Wishing for More Strawberries to Call out Fat Boy in Australia

What a lovely post on a special day in a special year for us Singaporeans! Love it!

Thank you, Mr My15HWW!

 

Was surfing on Facebook when I saw this post. Clicked into the article DISCUSSING THE 5 GLARING SIMILARITIES THAT EXPLAIN THE SUCCESS OF LKY AND WARREN BUFFETT.

Very interesting read! Definitely a refreshing and much-needed (for me anyway) change from all the SG50 articles that are mostly about where to catch fireworks and how to spend the Golden Jubilee weekend *yawns*

 

Anyway, what’s gonna follow next might sound like a gushing love letter for a man deceased, but I’ll soldier on ahead anyway since this is my own space, hehe! Considered yourself warned, keke!

 

I’ve always loved and admired LKY, for all that he’s done for the nation. I truly believe that had it not been for his steely determination, incredible foresight and a very ‘world’s view’ kind of wisdom, Singapore would be nowhere near where we are now.

Just have a look at our neighbouring countries, and those are countries with more natural resources, bigger land size and bigger population (read= market) than us. So it’s really no easy feat to bring the nation from there to where we are now in our short history.

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But as much as I understood, respected and loved him for the nation-building part, especially in the formative years when it must have been darned difficult, I never really thought about how he had impacted and even changed my life. In his living years, I had never thought about it, and never made the connection of how the policies laid down had made all the difference to my life.

Yea, I just plain didn’t think about it.

 

But his death in March led me to read tons and tons of stuff about him, about what he had done and all that jazz. It was then that realization kicked in:

THIS MAN CHANGED MY LIFE.

 

I was born into and grew up in a poor family. Really, we were quite poor when I was growing up. And my parents weren’t able to receive much formal education and were blue-collar workers all the way.

Had it not been the government’s dogged pursuit of the higher-value and higher-tech foreign investments, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the kind of economic growth we have.

Had it not been the work of a stable government with a deliberately pro-business environment, we wouldn’t have had the abundance of jobs we had and still have.

Had it not been for the EFFECTIVE AND HARMONIOUS TRIPARTITE RELATIONS, we wouldn’t have recovered so quickly from each downturn and recession.

Had it not been the various schemes to look out for the lower income groups and the HOUSING POLICIES WITH HOME-OWNERSHIP IN MIND, my parents might not have been able to feed ourselves and still afford our own roof over our heads We had gone from a rental flat when I was born to them buying a one-room flat when I was in primary school, and they upgraded to a two-room flat when I was in secondary school….

Had it not been for the education system here, I wouldn’t have been able to receive all the education that I did. Had it not been for the MERITOCRACY we have in our society, (and the transparency and honesty in our public services), kids from poor families like myself might not have been able to land good jobs and good pay. I even managed to go overseas for my masters degree in my late 20s and landed my first five-figure salary when I turned 32. All these from a poor kid who lived in a rental flat. I’d say not bad.

(Personal tidbit: I’m no longer working in the private sector, and am now working for HAPPY instead of moolah ^^)

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Seriously, all that we enjoy and perhaps take for granted now did not happen by chance.

Singapore is the size of a pebble in a big fat ocean, and we have ZERO natural resources and our population is so small. We blardy didn’t have a chance. But hey, not only did we survive, we actually have become one of the most advanced, developed and some may even say successful nation from this region. Nothing short of a miracle, you know.

 

The social mobility that we have in our society is awesome.

Like in my own case, even if we’re not rich-rich now, we’re at least a reasonably comfortable middle-class family with our own roof over our heads. Life’s not luxurious, but it’ll do and we’re happy. It all didn’t happen by chance, you know. It’s all the policies, infrastructure and all that have allowed us such opportunities. Policies that try to level the playing field for even kids from poor families like me.

All these within one generation, and that counts for a lot, mind you.

 

The problem is… many of us have had it good for so long. In fact, for the younger folks, they’ve never even tasted failure or hard times. And we’ve long accustomed to a place where everything works efficiently and when something’s not working, it gets fixed really quickly. So the younger generation may not understand the tremendous effort that went into building this nation. They may not get that it wasn’t that long ago that things weren’t like this.

And that not everyone has it good like us elsewhere.

Just like what the author, Victor Mills, said in this article that went viral earlier this year, MANY SINGAPOREANS HAVE A MISPLACED SENSE OF ENTITLEMENT. And wait, before you start hurling criticism of how a foreigner should mind his own business, let me tell you Victor Mills is a naturalized Singaporean.

Interesting chap, methinks. Click HERE and HERE for more of his thoughts.

