This is not a makeup related post.
If you’ve been reading the news, you’d know that the founding father of Singapore – Mr Lee Kuan Yew – died this week. And today was his funeral. For most people, this is not a big deal. Honestly, as a Singaporean, I didn’t even give it much thought before, when he was still alive.
But after he died, a lot of things came to my mind.
Like how lucky I am to be a Singaporean; and I wouldn’t have what I have today if not for him.
I’m glad and proud to be a Singaporean – a first world country with clean water, safe streets, comfortable homes, and where stable jobs are available. We have one of the highest GDP per capita in the world. I am not rich but I never went hungry and I never had to beg.
I had a great education, and I speak two languages – and probably the two most important in our day – fluently, because he had the foresight to make sure that every Singaporean is at least bilingual. I have a red passport that allows me to travel to most countries without having to apply for Visa.
We have affordable healthcare and reasonable tax rates. We have our own pension scheme where we ‘save’ for our own future pension only – something that a lot of Singaporeans complain about, but they have never lived abroad and had to pay pension for someone else.
All this from a third world country that had nothing; but we had him, and he made it happen in less than 50 years. From third world to first.
Today, as we watched the funeral procession on TV, I thought, WOW. I saw the number of dignitaries from all around the world who turned up. I saw the throngs of people who lined up along the streets, waiting for his coffin to pass by, so they could say their last farewell.
I had queued 3hours a few days ago in the hot sun to pay my respects when his body was lying in state at the Parliament House – a quick little bow to him; but there were others who queued nearly 12hours. But it really doesn’t matter how many hours that we’ve queued or waited.
Really, it’s about what we, as Singaporeans, do with the life that he had worked so hard to give us – the chances that he has created. I’m 30 this year; I wouldn’t say that I am a failure – I had a great education and holding a better than average job for my age, but I know that I could do more.
It’s time to start doing more and live fully.
‘Life is better short, healthy and full than long, unhealthy and dismal.’ – LKY