, illness and death are painful, yes, but they are also a natural part of human life. Hence for me, it will be a solemn celebration of your fulfilling life:

  • You ended your journey at the ripe-old age of 91.
  • You saw a great extent of your accomplishment and you were also honoured while you are still around with us. I would also like to note that many famous people like Nicola Tesla and Alan Turing don’t get to see their accomplishment until they are dead.
  • You saw not just your children but your grand children making great progress in whatever they set out to do.
  • You accompanied your wife till the very end.
A brilliant sunshine shone when the National Anthem was sung
A brilliant sunshine shone when the National Anthem was sung

Thank you, Mr Lee, for everything. Your service to Singapore, your service to the world. I will remember you. And I’ll remember your teachings too. You showed me what a person with “the guts and the gumption to stand up for” himself can be capable of.

How will we honour you?

There are people who said that we should live your values. Others would say that we should live your beliefs instead. I really don’t feel like going into the semantics of how we should do this because we are all different and it’s going to take forever to form a conclusion on what we should do.

I’ll tell you what I’ll do instead, the simplest and most pragmatic approach – I’ll improve whatever I think the society needs and is lacking. I’ll strive to make the improvement a Pareto efficient one.

First things first, no more queuing, time to get back to work tomorrow. 🙂

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