Heres why LKY should have died years earlier

The death of the head of a state should rightly attract mourning, but no man has attract detractors in such manner as LKY did. While the majority are expressing sympathy, some are split over the legacy that he left behind, with his shadow still looming across certain policies. And I am going to make an outrageous and absurd claim, LKY should have died years earlier, and I’ll tell you why.
So where is all this discontentment? The first thing I realise is that people tend to pick on incriminating evidence, akin to buying a sweater at Zara, and noticing a long stray strand of thread dangling at the side. It is unsightly, irritating and you do not want it.
Like foreign workers. Today many of us are unhappy with what it takes to be a Singaporean, and the influx of foreigners to be eroding our national identity. But here’s something to think about, at least we are doing something about the declining birth rate. There are countries like Japan and Thailand who are literally going extinct in as close as fifty years. And those are countries with centuries of history. One might not like it, but foreign workers are a necessity. Nobody grows up to be a sweeper, a cleaner or a construction worker nowadays. Who’s going to drive the buses? Any university graduate out there striving to be a hawker? We are increasingly selective with our jobs, we leave the backbone of dirty jobs to them, and we complain about their presence. And who’s to blame for the declining birth rate? I’ll leave it as that.
Many people do not want National Service as well. But here’s what annexation can tell us, which is the use of military force to occupy whole populations and acquire territory, with international laws safeguard generally denied.
1950 – Incorporation of Tibet by People Republic of China
1954 – Incorporation of Goa by India
1969 – Incorporation of West Papua by Indonesia
1975 – Incorporation of East Timor by Indonesia
1990 – Incorporation of Kuwait by Iraq
2014 – Incorporation of Crimea by Russia
Some of this territories being annexed have territories larger than Singapore many times. We may not have the most powerful standing army in the world, but our position has always been to deter, and I think we have largely succeeded, even if it means threatening war. To quote –
He [Mahathir] was direct and asked what we were building the SAF [Singapore Armed Forces] for. I (Lee Kuan Yew)replied equally directly that we feared that at some time or other there could be a random act of madness like cutting off our water supplied which they [the Malaysians] had publicly threatened whenever there were differences between us … In [the Separation] agreement, the Malaysian government had guaranteed our water supply. IF this was breached,we would go to the UN Security Council. If water shortage became urgent, in an emergency,we would have to go in, forcibly if need be, to repair damaged pipes and machinery to restore the water flow. I was putting my cards on the table. He denied that such precipitate action would happen. I said I believe that he would not do this, but we had to be prepared for all contingencies.” – Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore Prime Minister
Today, because of peace, I think many people have questioned the cause since we have the effect, I think to maintain that desired effect we still need the cause.
Education, is another area of divergence. If you like business, engineering, or finance, good for you. If you like arts or music, well I’m sure you have something to say. But we have two things to look at here. The first is the state of the economy, and the second is the demand of people for the jobs. And by the way, the architect for defence and education was actually Goh Keng Swee, another founding father of Singapore. LKY was the enforcer of them and was less involved with its design. Back then, the state of the economy was in tatters, and people were struggling to make ends meet. Their objective was to make a living, instead of seeking creative outlets for expressions. There were no jobs for such areas, and people were frankly not interested in them as well. They invested in what’s right for the country and turn it into an economic powerhouse and today it is the reverse, we are a generation seeking for self actualisation and we see that tradeoff years ago as a mistake. People forget that without the prosperity we might be foreign workers outsourced to other countries. And if you think they are not doing enough go look at how much money they are spending on the arts, sports and other creative industries. We are always waiting for that headline result to interpret it as a success but just because we have spent billions in business does not mean we are going to start churning out the next Microsoft and Apple, right?
Civil rights is the last issue I am going to touch on, and frankly I see it as an area that is hard to reconcile as well. LKY rarely espouse freedom of speech and is known to be hard on his detractors. Some see that machiavellian social model as a cost for the economic development of Singapore. And maybe it is unjust, with corporal punishment dealt out over many types of offences, from minor to major. My travels around the world have left me feeling mixed over this area, and while I do side for the liberty of the individual, I have seen with liberty how much evil one is capable of. We do after all have one of the safest streets in the world and it depends on where you stand at the end of it.
I actually think that the majority of those that are unhappy with him are the youths of Singapore, which I belong to as well, who have actually never seen him in action or his policies in effect, since he stepped down in 1990 as the Prime Minister, and I would tell them to go and read the autobiographies written on him and see what he has done in those years, and decide whether he is really that power hungry iron fisted dictator.
If it’s true that people take things for granted, tending not to appreciate what they already have and trying to pick on those incriminating issues, then here’s a few alternate realities without LKY. Just the way they wanted right?
How do you like a communist Singapore, if LKY had lost to the communists? A Singapore like North Korea, secluded, impoverish, atheist, without the strength and the size like China. (1963 General Elections)
How about a racist Singapore? One that cannot coexist with one another, with separate schools for every race and different languages and dialect being spoken? (1964 Racial Riots)
Today we see of Malaysia as one where we can go to for a cheap getaway, but imagine if it were the other way round.  Our prosperity have led to some eyes looking over with envy, and its not hard to imagine what could have happen if an army just marched in without resistance to acquire everything. (1971 British Military pulls out of Singapore)
How about a corrupted Singapore? Where with the right amount of bribes one can get almost anything, from aircraft engines to a nation sovereign fund.
My point here is, while the scenarios are highly imaginative, there were many areas where things could have gone horribly wrong. It is not easy to run a nation, unlike the CEO of a company. We are not like the US, who can survive a few patches of bad terms of leadership. If we make a wrong decision, it is very hard to recover from it.
And let’s not forget that this is a man who had everything. He came from a rich family, had great academic qualifications in law, and was set for life. He gave it all up to run for office and to represent the people, something that is admirable even till this day.
So why at the start did I say he should have died earlier? I do apologise for the insolent and impudent claim, but it seems that the longer he lived, the more washed away his legacy became. We still have that beautifully made sweater, and I’m sure we can fix that stray strand of thread. It is a long post and I thank you for reading, but heres a quote from him to end everything.
I did some sharp and hard things to get things right. Maybe some people disapproved of it… but a lot was at stake and I wanted the place to succeed, that’s all. At the end of the day, what have I got? A successful Singapore. What have I given up? My life.” – Lee Kuan Yew, 1923-2015
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Published in: on March 23, 2015 at 6:14 am  Leave a Comment  

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