 

It’s almost shocking when I read some of the responses to some of our ministers’ sharing. There’s really nothing wrong with what the ministers (or even PM Lee or DPM Tharman) said, they usually make good sense and I believe they just wanted to paint a realistic picture for us so that we know what we’re up against.

But their words are always, sadly, taken out of context by those so-called alternative news sites or antis and mis-reported as them favouring foreign talents and dealing us, the locals, a really bad card. Or these antis would invariably sing same old tune of how the MPs and ministers are all making big bucks at the citizens’ expense or something along this line.

Like recently, SG Chan Chun Sing spoke about how OUR YOUNGER PMEs SHOULD GAIN MORE OVERSEAS EXPERIENCE so that we can remain competitive in the global economy.

Some people (deliberately?) (mis)interpreted his message as saying we Singaporeans are not good enough and that we should get out of the country. My eyeballs rolled to the back of my head. You want some eyeball-rolling exercise too? Click HERE.

 

And just today, some negative peeps also reacted badly to what Minister Tan Chuan Jin said in HIS RAPPLER INTERVIEW. He had said companies may choose to outsource their operations to places with lower operation costs like Manila, instead of Singapore, because the salary is possible a quarter of ours. Perfectly logical reasoning if you ask me. And he’s just stating facts.

Yet irresponsible alternative news site/s chose to take that out of context and twist Minister Tan’s words.

No, I won’t name the sites or share the links coz the last thing I wanna do is to drive traffic to it. And know what? I’d rather climb 10 flights of stairs first than to publicly acknowledge their existence. Hey, if you know me, you’ll know that 10 flights of stairs is a big fat hairy deal to me, k?

 

The worst thing is many of the readers blindly and ignorantly took what the so-called alternative news site published as the truth. They did not even bother to read the original article to form their own judgement I suspect these people just read headlines and sprout nonsense as comments and replies.

Anyway, looks like Minister Tan has been alerted of that ‘twisted’ post. Coz he posted this on his Facebook.

 

It’s just infuriating, all those people who create nothing out of something, and all those people who mislead others. They would yak about the darnedest things and then turn around and whine that there’s no freedom of speech in Singapore. Ya, right. Then why the heck they were able to publish so much already? *SMH*

Thank goooooodness I ain’t the only sane one around.

Am beginning to like this new site started by presumably young people. It’s called RISE OF THE STRAWBERRY NATION. Cute, right? Hur hur.

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Anyway, they also blogged about how one stupid site misled its followers with a twisted account of Minister Tan’s interview. These fab young peeps have lovingly referred to the owner of that lying site THE FAT BOY IN AUSTRALIA *giggles*

And peeps, please gorgeous please do yourself a favour. Don’t follow those anti-Singapore sites and sites that spread lies. And please don’t share or repost their things. The more we ignore them, the better. Alternative news sites and hate sites are two different things. Alternative news sites and sites that spread lies are two different things too.

Be discerning. Surely you would know by now,

DO NOT BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ ON THE INTERNET.

 

It’s all terribly sad. Don’t they know sites like the one owned by ‘the fat boy in Australia‘, and a few other Facebook pages (a certain ASS is gaining a lot of traction unfortunately) are all rubbish sites that publish half-truths on good days and complete untruths on bad days?

In my mind, sites like these are bordering on anti-Singapore, since all they do is twist people’s words by taking them out of context and to stir hatred amongst fellow Singaporeans. Dont’ go there, please, just don’t.

 

Anyway, I digress…

Going back to the topic of LKY. This is gonna be our first NDP without the man. Read that there’s gonna be a tribute for him at #NDP2015. They’re even going to leave an empty seat for him. Oh man, all the feels….

Let’s have one more look at his last NDP appearance.

 

There’s been A LOT OF TALK lately about #SG50 and even beyond, like #SG100 and stuff.

Can’t help but also mention that the next General Election should be near, or at least that’s what the whole world’s saying. I worry about the outcome, worry about how some people may not be thinking clearly. Or worse, voting whilst being misguided by reading all the half-truths and untruths online.

And, would there really be what they call the LEE KUAN YEW DIVIDEND? I sure hope so.

 

For this round, there’re supposedly over 100,000 first-time voters. What are these young people thinking? What are these young minds reading that might shape their minds? How will they vote?

If only the naysayers, anti-PAP and anti-Singapore people are starting so-called alternative news sites, are blogging and are leaving comments and generally making themselves heard, and the other voices are keeping silent, then what we have online is a very, very, very lopsided discussion. In fact, is there even discussion?

 

I wish wish wish that more people will speak up, and I specifically mean the people who may not necessarily agree with the currently loud noises online. This is not so much egging propaganda on, but I think balance is important.

