Well-wisher not given a chance to glance or bow at LKY’s Lying-In-State

I had gone with my 11-year-old daughter to pay our last respects to Mr Lee Kuan Yew yesterday although it was actually not really necessary, as I had already thanked him about 3 years ago via an e-mail through PM Lee Hsien Loong to help to send my regards to Mr Lee as he was advanced in years and to show my appreciation for what he has done for Singapore and my family.

However, I changed my mind on that.

The reason being I wanted to leave a deep impression on my daughter to remember Mr Lee and to help to pass on to my grandchildren too.

I have joined the 7-hr queue and was moved by the people who never complain and even help one another in small little ways.

Finally, we had reached the Parliament House and was looking forward to pay our respect to Mr Lee. But things did not turn out as what it should be. After we stepped into Parliament House and was moving in line to walk pass Mr Lee’s coffin, an official requested us to move to the extreme left while there was a line near Mr Lee’s coffin. I took it that we were asked to do that as we would be walking past Mr Lee again. Instead we were actually heading for the exit. I was quite shocked when I reached the gate of Parliament House, asking myself what was the 7hrs queue for as my 11yrs old daughter did not even get to pay her respect to Mr Lee.

I understand that the crowd was overwhelming and we should not be so selfish to stop to pay our respect but we did not expect to be shuffled away from the main line and did not even had the chance to take a quick glance or quick bow.

I was quite disappointed the whole night. But as I was listening to one of the most popular Singapore Chinese radiostation, the DJ said large crowds were marching past and bowed to pay their last respect to Mr Lee. I cannot agree with that.

I called the station and informed that there was not even enough time to bow to pay our respect but just walk past in a very fast manner. The feedback from the listeners had amazed me. One listener called to say I was just another stupid Singaporean who only knows how to complain and although she had paid her respect to Mr Lee at one of CCs but she was there to pay her second respect to show her sincerity. Another listener called in said that I should not be so selfish but he was queuing for the second time because he wanted to pay his utmost respect to Mr Lee.

This would be an unforgettable memory for me as a feedback become a complaint and nuisance subsequently.

Ms Lee

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A really ‘united’ Singapore should encompass different views

Singaporeans need to shrug off the selfish attitude. Every time, everywhere I go, the country reeks of selfishness. Not blaming LKY alone, but I believe if you really call yourself a fan of LKY, you should start being less selfish. After all, what you think of the man was that he was selfless, right?

Why do I say we are selfish? Because everyone just wants it for themselves. At hawker centres, we do not, and are not taught to, clear our own plates. Leaving the place dirty, and inconvenient for the next customers. Only waiting for the cleaner to clean.

Why selfish? Because when shouting ‘I Love LKY’, and on the other hand, cursing and swearing at every criticism made of him, we only think and care about ourselves. Never mind if people have a different opinion! As long as most people are happy, who cares if some pockets of people get locked up in jail, or silenced? Then where is your sense of justice you said LKY bestowed on this country? The sense of equality, the sense of minority? All lies?

Why selfish? Because you talk about ‘unity’ (or Yew-nity), but when people have a different opinion, you silence them? You call that unity? Sorry, that is North Korean unity. That is not real unity, that is ‘forced’, or farce unity. Real unity is when people can work and respect each other despite of differences. Unity is celebrating differences, not eliminating them. That is why right from the start, we talked about racial harmony, we have four official languages.

What have we today? A modern metropolis filled with people working into old age cleaning toilets? What have we given up? Our happiness and our ability to think properly?

And I haven’t even touched on my favourite topic of democracy and liberty, that is now vilely demonised by Calvin Cheng and his foolish (selfish) followers/sharers.

Albert Tay

Religion and politics: when can they mix?

Okay, so it’s official?

Mixing religion with politics when it is against the PAP regime is wrong, disrespectful and illegal, as in the ‘former archbishop Nicholas Chia retracting his letter to Function 8 supporting the call to abolish the ISA, and Alex Au reporting on it’ case, as well as the recent 17-year-old case.

But when religion and politics mix to praise someone from the PAP, aka Lee Kuan Yew, it becomes legal and almost mandatory? As in the recent imam case where LKY was ‘thanked’, and the Catholic Church’s grand mass tribute to LKY, where the archbishop called on followers to ‘forgive and forget’ PAP for its Operation Coldstore acts.

As pointed out by Gillian Koh of IPS, there is a generally well-accepted paradigm here “that religion and politics are kept separate,” and “the state monitors this carefully and acts to maintain that separation.”

Albert Tay

From gums to dialects: What kind of future do we want from now?

no chewing gum, sg

How do you make everyone learn English? Close down Chinese schools.

How do you make people pick up Mandarin? Abolish dialects.

How do you make people stop sticking chewing gums around? Ban the sale of chewing gums.

This has been LKY’s Singapore. I hope we do better in the years to come. But not the Lee Hsien Loong kind of ‘different’, not that kind of incompetence, that kind of ‘weak authoritarianism’. But reconciliation, respect, resolve, remake, rethink and revamp apt for a ‘great’ nation now faced with a crisis of cultural identity.

