Thursday, March 19, 2015

The Rumors Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

CNN quickly corrected its initial report after Farah Rahim, senior director for the Singapore Ministry of Communications and Information, dismissed it as a hoax. Nobody likes to be wrong, so the dagger was twisted after the stab, "The elder Lee has been credited with Singapore's remarkable transformation from a colonial trading post to a prosperous financial center. However, he has also been a divisive figure, attracting criticism for stifling media freedom and for the harsh treatment of political opponents."

To quote Mark Twain, "The rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated". The expression derives from the popular form of a longer statement by the American writer which appeared in the New York Journal of 2 June 1897: ‘The report of my death was an exaggeration’. The correction was occasioned by newspaper accounts of Twain’s being ill or dead. At the time, Twain’s cousin James Ross Clemens was seriously ill in London, and appears that some reports confused him with Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain).

A good death needs not carry a sting. Lee personally witnessed how Hon Sui Sen, close friend and old guard minister, drew strength from his Catholic faith as he lay dying in 1983: "He was fearless. I was at his bedside. The priest gave him the last sacrament. His profound belief was from childhood. Because he had that belief, he had an equanimity of mind and spirit." (Hard Truths, page 218)

A verse oft quoted at Christian wakes and funerals goes like this:
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin,
and the power of sin is the law.
Providing plenty of grist for the rumour mill

29 comments:

  1. Why are there such rumours in the first place? As one netizen commented, there are no such rumours in the US,UK, Germany, etc., but as soon as Putin is not seen for a week, there are rumours of his ill-health. Ditto for the North Korean dictator. LKY's hospitalization on 25 Feb. was kept secret until 19 Feb. and the announcements tell you little about his real condition. They lay the foundation for rumours.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are just as confounding as Khaw, Jo & gang.

      Delete
    2. An obvious typo ( 25Feb instead of 5Feb) confounds you, smart aleck?

      Delete
  2. Much ado about nothing.
    The Man has done all that he did
    and cant keep himself from decaying
    nor can others.
    Most of his deeds are well recorded
    with much controversial impression and opinion. He himself had published
    some books about himself for posterity.

    As mortal beongs are invarialy to vanish eventually, what's the Hooha about a ripe old man going to dust?

    patriot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup

      Non event really.
      I just dont understand the fixation.
      Nothing changes... the powers remain.

      It would indeed be surprising if some hidden hand would suddenly show itself.. similar to chinese opera or movies. Hidden till now due to respect for the old one. Respect? only from people outside the kampong. People within know better.

      Delete
    2. Perhaps the fixation with him is due to the belief that he is still pulling the strings from behind or in bed ?
      After all he himself declared so even if he was ion his sick bed or 6 foot under

      Delete
    3. I'm not a Party supporter but I still respect the elder Lee for his earlier contributions. I may not like what his Party stands for now but that does not mean I cannot appreciate what they did in the past under his leadership.

      His life is inexoriably intertwined with the country's history and so interest being expressed in his life until he passes is not unusual.

      Delete
    4. He and his kind do not believe in sentimentalism.
      Knock everything down and build brand new.

      History? oh pleeeze... lets move on!

      Delete
  3. Is somebody testing the market?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gopalan Nair spread the lie of the old man's death years back online to prove that the Singaporean stock market and economy were not as stable as they made themselves out to be. It is highly possible if someone is trying to prove something again with this hoax.

      Delete
  4. I wonder if the Singapore stock market will rally or dip after THE event.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, rite.

      Better buy rice, sugar and fuel
      Market will collapse and the currency will be worth zero
      All the people with money will be selling their condos and good class bunglows.

      Get your passport ready

      Delete
  5. Please check the reason and the fall-out when someone is put on mechanical life support to assess better.

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  6. The GRC team is planning to celebrate Chingay @ West Coast this weekend with free popcorn, potong ice cream, etc. and of course lucky draw.

