Monday, 30 March 2015

Inevitable

Inevitably, the pushback came.

Yes, while a nation grieves (inappropriately, I think), some have reinforced their anti-LKY positions.

Inevitable.

Like his passing.

He was 91. His wife has passed away 4 years ago. He has held on to see SG reach it's 50th year. There is nothing left that would hold him here.

Even as Singaporeans said, "get well soon!"

I was saying, "go, gentle into the good night."
Your race is done, the victory won,
You've earn your right
To go, gentle into the good night.

Not that I wanted him dead!

But Valar Morghulis. All men must die.

It is inevitable.

Friday, 27 March 2015

Irreverent

Press release from PMO on 23 Mar at 3:20 am:

"At 3:18 am, Mr Lee Kuan Yew's condition was permanently stabilised."

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PM Lee declares seven days of holiday. However, he spells "holiday", M-O-U-R-N-I-N-G.

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Q: Why did thousands of people queue up to see LKY lying in state?
A: They heard on the internet that LKY has died.
Q: So they have come to pay their respects?
A: No. You can't trust anything you read on the internet. They are confirming the fact personally. Some things are too important to trust the internet.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Life goes on. Regardless

In "Haiku for Lee Kuan Yew", was this:
What advice do you have for Singaporeans now that you are gone? Remember, your advice must be in the form of Haiku 
"Keep Calm. Carry On.
Walk Softly. Carry Big Stick.
Winter is Coming."
Be unflappable. Don't panic. Life goes on, regardless.
Don't need to make a lot of noise, but be prepared to make an impact. Speak softly but back up your words with deeds or the willingness to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.
And winter is coming. Be prepared for hard times, cold times.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Lee

When an old tree falls in the forest, there is an impact.

But even before it falls, the forest anticipates.

When the great spreading branches falls with the tree, a patch of sky will open up, and in time many plants and bushes will spring up from where its shade once covered. And those plants will grow and compete and in time perhaps one will surpass the rest and become a new great tree. But only time will tell.

But even as some anticipates the opportunities that have been withheld, that would now be freed, others anticipate the passing with empathy and affection if not love for the great tree, and how it has impacted or even allowed them, their lives.

And some show their love and appreciation in their respective manner.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

A transcript of Lee Kuan Yew's interview with The New York Times - Sept 2010


[This interview was published about a month before Mrs Lee passed away - note the date.]


Sept 2010

Interviewer: Seth Mydans

NYT: You should be glad that you've gotten way past where most of us will get.

That is my trouble. So, when is the last leaf falling?

Do you feel like that, do you feel like the leaves are coming off?

Well, yes. I mean I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality and I mean generally every year when you know you are not on the same level as last year. But that is life.

My mother used to say never get old.

Well, there you will try never to think yourself old. I mean I keep fit, I swim, I cycle.

And yoga, is that right? Meditation?

Yes.

Tell me about meditation?

Well, I started it about two, three years ago when Ng Kok Song, the Chief Investment Officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, I knew he was doing meditation. His wife had died but he was completely serene.
So, I said, how do you achieve this? He said I meditate everyday and so did my wife and when she was dying of cancer, she was totally serene because she meditated everyday and he gave me a video of her in her last few weeks completely composed completely relaxed and she and him had been meditating for years.
Well, I said to him, you teach me. He is a devout Christian. He was taught by a man called Laurence Freeman, a Catholic. His guru was John Main a devout Catholic. When I was in London, Ng Kok Song introduced me to Laurence Freeman. In fact, he is coming to visit Singapore, and we will do a meditation session. The problem is to keep the mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts. It is most difficult to stay focused on the mantra. The discipline is to have a mantra which you keep repeating in your innermost heart, no need to voice it over and over again throughout the whole period of meditation.
The mantra they recommended was a religious one. Ma Ra Na Ta, four syllables. Come To Me Oh Lord Jesus. So I said Okay, I am not a Catholic but I will try. He said you can take any other mantra, Buddhist Om Mi Tuo Fo, and keep repeating it. To me Ma Ran Na Ta is more soothing. So I used Ma Ra Na Ta.
You must be disciplined. I find it helps me go to sleep after that. A certain tranquility settles over you. The day's pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there's less problem sleeping. I miss it sometimes when I am tired, or have gone out to a dinner and had wine. Then I cannot concentrate. Otherwise I stick to it ... a good meditator will do it for half-an-hour. I do it for 20 minutes.

What will you do with your CPF at 55?

Some of you will have plans.

Some of you will check your CPF balance, and get depressed.

Some of you may be too young to think about it; 55 is too far away to worry about.

Some of you will have a flat or some property to pay off even then.

But if you didn't have debts, and the money is available, what would you do with it?

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Curious

There has been some interest in this article from Sept 2013 - 18 months or so ago: 


Extract from the post:
In fact there is desire, if not pressure, for the PRC to assimilate into Singapore society by picking up English, and speaking more English.
So we have the interesting contradictory situation of wanting good Mandarin speakers to speak more English, while we want Singaporeans who don't speak Mandarin well, to improve their Mandarin... to speak to... whom?
 Is this an issue again?

Monday, 16 March 2015

A Tax before Dining

Previously, I had looked into who pays how much of tax because of a remark by a Minister.

Then I re-read this "parable" about the 10 diners - and wondered.
Every night, 10 men met at a restaurant for dinner. At the end of the meal, the bill would arrive. They owed $100 for the food that they shared.

Every night they lined up in the same order at the cash register. The first four men paid nothing at all. The fifth, grumbling about the unfairness of the situation, paid $1. The sixth man, feeling very generous, paid $3. The next three men paid $7, $12 and $18, respectively.

The last man was required to pay the remaining balance, $59. He realized that he was forced to pay for not only his own meal but the unpaid balance left by the first five men.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

#BuildSG2065

ST has this site for sharing ideas about what Singapore would be like in 50 years time - in 2065.

In other words, what would the Singapore To Be (Singapore 2B) be like?

Go take a look at the ideas of some Singaporeans.


Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Same Old Saw: The Unnecessary Evil

Over the weekend, this opinion was featured in the Straits Times:

National service for women: Time to change mindset
Feb 28, 2015

Ho Kwon Ping
In a recent dialogue session, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen was asked about female conscription, and he answered that it should not be for reasons of equity. In other words, it should be only for demographic reasons - if there are not enough young men to defend the country.
I wholly agree that female conscription should not be undertaken simply for equity reasons.