Monday, August 12, 2013

Sad Stories

Grandma's delight was priceless, her face lit up when she heard the familiar sounds from the Rediffusion app. Immediately she was transported back to the glorious past and relived the stories and music of yesteryear. The years when she first struggled to build a modest family tree as a washer woman, and her constant companion was a minimalist wooden box that spoke her mother tongue. The years before dialect programming was taken off the air. One of the saddest scenes of today is at family get togethers where the youngest addition and the most senior member can only exchange mute greetings, unable to surmount the language barrier.

When the nation wide Speak Mandarin Campaign was launched, Rediffusion was forced to halt all dialect content by 1982. Facing the ban and increased competition from free-to-air radio, subscription plunged, and Singapore's only cable radio service finally fell silent on 30 April 2012. Mercifully, Eduplus Holdings bought over the assets and audio material and is now making available the archived tales and tunes of a nostalgic era in heritage dialect.

What we did not know about was the determination of one man to deprive grandma of her simple pleasures.

When filial elements in the Government were looking into reintroducing Chinese dialect programmes on free-to-air channels, Lee Kuan Yew put his heavy foot down. "I had antagonised an entire generation of Chinese, who found their favourite dialect programmes cut off.... Why should I allow  Cantonese or Hokkien to infect the next generation? If you bring it back, you will find portions of the older generation beginning to speak in dialects to their children and grandchildren," according to his One Man's View. Apparently he's still sore Lee Dai Sor was more popular than Lee Kuan Yew, the man who "paid a heavy price getting the dialect programmes suppressed and encouraging people to speak Mandarin." Dude, suppression of any form is never popular in civil societies.

He would rather let the older folks live their last days in silence, unable to communicate with their children and grandchildren. This has to be the saddest tale of all history.

35 comments:

  1. These days, with the flood of FTs from everywhere, you have all sorts of languages spoken here. The newly arrived indians are often not Tamils and they speak their own dialects. Even our cable TV is catering to their requirements.

    Now my question is why PAP allowed this to happen when chinese dialects were banned in those days? So why can PAP show more understanding to these newly arrived people than our granparents who have been here for decades?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Remember what PAP said about Mr Chiam or Mr Low when they started their careers in politics. Making fun about Chiam's O level results by comparing it to Mah BT and making fun of Mr Low's standard of English.

    But so what- look at how Mah turned out vs Chiam. Chiam can speak Cantonese and Low can speak Teochew- this is the reason why they are popular in their respective wards. Just go and chat with anyone in PP- Mr Chiam is still very well-liked.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apparently he also put his foot down when there was a proposed change in the 2nd language policy when motherhen was the education minister. I still refuse to acknowledge Mandarin as my mother tongue but 2nd language. My mother tongue is Hokkien and I am damn proud of it. The younger generation cannot even string a proper sentence in either English or Mandarin while the baby boomer generation could managed even when they grew up in dialect speaking environment. We have let a single man screwed us with his social engineering and experiments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well said !

      Delete
    2. Commie is hip again8/12/2013 1:16 PM

      The whole point now is to let the new PRC citizens brainwash and integrate our children with communist music via song and dance at Teck Ghee, right under the nose and watch of PM Lee.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ak9aL6bUv98
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZUdiPNb7mRI

      Imagine if we were to export our locally composed song "Home Truly" to China on their national day celebration, they will call you disrecpectful and a 走狗.

      Delete
  4. In school teachers didn't like the fact that I was using my own dialect at home. It was blamed for my "poor" results in English. But heck- I still got B3 at both O and A levels which isn't too bad and I can still communicate with my grandparents.

    ReplyDelete
  5. He did not succeed this all by himself.

    Where was the academia? Where were the businessmen and their associations, clans and 'connections'??

    The civil servants were compliant but there was Ngiam Tong Dow.. what did he do?
    There was Ong teng Cheong, what did he do?
    There was Devan Nair..

    The entire lot is responsible even if they did nothing, they were irresponsible for being so.

    Anyway, his time is ticking.. but I am angry that we are unable to hold him accountable. Each one of these people must be held in the limelight to answer to this.
    No crime committed yet they must remain to answer.

    I am angry that all just simply fade away.
    So simple... just fade away.

    If only god can refuse entry and tell them they do not deserve an audience with him. They deserve only a human audience not a celestial one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps heaven is aware and thus keeping him barely alive to see the son capitulate along with his PAP.
      I hope it will be during my lifetime and I also get to see the skeletons falling out from his closet.

