The Passing

The passing of Mr. Lee left a void in the hearts of many Singaporeans. He has an admirable personality – I meant him as a person on his own. Not so much about the part on being a nation-builder. I know little about history (beyond what’s taught to me in school and through museum trips) to write about his contribution in the building of modern Singapore. His passing made me think about a lot of things. I’ve tried to imagine myself (and even many of us) in his circumstances. What is the possibility of any of us thriving in that sort of situation? How is it possible for anyone to feel so strongly about his values and beliefs to pursue success that isn’t guaranteed?

Mr. Lee had an amazing set of credentials at that time, where he could have stayed in UK and still go on to pursue an extraordinary career. His life would have been a bed of roses if he doesn’t return here. He could also struggle alittle to open a law firm and still pursue the principles he stand for. What is the probability of securing the reign of a state versus earning big bucks in a multinational corporation? Upon securing the reign, what are the odds of success in clearing up the ruins and building it up from scratch?

Many of us have so naturally regarded him as a watchful guardian despite his old age and deteriorating health. Of how he could step down from the PM’s position or even exit the Board and yet, his presence will give us reassurance that all is well. I’ve never met him or speak to him. A part of me feels missing at this point, especially now in addition to the mourning going on around the country. It feels alittle regretful because I’ve always seen him as like any politician imprinted in books, TV, Internet and everyday life until his passing, a wake-up call, and now I can’t see him so much like a politician as before anymore.

A part of me wants to get out of here and move somewhere else, then I’ll be a much happier person. The other part of me wants to repay the debts I’ve owed to the State. Debts that they don’t require me to repay in black-and-white. Debts that is mostly financial assistance in the form of school fee subsidies, bursaries, pocket money and miscellaneous deductions in childcare services and spending on groceries in the past when I was younger. I can’t do much in the political realm of the state. Perhaps in Social Service where I plan to explore at this moment.

Meanwhile, I can’t vision myself residing in another place for a long, long time. No matter where I go, I will be back here somehow, as a citizen and never as a tourist. Presumably, I won’t want to be an idle citizen. Maybe I’d want to do my part but I don’t know how, for now.


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