Monday, February 15, 2010

A Perspective Of Cultures

The daughter of Lee Kuan Yew claimed to be a balanced bilingual, and yet could not understand why Lianhe Zaobao editor Lee Huay Leng wrote "Why I missed Beijing And London." Dr Lee Wei Ling also claimed that the Straits Times is better than most American papers in terms of it sheer coverage, and that Singapore Chinese newspapers are more credible than that of China. No wonder Dr Lee failed to fathom Editor Lee's sense of loneliness when latter had to go home from her Beijing posting - back to the bottom of the well, looking up only at a limited expanse of the sky approved for viewing by the censorship board.

At least she admits that Singapore is too young a nation to have the history, and depth of culture, of Britain and China. What she conveniently skips is that, thanks to her father's social engineering meanderings, any semblance of Singapore cultural development has been thwarted by acts like the doing away of dialects, and currently, the pollution of unfettered immigration. How can you make a clear soup if you keep stirring the pot?

Dr Lee wrote that she could not understand the logic that one can access the culture of the entire world (via online connections and cable television) and yet feel loneliness. That's easy to say when you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, and get to travel with your father to meet President Obama, who may not otherwise give you the time of day. Les Miserables may not be playing at the Esplanade, but she and/or her siblings can easily afford to hop on a jet to London's theater square. Her disconnect, like those of her family relations, explains why she'll never appreciate the perspective of the needy, who longs for a better life than that available to them at the bottom of the food chain in Singapore.

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