      Delete
  6. The propaganda machine is getting louder, hardly a day without a history-rewriting headline on old yoda's magnificence. This National Day feels like his birthday celebration, to remind you sheeple that Lee=Red Dot. He is of course hoping to avoid mistakes of other dictators like Stalin or Mao by answering all future criticisms today. Shut your mouth before you open it.

    Won't change the fact that every major social (and many non-social) policy turned out to be backward-pointing bazooka though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ng Kok Lim's latest

      [ Stop-at-two successful but not responsible? ]


      "I refer to the 6 Aug 2013 Straits Times report of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s views extracted from his new book 'One man’s view of the World'.

      Mr Lee claimed that he would introduce a baby bonus equal to 2 years of the average Singaporean’s salary
      to prove that super-sized monetary incentives only have a marginal effect on fertility rates."


      http://trulysingapore.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/stop-at-two-successful-but-not-responsible/

      Delete
    2. Perceptive!
      Just like when Mr Kishore started the piece on "Trusting our public service", you bet he already know the corrupt case of CPIB and police officer. Followed by the gallery display of Mr Bala about clean politics and coming clean and fix things when is wrong..they are all just DRUMS leading up to the public exposure of the two cases, just to show they have integrity.

      Now Kishore wants us to count our blessings..maybe there will be some bad things coming out soon, but remember, count those good things you have/had before. Watch the drummers.




      Delete
    3. A good, factual and robust rebuttal by Ng Kok Lim.

      Even the malaysian press and politicians are calling him "outdated" "stuck in the 60s" and "he should just ride into the sunset".

      Let's see that their very own 1 party superior cadre system that rewards mediocrity and conformity will bring down and tell their own sad story. The voiceless group from our grandparents past will have to be told by this generation onwards.

      http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/one-mans-view-of-the-world-and-a-thousand-faceless-men-singapores-cadr

      Delete
  7. Mandarin is the mother tongue of the Northerners.

    Strange is , it is NEVER call Mother Tongue in China & rest of the Chinese community around the world, except who you know.

    It is NEVER mine , Hokkien is. Please STOP forging my identity .

    ReplyDelete
  8. Very smart and cunning BASTARD.
    Well read and schooled obviously, this everyone must give it to him.

    REOVE your mother tongue DIALECT and you disconnect everyone. Easier to rule, harass, picked-on and bully.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I hate him for this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So he is wrong when he says the young don't appreciate him, apparently the elderly generation too !

      Delete
    2. LKY himself has become a Sad Story.

      Not only the young and elderly generation do not appreciate him, far too many hate him, even curse him...
      not the way to end one's story.













      Delete
  10. Saddest tale of all history is to see old folks serving as cleaners, collecting scraps to make a living in the richest country that brags about its Reserves, GDP, 12Billion defence budget, etc, etc...but of course there are exceptions to the fate of old folks on this island.

    For instance, we have one 90yr old enjoying life time employment collecting millions doing nothing while his life long pal in his late eighties collected millions also doing nothing as president and actually wrote a book to ask "why am I here ?"
    Perhaps he ought to write another book and ask "why am I given the highest honour ?"
    Having said, it should be noted that the 2 old folks share the highest honour of having served the Japanese during the occupation of Singapore....

    ReplyDelete
  11. A Hakka himself, he must have conveniently forgotten the fact that he was actually speaking in Hokken when he was trying to woo the union workers during those troubled times. Until recently some PAP MPs even try to use Teochew to woo the voters at Hougang & Potong Pasir, remember ?

    So it all boils down to power, isn't it ? Why use dialect himself when it suits his own purpose but not allow others when it is against his other bigger aims ? Only someone who is a damn good political opportunist or manipulator would do such a thing to suit his own wider interests?

    With both Govt-owned cable TVs even have 100% dialect stations to cater to the current market, why NOW but not THEN ? Is it because the damage has already been done ? Have the Govt realised that it was really a bad mistake, just like the Stop at Two policy ?

    Now that we can think for ourselves, is he not to be largely blamed for destroying part of what forms our traditional family culture & heritage ? And probably to his last minute, he wouldn't even want to admit it is his mistake ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If they can allow cable TV stations to have dialect stations, why they still can't allow cinemas to show films in dialet ?

      Why some can, while others cannot ? Does this not expose the lie they are covering themselves as hypocrites in power ?

