Today mark the first anniversary of the death of Lee Kuan Yew, the founding prime minister of Singapore.
A lion of a man, Lee was the first Prime Minister of Singapore, governing for more than three decades from 1959 to 1990, including through Singapore’s independence from Malaysia in 1965. He went on to assume the roles of Senior Minister and Minister Mentor right till his death, as the longest serving parliamentarian in the world.
Many have associated and attributed to Lee, the success and growth of Singapore to a first-world nation. His name still inspires awe and admirations in the international arena for good and efficient governance.
Nonetheless, Lee is a controversial figure in some respects, particularly for his tough, ruthless stance against anyone who dares go against him or the ruling party in Singapore which he founded, the People’s Action Party.
There is no denying that Lee contributed much to Singapore’s progress and achievements though and Singaporeans have a lot to thank him for what we enjoy today.
However, let’s not overdo the tributes.
While it is one thing to recognise the man for his vision, his policies and the great deeds he have done, it is another to canonise him like an immortal and elevate him like a facist symbol to the like of the three fatty Kims in North Korea.
These are some examples of overkills which really irked me:
Seeing something from nothing
Sorry to burst your bubbles Adrian Peh. I see just the sky and clouds.
Kowtowing to the immortal
How about also offering some incenses and rice cakes too?
Government setting guidelines on usage of name and image of Lee Kuan Yew
Okay to be fair, I understand the rationale is to prevent people from using his name for profiteering or some blatant abuse. Nonetheless, the guidelines smack of lese majeste laws which are more suited for ancient monarchies.
Shouldn’t the public be the ones to make the decisions ourselves on what is good or bad taste? Case in point, remember the backlash suffered by homegrown bakery brand, BreadTalk, when they launched a commemorative bun to capitalise on the death of Lee Kuan Yew? The public was quick to react and called for a boycott to punish them.
For me, I think just a simple “Thank you Mr Lee” and remembering him when I think of Singapore’s achievements will suffice as a tribute.
What about you?