Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Facing Reality

Who wants to live up to a 100?

In 1984, Lee Kuan Yew said the practice of American corporations was for the chief executive officer to step down at age 65. He believed it was based on sound medical grounds. Something else also jolted him into reality. This is how he presented it at the National Day Rally speech:

"I do not know how much time the old Guards have. My senior colleagues and I are in our early and late 60s. Last October, three senior ministers were in hospital at the same time, in different parts of the world - one in New York and two in Singapore.  Rajaratnam had a heart attack when he was at the UN. Goh Keng Swee was in SGH for treatment. Hon Sui Sen was recovering and was talking  to Goh Keng Swee before lunch. After lunch Hon Sui Sen had a massive infarct. He died that same afternoon.
A skilful surgeon in London, through delicate additional plumbing to his heart, has given Rajaratnam a reprieve. Goh Keng Swee has got a remission. But he has given me notice he is not standing for re-election. Rajaratnam too wants to stand down. Goh Keng Swee cannot be moved. I am trying to persuade Rajaratnam to go on for another term at at least half a term."

Looking at the face of Alexander Imich, a retired chemist and parapsychologist, who died in New York City at the age of 111, one wonders when he decided to call it quits (He published a book "Incredible Tales of the Paranormal," when he was 92). Imich attributed his longevity to good genetics, proper nutrition and exercise and the fact that he and his wife did not have children. Factors which some may want to take into consideration, especially those who plan to maximise on the "benefits" of the Medishield Life scheme which provide lifetime coverage.

My aunt, 89, is not one of those. Recently she met up with another relative, 82, and told her she never intended to live so long. One eye has failed, hearing in one ear is gone, and the taste buds are pretty useless. Indeed, many seniors would rather stop labouring at 55, and check out the bucket list of things to do, die happy. Much better than a sickly life of old age. Poor Goh Keng Swee was blind for his last ten years, unable to indulge in his happy pursuits of reading and photography. Immortality is so over rated.


  1. Well, Lee Kuan Yew is still working as a Member Of Parliament at Tanjong Pagar GRC. This means he is physically, mentally and medically fit. Though most folks at 80+ are hardly able to work, some cant even walk while many had turned to ash and dust, there is at least a superman in Sin.

    1. "... despite daily exercise and a disciplined lifestyle, with every passing day I am physically less energetic and less active"

      "There is an end to everything and I want mine to come as quickly and painlessly as possible, not with me incapacitated."

      - LKY, "One Man's View of the World"

    2. /// Well, Lee Kuan Yew is still working as a Member Of Parliament at Tanjong Pagar GRC. ///

      What exactly does LKY do for his Tanjong Pagar GRC?

    3. He is the Icon, the Mascot . Anyone care to add ?

    4. Calling him superman, the Icon, the Mascot is stretching it. He is a Methuselah who has lived too long for any good that he has done. Go, in the name of God, Go!

  2. "You die a hero or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain."
    Quote from Batman movie.
    In reference to Julius Caesar who was elected Dictator to save the democratic Roman Republic.

    Julius Caesar saved Rome from the barbarians.
    And went on to declare himself Caesar or Emperor of Rome.
    Throwing out democracy.
    And turning the Roman Republic into Imperial Rome.

  3. Actually i wish for LKY to live beyond 100 so that he can see his useless son being ousted and condemned along with his PAP stooges to live their remaining life as villains in Changi theme park