      Delete
  12. /// When filial elements in the Government were looking into reintroducing Chinese dialect programmes on free-to-air channels, Lee Kuan Yew put his heavy foot down. ///

    Is this proof as to who actually governs Singapore.
    The Prime Minister or the MP from Tanjong Pagar?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How firm is his shaky foot these days?
      The only wish that should meet his command is the execution of AMD..so he can pass quickly, and make it painlessly for us all.

      Delete
  13. Meanwhile lee kuan yew worries how he is going to meet the emperor of heLLC.
    Might be thinking if he can cum back from hell as he had proclaimed.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I think his son should put on a wig, don a pink dress and pretend to be an auntie volunteer at the old folks home, and hear whether the elderlies prefer to have Lee Dai Sor or Lee Kuan Yew, and he will probably hear the hardtruths. Then he can go tell his father to live to their PAP motto of "Correct thyself".

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/12/norway-pm-jens-stoltenberg-taxi

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323585604579007711115789686.html

    ReplyDelete
  15. note the use of the term the next generation?

    Just because he cannot speak dialect, he thinks other children cannot learn dialect and English at the same time.

    I really think if some one do a study, we would find that the policies that create Singapore's success were not due to him but by people like Toh CC and Goh KS.

    ReplyDelete
  16. He and his belated wife kept a straight face when their DIL died of so-called heart-attack. Neighbors on the same floor heard the big rows after the young couple returned home from their visit to Oxley Rise. The other son's scandalous affairs didn't go unnoticed. Not everyone is born a mata keranjang, must be the gene. The youngest eloped to cohabit with an Indian, and was escorted back by SS. Being unhappy beings who cannot live a normal life or experience natural human emotions must have taken a toll on them psychologically. Hence the insatiable greed for material wealth to reward themselves, their extended families and their friends.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Read the Ruling Elite of Singapore by Michael Barr. You get more revelations from his book than LKY's non-confession.

      Delete
  17. The sound of silence

    Hello darkness my old friend I've come to talk with you again because a vision softly creeping left its seeds while I was sleeping, and the vision that was planted in my brain still remains, within the sound of silence. In restless dreams I walked alone, narrow streets of cobble stone. Neath the halo of a street lamp I turned my collar to the cold and damn, when my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a neon light, that split the night. And touched the sound of silence. And in the naked light I saw, ten thousand people maybe more, people talking without speaking, people hearing without listening, people writing songs that voices never share and no one dared. Disturb the sound of silence. Fools, said I, you do not know, silence like a cancer grows, hear my words that I might teach you, take my arms that I might reach you. But my words, like silent raindrops fell, and echoed in the wells of silence. And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made and the sign flashed out its warning, in the words that it was forming and the sign said the words of the prophets are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls. And whispered in the sounds of silence.
    --
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9hUy9ePyo6Q
    -
    http://therealsingapore.com/content/we-owe-julian-assange-wikileaks-founder-big-thank-you
    -
    http://www.educate-yourself.org/cn/soundsofsilence11dec08.shtml
    -
    http://www.alt-market.com/articles/964-disinformation-how-it-works
    -
    http://nwoobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/11/controlling-the-minds-of-the-masses-how-it-is-done-and-why-with-videos/

    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am not interested in a dynasty

    "The other ( ) doesn't want a scholarship even though he could
    easily get one. ..........
    .....
    If I were the father, I'd say, no, you better take that scholarship and come back. Why should I spend $300,000 or $400,000 for nothing? I can put down half the payment on a house for you! But they are not my responsibility."
    unquote.

    http://www.pmo.gov.sg/content/pmosite/mediacentre/inthenews/ministermentor/2011/January/I_am_not_interested_in_a_dynasty.html
    -
    http://www.yeocheowtong.com/DevanNair.html
    -
    http://veritas-lux.blogspot.sg/2011/07/lee-kuan-yews-grandfather-recontructing.html
    -
    http://singaporedissident.blogspot.sg/2013/06/an-embarrassment-to-singapore-and.html
    -
    http://www.tremeritus.com/2013/06/04/the-real-reason-behind-the-internet-crackdown/
    -
    http://therealsingapore.com/content/conscription-slaveryforced-labor
    -
    http://mrwangsaysso.blogspot.sg/2011/05/george-yeo-and-his-true-legacy-for.html
    -
    http://therealsingapore.com/content/ethics-pap-internet-brigade
    -
    http://therealsingapore.com/content/ethics-pap-internet-brigade
    -
    http://therealsingapore.com/content/total-hypocrisy-ng-eng-hen-total-defence

    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete
  19. "GKS attended Anglo-Chinese Primary School in Coleman Street. GKS and his siblings went to school each day in a chartered school bus (known locally as a 'mosquito' bus) that they shared with the children of Kwa Siew Tee, Leng Inn's closest friend.

