Monday, September 13, 2010

Thinking About The Inevitable

One has to be a cold-hearted bastard not to go misty-eyed when Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew rambles on about attending to his wife and companion of 61 years, bedridden and mute after a series of strokes. He goes into excruciating detail about spraying biothene to relieve her dry throat, and sucking out phelgm from lungs for her to breathe fully. Just when you reach for the Kleenex, he says something like, "“but everything I did was for an honorable purpose. I had to do some nasty things, locking fellows up without trial.” Chia Thye Poh (32 years) and Lim Siew Hock (20 years) would certainly like to dispute the honor of that purpose.

So what keeps Lee Kuan Yew from having a good night's sleep, that this self professed agnostic has to resort to reciting a Christian mantra for peace of mind? The Straits Times extract of the New York Times. September 10 interview enlightens us: Younger people worry him, with their demands for more political openness and a free exchange of ideas. “They have come to believe that this is a natural state of affairs, and they can take liberties with it,” he said derisively of the new generation of voters. "The kind of open political combat they demand would inevitably open the door to race-based politics," he insisted, "and our society will be ripped apart.”

When Seth Mydans told him of a taxi driver's remark about the interview, "Safer not to ask him anything. If you ask him, somebody will follow you," Lee, in typical lawyer mode, challenged, "How old is he?" Like it matters, whether how Chiam See Tong's "O" Level grades compared to Mah Bow Tan's, as latter was roundly ejected in a rare straight electoral fight. It appears the combative Lee still lives in his world of fighting left-wingers, communists and Malay-ultras. Mydan's reminder of the libel suits "which keep a lot of people at bay" put him in the defensive, "No, you're fearful of a libel suit?" Softening, Lee volunteered, "Because I'm no longer in charge, I don't have to do the hard things."

We are told that at the end of each day, he sits by the bedside of Kwa Geok Choo, 89, unable to move or speak for 2 years and 4 months, and "tell her about my day’s work, read her favorite poems". For once mindful of his own mortality, he shared, “I’m not sure who’s going first, whether she or me.”

The last time he talked publicly about the great beyond was for the Time cover story of 12 December 2005. "I've seen my closest friend Hon Sui Sen on his deathbed; he has had a heart attack and was fighting for his life, the doctors were there, the priest was there, but there was no fear in his eyes. He and his wife were devout Catholics. They were both convinced they would meet again in the hereafter. I believe a man or a woman who has a deep faith in God has an enormous strength facing crises, an advantage in life."

Except when a youth is cut down in the prime of life, sometimes death gets a bad press. Sally Field, playing the role of Forrest Gump's dying mother, explains her willingness to depart quite elegantly, "It's just my time. Death is just a part of life. Something we're all destined to do."
Unlike Macbeth, when she's done her truly best with what God gave her, she can sleep peacefully into the night,
"Sleep that knits up the ravelled sleeve of care,
The death of each day's life, sore labor's bath,
Balm of hurt minds, great nature's second course,
Chief nourisher in life's feast."


  1. Haha....

    luckily only a couple of million people are unfortunate as he matters not to those out of Sin.

  2. Locking up someone for 32 years without a fair trial is a honorable thing?

  3. I did not go misty-eyed and i dont think i am as cold hearted a bastard as LKY.

  4. all things considered, I don't think I'm a cold-hearted bastard if I do not go misty-eyed.

  5. Remember what he said when he was in opposition?

    He is doing the same thing right now.

    One should not be fooled all of the time!

  6. No, there's no need to shed a single
    tear for him.

  7. The families of Zahiri, Chia Thye Poh, Lim Chin Siong have all shed tears, real tears.

  8. I did not go misty eye nor had a lump in my throat when I read the transcript of the interview. And neither will I shed a tear on that day he passes on. He locks his opponents up for 32 years/20 years without trial and he calls it ‘for an honourable purpose’? Who is he trying to kid?

  9. What 'honourable purpose'? 'Honourable' only for himself. His Lee and Lee legal firm made Billions of dollars from the public when there is a conflict of interest while he was the prime minister and now being Minister Mentor earning more than S$3million dollars a year - this is his 'honourable purpose'. Power corruption is worst than financial corruption because under power corruption there are a lot of cover-up through control of the media, the ISA, Judiciary beholden to him, holding the key to public money without disclosure and accountability, etc. and a lot more. This LKY is worst than Adolf Hithler because at least Hitler looks after his own citizens, but this LKY has betrayed all the hard-working citizenry forebears which built the foundation for the successful economy of Singapore. The success of Singapore is not due to his credit, but that of people like Goh Keng Swee, Ong Pang Boon, Toh Chin Chye, Devan Nair, etc. and our hard-working parents and grand-parents, all of whom he has betrayed.

  10. I will shed tears when he kicks the bucket, crocodile tears with a glass of champagne in my hand hehehe.

  11. Any Asian who can honour an oriental who worked for the japanese during their killing spree in the second world war must have gone gila or gaga.