So… am super happy that those adorable strawberry-munching young peeps (nope, never met them, but I’m gonna assume they’re uber adorbs, hehe!) are blogging.

I also came across this blog post by PETUNIA LEE that’s a rather good read! It’s a fab mix of head and heart, and I love how she’s described our ‘love affair’ with the ruling party. Hehe, yea, pretty much like an (Asian, my word) husband!

And there’s also this interesting one by SIMPLYJESME who had previously voted for the opposition party, but is now having a rethink. Seems like the ruling party’s earnest try at reaching out to communicate with the masses has touched at least her.

Go read.

 

Image Credits: Patrick Sng

Warm the Cockles of My Heart

I’ve two very adorable #overlyattachedcolleagues in the office.

Both are quite a fair bit younger than me, hehe, so to be honest, I pendulum between feeling bewildered and feeling thankful that they actually don’t mind spending time with this old one.

 

Anyway, I digress… One of them has this super-cute way of expressing herself, sometimes it’s the way she strings things together that describes the situation so interestingly, and sometimes it’s her peculiar choice of words.

Like ‘it warms the cockles of my heart‘. Who the hell says things like that?! You know how we all learn idioms and proverbs and all that jazz? But those stuff seems to fit better in writing. I mean, how many of you actually use idioms in your everyday speech?

Yea, J does. Cutely so.

 

I guess whenever she says something has warmed the cockles of her heart, she’s probably seeing lovely heart-shaped cockles in her mind, like this one.

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But hey, we’re all different and we should always celebrate diversity amongst humankind, ya?

You see, whenever I hear her say that, this kind of yummylicious cockles come to my mind, bwahwahwah!

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Until tonight.

I actually understood exactly why she sometimes feels compelled to use that description. Coz tonight, I watched a video that, yea, warmed the blardy cockles of heart. So much so that I decided to blog about it. But I needed to do a teeny weeny bit of research first.

 

And I chanced upon this news from Japan (EXACTLY two years ago!!) of how commuters at a train station in Tokyo, Japan, had acted swiftly to heave and push a train to save a woman trapped between the train and the platform.

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So apt and so funny that THIS ARTICLE actually used these words ‘warmed the cockles of my heart‘!

Like, how did THEY know?! ^o^

 

Back in 2014, something fairly similar happened in Perth, Australia. A man’s leg was trapped in the gap between the train and the platform.

Without anyone telling anyone else what to do, the commuters all rushed forward to help push and tilt the train to free the man! You can watch the amazing video HERE.

 

And then in UK in April this year (2015), Londoners banded together to help someone too!

A unicyclist collided with a double-decker bus and was trapped underneath the bus. Some 100 people just stepped up and moved forward to help free him from then.

Pretty amazing! You can watch the video HERE

 

Hokies! So such things had happened in Japan, Australia and the UK… and then it happened RIGHT HERE IN SINGAPORE THIS MORNING!

A pedetrain was trapped under a lorry along Boon Keng Road. It started with two handfuls of men helping to lift the lobby upwwards to free the man.

Then WHOA! More and more men came hurrying and running to the lorry to help out.

 

Mind you, all these, without anyone organizing anyone to do anything together. Whatever happened to us Singaporeans?

We have always been described and faulted with being mechanical, not expressive, not spontaneous, almost stoic… you get the drift. We’re seemingly incapable of doing stuff without the government telling us so, without someone organizing us to do so. No?

Here, watch the video.

 

Know what? I can’t really explain why, but yea I actually found myself tearing as I watched the video!

It was a rather strange feeling as I felt a strong sense of #SingaporeanPride, alongside feelings of being touched, being thankful. Anyway, I’d shared the video on Facebook and also commented that I cried watching it.

 

And shortly, I received a PM from a friend. Hehe, she’d PM’ed me to say she cried too watching the video! Yay! So glad I wasn’t the only weird and silly one!

She’d said,

“Really proud of what we have here in Singapore lah. Like people putting aside differences. And these was a comment that said ‘some of them could be FT and PRs too!'”

 

Really leh!

In fact, in a smaller way, I felt something that’s a teeny weeny bit similar to what i had felt during the poignant LKY WEEK. It sorta gave me hope that… hey, when it comes to the crunch, we Singaporeans CAN band together and do the necessary.

Yeaps, tonight marked the definitive moment I fully understand how it felt to have something warm the cockles of my heart.

 

Image Credits: rocketnews24.com

#LoveWins… Even If Just For This Weekend

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Did you wake up to a Facebook feed of rainbows, #LoveWins quotes and all things nice? Hehe, there’re even some jokes about how some older folks were checking with their kids if it’s National Rainbow Day or something.

Hurhur.