    Siew Tee worked in the Overseas Chinese Banking Corporation (OCBC), and he lived at the 7th milestone at Pasir Panjang Road, not far from the rubber estate which Leng Inn managed.

    Siew Tee's daughter Geok Choo later became a barrister; she married a fellow barrister, a certain Lee Kuan Yew, who would end up playing a pivotal role in Singapore's history."unquote.

    http://wineanddine.asiaone.com/Wine%252CDine%2B%2526%2BUnwind/Unwind/Books/Story/A1Story20070709-17598.html
    -
    http://chutzpah.typepad.com/slow_movement/2010/05/st-his-work-was-his-passion-dr-goh-keng-swee.html
    -
    http://www.emmanueldaniel.com/?p=43
    -
    http://singaporedesk.blogspot.sg/2010/05/looming-war-of-widows.html
    -
    http://www.singaporesex.org/mirror_000866.htm
    -
    http://www.plushasia.com/media_photo/19898
    -
    http://www.ukessays.com/essays/finance/stock-exchange-of-singapore-finance-essay.php
    -
    http://newsgroups.derkeiler.com/Archive/Soc/soc.culture.singapore/2007-12/msg00018.html
    -
    http://www.thinkcentre.org/article.cfm?ArticleID=2550

    Joshua Chiang

    ReplyDelete
  20. I grew up when pple spoke mainly dialect, tamil, malay and English. the big divide was really betw those who spoke dialect and those who spoke English. we communicated with each other in malay and a bit of hokkien. so we found a way round the lang barrier. you wldn't be able to discuss biodiversity, but you could haggle with the shopkeeper, ask directions and such.

    wen mandarin was advocated, it drove a huge wedge betw young and old chinese. this wedge will disappear wen the old dialect speakers die. until then, the gap betw them and the young will unfortunately remain. these social changes take years to kick in and, as we know, are painful...

    however...
    now, few speak dialect. few speak malay. the mandarin spoken here is considered mediocre. certainly the std of English here has fallen... a lot. for instance, pple talk of the extenD rather than extenT of something. they talk of craB rather than craP. these are degree holders.

    bottomline, we dun speak any lang well.

    it is a pity that the older folk and younger folk dint at least learn some malay to communicate with each other during this interim. or the older ones could have learnt some English and the younger ones some dialect. in Europe, most speak 2, 3 langs and some english. not sure about china, but I know tt in india, most pple speak at least 2, 3 indian langs and some english.

    looking back, I wonder if mandarin was introduced partly to kill malay, just like the stop at 2 policy was mainly to stop the malays (in particular) and the less educated from producing. kuan yew dint think they should. everyone else wasn't having too many children.

    re mandarin is from the north: well, LKY believes that cold climates produce smarter pple. he has said so. he claims his ancestors are from the north...

    I feel sorry for his kids. it cannot have been easy living with a man with so much intelligence, expectations, reputation, unshakeable ideas abt certain issues, publicity etc etc. and who can argue the hind leg off a donkey. as the eldest, hsien loong would have faced the greatest pressure.

    as for all the current rah rah, well, it's the old man's 90th birthday next month. this is the lead up to a major milestone for him.

    sporeans' biggest mistake has been keeping quiet for so long about so many things. wen you don't nip things in the bud, they grow, like weeds do.
    it'll be a very long haul to improve things. the question now - is each of us willing to put in the time and energy to bring about change?

    ReplyDelete
  21. But Lee Kuan Yew is just as good a story teller as Lay Tai Saw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but the motivations are different; one recites story to entertain the audience

      the other "writes" tales to glorify himself as a demi-god and to belittle his "fans" and insult the citizens .. his name is lee con you ... oops, lee kuan yew, the self proclaimed god, who by the way is the father of lee hsien loong ("husband" of the ho ching)

      omfg ... this sound like god, son and the holey hole (wrt to those investments losses accumulated)

      Delete
    2. Actually Lee Kuan Yew is a better story teller than Lee Dai Sor when his audience can be said to be worldwide, and no way can Lee Dai Sor tell stories to fool so many into doing his bidding.

      PS: I am pretty sure Lee Dai Sor will agree with me if he were alive today. :)

      Delete
  22. My mother tongue is Cantonese. Not Mandarin!

    ReplyDelete