I feel strangely detached from all the news about LKY. Should I wax lyrical about his doings? Or should I be lamenting the past, and be thankful for what we have today? Very peculiarly, I feel no strong emotion. Have I not witnessed Singapore’s rise, and the man behind all these? I have to be honest – I do not revere the man, but I have immense respect for his courage and intelligence, not discounting all the negatives.
What irks me is the polarity of sentiments on this issue. It’s either one of a cult of personality, or misdirected rage against our Singaporean pioneer. We have those who venerate him – to the point of sainthood or modern day God. On the contrary, some despise him and his political party, to the point of wishing him the most painful and horrible death. What’s wrong? We’ve seen amazing economic growth, our progress from third to first world country. We’ve also cognisance of Singapore’s turbulent history, and the controversial policies and actions directed at inducing progress. Is then right to be wholeheartedly thankful for all he’s done, to solely overlook his harsh actions and agree that the ends justify the means? Should we otherwise dismiss his achievements, and impose judgement on him?
Attributing all of Singapore’s successes to him is also by no means rational. Many pioneers have also participated in the fight for Singapore’s prosperity – to me it feels unfair to attribute our list of achievements to a single individual. I find it tough to come to a conclusion on this topic. Still, if it’s time, it’s time to go. That man deserves his peace. (that incident with photoshop was terribly rude)