    Poor old man at his deathbed and yet they have the mood to celebrate anything. Times have indeed changed.

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  7. he's 91. I hope he gets to leave this mortal coil behind soon....
    hanging on in a netherworld, which he's being forced to do,
    is something he's never wanted. its as undignified and meaningless as being held up on stage in a robot position at your political party's 60th anniversary, esp after signing an advance medical directive. where is the respect?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is good that one experiences mortality. Otherwise one thinks that everything is hunky dory, temperature at 23C, cup of tea waiting, Financial Times, NY Times all delivered on the desk.

      All free too.

      No sympathy at all. The man has got all the means.
      Its wonderful when there is so much time to meander with the clock.

      Delete
    2. Don't forget he once said he'd come back from the grave if things happened in Singapore that he didn't like. So his being held up like a robot could well be his own idea.

      Delete
  8. I kind of agree it is greatly exaggerated, because I think they are milking his minor pneumonia for some sympathy votes. Starting from the daughter's columns years ago to his gaping mouth which all of a sudden went away, all the visits from foreign dignitaries, all wayang. I think the old chap would live to a century, he is lucid, like Mao in the "thousand flowers bloom" campaign, waiting for the first traitor to show up, fix them, then call for the next GE. He will be there, until he is not.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Isn't he on life support? Nobody goes on life support for "minor pneumonia".

      Delete
    2. The issue is that Singapore's media is never really very accurate and worth trusting. They are just keeping people guessing anyway.

      Delete
    3. http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la-fg-singapore-change-20150319-story.html#page=1

      Why read local thrash paper with no credibility? Will ST write an honest and bold piece like this?

      Delete
  9. Unfortunately Catholicism (Christianity as a whole, really) is a lie, just like its source material Judaism and its spinoff Islam. That these collective falsities can provide their believers with comfort on their death beds is probably the only good thing they can do which secular institutions cannot. However that sense of comfort - which rides on their empty promises of an afterlife - is, of course, false; it's functionally no different from your wife swearing that your children really are yours and not your best friend's, so that you can die in peace.

    LKY is a lot of things, but he is not stupid. Despite his admiration for Hon's "equanimity", he would surely have worked out that the mutually contradictory claims of those bronze age goat-herders' religions must seriously put a dent on their believability.

    But then again the man was superstitious enough to put a bagua in every dollar coin, and that was years before anyone would even dare to claim he was senile. Given his penchant for training an iron grip on all things, one wonders if he might have been tempted to convert before his health took a turn for the worst.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Are you saying he repented?
      I thought he would have told God "I stand corrected".

      Delete
    2. Exactly. All organized religions are fairy tales.

      Delete
  10. This one not exaggerated. Everybit true today.
    LKY would have been very proud of his son's top ranking.

    http://www.businessinsider.sg/salaries-of-13-major-world-leaders-2015-3/#.VQrmrlyoCzs

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beings are mortal and death is vital.
    Without death, abuse shall be infinite.

    For the Human Species; age, sickness and death evoke reflection, sorrow, remorse and maybe repentance.

    A dying person tends to be mindful of deeds. There is the Tendency to be proper and kind. It could be the realization that all material gain serve little purpose. Or the feeling of being guilty of been unkind and or unfilial etc.
    And most likely the Fear of facing reprisal in the Afterlife.
    Anyway, converting oneself to any religions does not immune or absolve one from misdeeds to other beings whence one was living, history is a record of fact and truth. There is no running away. So, be good.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm... the knuckle duster is still there with the hatchet.

      Guilt?... stop at 2?...

      Delete
  12. 'Stop at 2' was not as bloody
    as the Japanese Imperial Army
    slaughtering the Chinese during
    World War II.
    Maybe, Ex-President Nathan can
    write a book about their(Lee Kuan Yew/Nathan) works with the JAPANESE IMPERIAL ARMY DURING THE JAPANESE OCCUPATION, before they meet up again. This will leave a lasting memory of their friendship.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete