Me remembering LKY

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This is the closest I got to LKY. His wax replica in HK.

On this final day as Singapore bade farewell to him, I just thought I penned my thoughts on his legacy and Singapore’s future from a Christian perspective.

Honestly, I’ve many unanswered questions of the real history of the emergence of PAP into power and Singapore’s independence. I do not subscribe “the end justifies the means” reasoning no matter how noble the end might be. However, on my unanswered questions, I believe I will gain more clarity on the accuracy and truth in the future with LKY’s demise.

But for now, I will focus on the present and there’s no denying that Singapore is a miracle. It’s a rags to riches story but one told by a nation and achieving first world status in 1-2 generations! Moreover achieved by a nation that is so tiny with absolutely no dependence of any natural resources to cash in! So Singapore’s prosperity and international status that we enjoy now is most credited to LKY’s vision, leadership and relentless pursuit in making it happen at all costs!

However, I know there’s a God who is sovereign and He determines who rises and who falls, which government gets elected and which gets thrown out. In all, God uses leaders or nations to achieve His purposes just as how He used king Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon. Therefore, I believe whatever the history accuracy ought to be, that is secondary in comparison to acknowledging and understanding how He is working through people and events to ultimately achieve His eternal purpose!

LKY’s era reminds me of how Moses led the Israelites when they were freed from Egypt as slaves. Like Moses, LKY introduced the rule of law to bring order towards becoming a civil society. He shaped them into a people and gave the people dignity that was lost. And facilitated a new way of life with independence. God was behind all these. He used LKY and is using Singapore for His purpose. No doubt.

So this begs the question why God has prospered Singapore in this season and among Asia? For the last 50 years the vision for Singapore was to secure it’s survival with economic prosperity. Now that has been achieved, what do we rightfully do with all the wealth and resources? Is it just for our indulgence and providing a false sense of security?

I believe that is what we as a people need to find out and chart into the next 50 years. And God to birth a new vision needed to aspire us to thrive as a people over just merely surviving!

The future of Singapore is now in the hands of the next generation. A new era has now open up to new opportunities to write HIS story. And to get a good reference of the future of Singapore and how we move into the next era we should study the book of Judges, Kings and Chronicles to glean on the wisdom through Israel’s tumultuous development as a nation before the exile.

Let us pray that Singapore continues to uphold integrity and righteousness zealously even with the passing of LKY. And pray that we will have a more overtly outward outlook beyond our own lives and beyond Singapore to fulfill our Antioch call for Asia- to be a beacon and blessing in advancing His kingdom of love, peace and righteousness. Amen!

Thoughts on the Singapore GE 2011

Below is one of the best personal commentaries on Singapore’s politics and the elections that I’ve read. Best in terms of objectivity, humility, full knowledge (not half-truths) of history, Christian’s view, balanced and especially humanity. Please read on.

Even though I’m against the PAP, I do recognize that in the past the PAP has had to make hard decisions and they’ve had to pass unpopular policies for the benefit of the country.

Governing a country is certainly not easy. Some decisions are hard decisions, but they need to be made nevertheless. So I do think that in general the PAP has had the right intentions.

They are not out to enrich themselves and they have no intention to make the poor suffer. They are well-qualified people with our interests at heart.

As yet, I wouldn’t trust an opposition government to make the right decisions. I believe the opposition candidates have bigger hearts, but I don’t believe there are enough with the experience and knowledge to understand the complexity of decisions involved and to make the difficult “non-populist” decision when needed.

On the other hand, while the PAP have lots of talented people, that in no way means they always make the right decisions that are best for Singapore. And that is the great problem with a one-party dominated parliament. There may be debates within the party, but that’s not good enough.

We need more voices and alternatives to be discussed publicly, not just behind closed doors.

Read the full blog post here>>>

Early April Fool’s Joke?

I almost fell off my chair laughing when I read the headline of the above article on the Straits Times dated 31 March 2009.

On the onset, please do not mistaken me for being disrespectful to our leaders. Nothing against them, but I am merely flabbergasted by the use of ‘depth of leadership’ here.

In my personal opinion, depth is built over many years of trials and challenges to mould a leader’s character, capacity and competence.

In Singapore, it seems our leaders are identified and measured mainly by their academic achievements over the ‘trials and challenges’ in our educational system.

Take a look at Barack Obama, Mahatma Ghandi, Lee Kuan Yew, Nelson Mandela or Martin Luther King, they started right from the bottom and fought courageously to earn the spot on the top.

Honestly, what credible and proven track records are there in our present leaders to measure their quality of depth? And what depth of leadership do they exhibit when everything is so conveniently handed to them? 

Political Leadership For a New Global Order

July 5, 2008 | The Straits Times

TABLE TALK: WITH FAREED ZAKARIA

How might Singapore deal with a world in which people are richer than ever before and many players are jostling for supremacy? The editor of Newsweek International, Dr Fareed Zakaria, proffers his thoughts

By Cheong Suk-Wai, Senior Writer

What Singapore has done very adroitly is to have moved up the value chain – to have said that ‘okay, we can’t compete with other countries in cheap labour, and so we’re going to do value-added products, we’re going to try services, we can compete (in) these areas, we’re going to move to the next level’.’

He applauds the Republic’s ‘very clever’ forays into such areas as tourism, film-making and software design. And all this, on top of managing good relations with both the United States and China, he notes admiringly.

But he adds that Singapore is the only rich country in the world without a fully functioning multi-party democracy. That will hobble its advance in the long run, he believes, because people ‘want not only economic rights, but also freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of thought’.

‘You may get lucky with a particular autocrat, but what happens after him?…If you could guarantee me in advance that you’ll get Lee Kuan Yew, that’s a whole different thing. But there’s no way beforehand to know that you’re going to get a leader like Lee Kuan Yew.’

He adds wryly, wondering whether this would get into print: ‘I think that the political system is rigged in favour of the People’s Action Party (PAP). Some of it is formal…Some of it is informal. But all of it is largely unnecessary.’

Singapore is already ‘a very open society in many ways’, he points out. ‘I often say this to people because they have an image of Singapore which is essentially incorrect…It is a place where you would certainly feel as if you had many, many freedoms and liberties…It has been lucky in having very wise leadership.’

But it has to widen its political outlook much more, he insists.

Read the full article here>>>