Good that people are ‘standing up’ after LKY’s death. Good that people now demand ‘respect’. Because that is what has been lacking in this country for decades.

Don’t worry, we are about to win

A bird's eye view of a Population White Paper protest at Hong Lim Park.

A bird’s eye view of a Population White Paper protest at Hong Lim Park.

“Upon Lee Kuan Yew’s death, they know they should be crying, not queuing. They know they should be worried, not ‘overwhelmed with support’. Count the sheer number still NOT there at Parliament House despite it being the ‘fashion’ to go.

Come on, have more confidence in ourselves. We are about to win, not lose. Just count the number of likes to posts about Low Thia Khiang, Chee Soon Juan and Chiam See Tong.

Singaporeans should know how different Singapore has become, and how different the current leaders are from the Old Guards. They should know who to vote for to steer Singapore back in the right direction. To the good old times. And to times of freedom, democracy, and real harmony.”

Sickening: PAP to-be-candidates milking the situation and advertising themselves

Packets of chicken rice bought by "an unnamed Minister" for mourners in the queue to pay respects to the late Mr Lee.

Packets of chicken rice bought by “an unnamed Minister” for mourners in the queue to pay respects to the late Mr Lee. Add to that, ministers standing next to the queue. And the likes of Victor Lye standing beside people paying respects to Mr Lee in Aljunied GRC to ‘thank’ them.

What is sickening is the fact that Lee Hsien Loong and his team of ministers, all the way down to the grassroots ‘leaders’, all of whom would be your ‘candidates’ for the next elections, are all chucking in to milk the situation and using one man’s death to give themselves free, early advertisement to an impending election.

Albert Tay

Alfian Sa’at: It’s “historical revisionism free-for-all” this week

alfian saat

Alfian Sa’at, 38, posted a satire on his Facebook page condemning what he viewed as exaggerated eulogies that popularise the “fishing village myth” of Singapore, the idea that Mr Lee “conjured gleaming skyscrapers out of a primordial swamp”. — ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

While we are sharing a writeup by Straits Times below, it is prudent to note that Alfian Sa’at has raised his reservations at this supposed attack by ST, which he said took ‘snippets and then publishing it as an article’, that, we feel, for obvious political reasons. But even then, some of the points were valid even out of context. (Note: Of course we used a different headline than the ST one)

The arts community in Singapore has responded to the death of Mr Lee Kuan Yew by postponing new shows, observing a moment of silence before performances, creating art – and also critiquing the politician and some of the public tributes being made.

On Wednesday, playwright and poet Alfian Sa’at, 38, posted a satire on his Facebook page condemning what he viewed as exaggerated eulogies that popularise the “fishing village myth” of Singapore, the idea that Mr Lee “conjured gleaming skyscrapers out of a primordial swamp”. In later comments he said he has observed a “historical revisionism free-for-all” this week.

In his satire, he wrote: “Did you wake up today? What did you see? A ceiling? Yes, that roof over your head – Lee Kuan Yew put it there. So tomorrow, when you wake up, and look at your ceiling, the very least you can do is imagine his face on it. Looking down on you. Know that he has always looked down on all of us Singaporeans.”

He also posted from an article in New Mandala, an online journal of the Australian National University College of Asia, which alleged that Mr Lee distrusted the Malay community. Alfian has long called for greater Malay representation in Parliament and public offices and on Friday wrote in Malay on Facebook that “it is difficult for us who have always been treated like stepchildren to claim we are the children of he who is being glorified”.

Some responders to his posts suggested that it was in bad taste to share such thoughts before Mr Lee’s funeral on Sunday. He later posted that he would hold off further critiques until Monday. In the comment thread he explained further: “My stand has always been that this is a public figure and his public legacy needs to be dissected objectively without fear or favour. But I also think that within the spectacle of public mourning there are pockets of private grief that are complex and defensive and vulnerable and which will feel very hurt by some of the things I will say – even if none of it is addressed directly at them.”

He also told The Straits Times on Friday that he has since made the posts on his Facebook account private because he has been receiving “both death threats and abuse from people”.

Alvin Pang: What have we given up?

Other members of the arts community have also been discussing Mr Lee’s legacy on social media. In response to a commentary by former Nominated Member of Parliament Calvin Cheng who criticised the view expressed in the Western media that Singapore had sacrificed certain freedoms to attain wealth and security, poet Alvin Pang wrote on Facebook that Singaporeans must acknowledge the trade-offs that were made to get it to its current position.

“Our family tongues and broad access to Malay as a regional lingua franca: gone. Much of our heritage and cultural life: sacrificed. The siblings that might have been, curtailed by hard anti-natal policies that were later lifted to no avail. Compulsory military conscription. Censorship. The list goes on,” he wrote, adding: “To be able to discuss these soberly, from different informed, constructive perspectives: that IS democracy, IS civilisation, and furthermore, does honour to his memory.”

Straits Times