Friday, March 27, 2015

Cry Babies

Kwa Geok Choo was once caught on a hot mike, wondering aloud why her husband who was so widely admired, was also widely hated. Some of the victims of Operation Cold Store may venture their theories, but their voices are not aired this week. Even Ngiam Tong Dow, always a treasure trove of personal anecdotes, is effectively silenced. Thankfully, the hate is also muted.

Hitler didn't want his remains to be desecrated by the Russian enemy at the gates, and gave specific instructions for his body to be drenched in petrol and burnt beyond recognition. He didn't fancy the fate of Mussolini, whose body was hung upside down from a metal girder in a suburban square, the Piazzale Loreto, for a large angry crowd to insult and physically abuse. Cremation has its advantages. A burial plot could be dive-bombed by marauding pigeons, or end up a collection point for Newater. Singaporeans are more forgiving.

In light of the 24/7 bombardment by the state media, one wonders if they are planning to beatify him. Beatification (from Latin beatus, "blessed" and facere, "to make") is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person's entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name. Imagine, our very own Saint Harry.

Before you choose to condemn or bless his memory, consider the childhood he may have had.

Most of us living a humdrum life have pretty happy childhood memories. Lee Kuan Yew's earliest recollection was about being held by his ears and dangled over a deep freshwater well, punishment for messing around with his father's 4711 Brilliantine hair cream. Fifty years later, "I read in the Scientific American an article explaining how pain and shock released neuropeptides in the brain, stamping the new experience into the brain cells and thus ensuring that the experience would be remembered for a long time afterwards." ("The Singapore Story", page 25). Fortunately for us, it's only spurs stuck into the behind for our lot. Perhaps he was imagining JBJ as a father figure when he called him a mangy dog.

If Khaw Boon Wan really wants something to bawl about in parliament, it should be about a tormented  childhood, instead of stupid trees whose fallen branches block the road after a heavy thunder storm. Singapore would be a nicer place if the adults are all well adjusted.


  1. How about this version of the children's nursery rhyme? (You can Google for the sung version). Pinky Pinky Ponky, Father is a donkey. Father dies Pinky cries, Pinky Pinky Ponky.

  2. And epigenetics tells us traits formed by early childhood trauma could also be passed on to future generations, might not be the immediate next generation, but it could show up again in someone else, so you are warned. Btw epigenetics is real science, not some cock and bull, father knows best type of 'graduate mother will give smarter kids' voodoo grandmother tales. If you ask me, the epic failure of the man is to pretend he knew best because he had a "good brain". Unfortunately real life depended more than just having a good brain. So when he applied his good brain (and 'judgement') to how he chose new leaders, we have the screw ups we have today. If a good brain alone can solve the problems, Aristotle would have invented quantum mechanics.

  3. The obituary in latest copy of TIME (6 April 2015) says it all:
    "Lee Kuan Yew gave the city-state prosperity, at the cost of freedom."
    The spoilt brat will never let go of the toy he has seized for his own. Mark my words, he will be carrying our CPF to his grave.


  5. Freedom is not self indulgence. The freedom we lost was the freedom to bring him to account so that his mistaken policies and his thuggish/vindictive behaviour will never be repeated in the future.

    No one in his right mind will dispute his positive contributions to the nation. But these contributions should not numb us from facing up and talking about the man's dark side and his mistakes.

    One consequence for better or worse of his death will be a early general election.

    1. The public has been blind sided by the propaganda machine in full swing. What the real world is saying:
      The Guardian:
      "Authoritarians draw the wrong lessons from Lee Kuan Yew's success in Singapore".
      Time magazine:
      "Lee Kuan Yew gave the city-state prosperity, at the cost of freedom".

  6. In work life and from observing our "leaders", I have noticed the use of crying to disarm criticism, gain political clout especially with the mob. Its effective because it pulls on emotional levers and distracts us from the facts. Thinking is hard, feeling is second nature. Moreover, it the mistake of the reasonable man to focus on the facts. Who dares criticize the lachrymal wrongdoer? LKY cried many times in '65 especially when the cameras are on, so did Lady Marcos.

    1. But Hitler never cried.
      Can we say that at least he was not a hypocrite?

  7. "Freedom is not self indulgence. The freedom we lost was the freedom to bring him to account so that his mistaken policies and his thuggish/vindictive behaviour will never be repeated in the future."
    Lily @ 3/27/2015 10:17 PM

    Maybe it was like a deal you make with the devil.
    We sold our souls (freedom) in exchange for "prosperity" in the form of higher prices for the HDB flats that we "own".
    We sold our souls for asset enhancements.

  8. The tumult and the shouting dies—
    The Captains and the Kings depart—
    Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice,
    An humble and a contrite heart.
    Lord God of Hosts, be with us yet,
    Lest we forget—lest we forget!

  9. If it's too good to be true, it can not be true. With the propanganda blasting in our msm 24/ 7. Many of my contacts are hookwinked. They almost treat him as God.

    Credit must b given when it's due. LKY with his leadership, he did a lot for Singaporean in his earlier years. But not so after the rest of the old guard retired.

    His choice of using scholars and paying high pays to attract talents to serve in the parlament is flaw.

    We and the next generations will be facing the consequence. This may also destroy all the good he has built.
    The silencing of his opponents and abusing the isa to incacerate them is something that I find totally inhumane
    Perhaps all the above are summed up aptly by LTK's tribute. For that I respect his gut and honesty.

  10. Will the real Khaw come clean? One moment bawling his heart out like a cry baby, the next ecstatic at the "exceeded our expections" turnout (330K at latest count), as though it is a triumph guaranteed to generate sympathy votes. How insensitive is that! Is this buffoon mourning or celebrating the demise of his chief architect? Whoops, I see rain coming down now.