Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Even The Dead Are Not Spared

Mahathir once caused a major upset when he said some of his people were pampered from the womb to the tomb. Lucky them. As for us, it's more like being made to pay and pay for progress from the cradle to the grave. Even those souls resting in peace at Bukit Brown are not spared.

Detractors allege that the deluge of MSM coverage about the grave development was intended to mask the more news worthy item about the Liberal International (LI) Prize for Freedom 2011 Award accorded to a Singaporean, given to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of freedom and human rights. Past laureates of the Prize include Daw Aung San Suu Kyi (Burma's democracy leader), Vaclav Havel (former president of the Czech Republic), and Mary Robinson (former president of Ireland and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights).

Between the living and the dead
In addition to a wordy post in his Facebook account of 5 Nov, BG Tan Chuan-Jin was given a two page spread in the Sunday Times. Despite the copious deluge of verbosity, the general would not, or could not, provide a positive answer when confronted with the request for an re-alignment of the road, more time for historians to document the graves, relocation of certain tombstones, or simply keeping some clusters as "cemetery-parks". Not exactly very difficult demands for a high ranking officer and gentleman.

His prevarication defeats the prose in his post, "Our history and heritage is precious. They are anchors to our past even as we look forward to our future". He repeats the charade of having "discussed with some members of Heritage Society, met a few personalities passionate about the place and importantly, to talk to the Hokkien Huay Kuan." But when it comes to decision time, it is obvious where he stands: "I have taken a look at our 2025 plans and beyond till the middle of this century. The Bukit Brown area would be required for future developments." How's that for killing off a discourse?

Tan's pseudo remorse, "We could have done better", sounds remarkably like a page taken out of PM Lee's last ditch apology at the eve of elections, "And if we didn’t quite get it right, I’m sorry, but we will try and do better the next time." So this is the new approach the incumbents are embarking on to engage the citizens. Smoke 'em and fool 'em. Maybe this ex-soldier may not be as "in-your-face" as the kee-chiu character, but his graveside manner has room for improvement in the sincerity department.


  1. Hmmm.... That Singaporean who won the LI prize must be none other than Dr Chee Soon Juan.

  2. Tan Chuan Jin should come out and state what's the size of population the govt projected for 2025? And who're the people that's going to benefit from this earmarked residential that's so primed in location. The rich foreigners or the local singaporeans?

    MSM instead of reporting on how some random Spanish cemetery is booting out its dead tenants, should go take a leaf and report how Recoleta Cemetery in Argentina has conserved successfully a place not just for the dead, but the living as well. Stop all the crap and do what's right for the last piece of notable cemetery in Singapore's history.

  3. One people one nation one Singapore = $

    Now you know why, Singapore is all about $. The dead just has to make way for the $. Period.

  4. A graveyard whatever its historical significance, is just a repository of dead bones.

    Why are you all arguing about whether the cemetery should make way for the needs of the living?

    Who cares about the long dead and gone, especially if they are of no personal relevance?

  5. 2.55pm, I think you only have $ flooding your brain protected by your thick skull. When your time come, I hope your love ones will flush you down the toilet to save space for the memory!

  6. So typical trademark of PAP.
    The citizens don't make decisions.
    So why bother to engage us?
    They make decisions for the "future citizens" who is not even present to decide, then why bother to engage the "current citizens" who are objecting. Looks like they are talking to future ghosts. And they ask why we don't take a more active stake. LPPL


    Go sign the petition.

    This is the case where we are not doing the 'check' but 'balance'.

  8. In the words of PM Lee in his parliament speech - the Yin must balance with the Yang. They can co-exist. If he doesn't 'get it', then i don't know what to say. Stomp stomp..

  9. Imagine one day, post-LKY singapore, people can only find his stature or a mocked tomb of LKY in a chinese province called Hakka in China? But there's none in Singapore, not even his oxley house will be retained.
    Wah..sure makes him feel really proud. He will be idolized by his foreign talents. His ancestors will also be very proud. Because singaporeans say digital documentation is good enough.

    Well, enough said. Take BBC down, you also have my blessings to take Oxley down. Actually take stamford raffles, sun yat sun and all that historical statures down too. Every inches count. Pragmatism is a nice endearing values that goes a long way. Flashing down the toilet is even better LOL

  10. Is this the same BG that said " Not everything is an economic digit. Some of the most important things in life cannot be quantified.”?
    He was there front and center to save the four-legged cats. But he can't (won't) save those dead souls.

    Maybe those guys investigating at Bedok can take a referendum from the Bt brown to see if they like to move instead...hehe

  11. When they dont spare the livings,
    why would they care about the dead?

    They wont be bother with your
    'zu-zong si pa tie'(ancestor). All
    they care is make money out of
    anything or nothing.

  12. "Who cares about the long dead and gone, especially if they are of no personal relevance?" anon@Nov 9, 2011 2.55 PM
    Hmm, that explains why the Empress Dowager was sent off on a gun carriage, while Ong Teng Cheong was denied a presidential funeral.

  13. When it comes to the crunch, all the minions have to toe the official line. Nothing has changed. The government still believes it has a monopoly on wisdom, that they have all the answers, and that their solutions are the best ones. Only thing they need to do differently is to communicate more.

    So, we are now seeing this new approach. The BG can say all the sweet PC stuff, but the decision is still final.