I really like the Visa ones. It brings out the gay marriage agenda and yet the brand retains their own ‘wide acceptance‘ flavour.

Love. Accepted Everywhere.

 

Visa ain’t the only brand that’s either embracing this or some people might say, jumping onto the bandwagon. Check out MASHABLE’s ARTICLE to see who else have.

 

Not just brands, individuals too have been quick to express their support too.  Mark Zuckerberg was amongst one of the first to say and in fact, do something.

Check out his profile pic on Facebook!

And he even showed how the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community has been growing. Or perhaps it’s more a case of the community feeling more comfortable to come out.

Do you see your friends’ profile pics touched with rainbow? Yea, they’d used the FACEBOOK CELEBRATE PRIDE TOOL.

OK, gotta make sure all of us here DO know that it’s not National Rainbow Day. Just in case there really are people who haven’t heard what’s with all the rainbowy stuff going on…

Basically, the Supreme Court (US) has legalized gay marriages.

Yup, the loooooong battle to make same-sex marriage legal across the US has finally seen a win last Friday (hehe, which is sorta Saturday in our side of the world.)

Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy read out the court’s decision to a room waiting with baited breath. HIS CLOSING STATEMENT was a beautiful tribute to the power of love:

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrates, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to finds its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The constitution grants them that right. The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.

 

President Obama, too, said something about this. But wait, before that, did you hear about how the media’s calling this OBAMA’s BEST WEEK! There’s even a A HILARIOUS VIDEO ABOUT THIS ON HUFFINGTON.

Anyway, here’s what the very charismatic leader (and public speaker!) has to say about this humongous milestone for advocates of same-sex marriage.

And check out how the White House turned into an astoundingly beautiful rainbow house!

 

For the record, I’m straight. And still for the record, I really don’t care if other people are straight or whatsoever. To me, a person’s sexual orientation is something personal.

It’s none of my business who other people choose to love. So long as other people don’t bother me with how I live, or better yet, don’t be too judgey, they can fancy whoever they fancy. So long as no humans and animals are hurt during the process.

I like to believe we live in a free world, and I believe we should and can LIVE AND LET LIVE. After all, there are sooooo many people in the world, surely we can’t all be the same, ya? Diversity abounds in humankind. Even if we cannot understand or explain why other people don’t see or feel the way we do, it does not necessarily mean that the other people are wrong and we are right.

Maybe we are just different. It takes all kinds to make the world. They don’t come up with stuff like ‘All roads lead to Rome‘ for nothing, you know. I like to read that as there are many different ways to get to the same destination.

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And don’t forget, happiness and success, too, mean different things to different people.

 

So what about Singapore? Are we ready to be more open to the LGBT community?

I know of many people who think so, and are openly advocating for more freedom and rights for the LGBT community.

There’s even a PINK DOT EVENT that takes place every June. Each year, they get more and more big-name sponsors, more and more famous ambassadors and yes, the turnout also grows from year to year.

For the most recent Pink Dot that happened just a couple of weeks ago, at Hong Lim Park as usual, some 28,000(!) people turned up. Of course, not all are LGBT, many are in fact straight people who want to lend their voice to the so-called #FreedomToLove cause. Some parents even brought their kids so a to educate them to be more all-embracing.

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But there’re some quarters in our society who are less ready to accept this. Yup, mainly the religious groups, particularly the Christians and Muslims. Since last year, a few more vocal ones even came out to encourage the pro-family people to WEAR WHITE on the Pink Dot event day where their supporters traditionally wear pink.

Don’t get why the intolerance, to be honest. From my point of view, it is just one day out of 365 days that the LGBT community wants to hold an event and wear pink collectively. Why can’t just let them be?

 

And quite recently, our PM LEE was also asked about HIS VIEWS ON THE LGBT ISSUE.

Long story short, PM Lee doesn’t think Singapore is ready for same-sex marriage since our society is still conservative. But he does acknowledge that the tide is changing gradually. He’d also said,

But the gay community have the space to live their lives in Singapore. We do not harass them or discriminate against them.

Where we are, I think, is not a bad place to be.

 

Know what? I agree with him.

While I am all for letting everyone make up their own mind who they wanna fall in love with, who they wanna spend the rest of their lives with, I can totally understand why most of us still would not want the LGBT community to set the tone for Singapore society.

Call me traditional, or call me Asian if you like (hehe, actually I am Asian!), but I believe rather firmly that family as a foundation is important. And I am largely supportive of the current ruling party’s pro-family stance and hence, policies. If so, given our limited land and other resources, it is only logical that policies would slant towards family units.

 

One of the main gripes of the LGBT community is that they cannot buy a HDB flat, since they can’t form a family necleus in the traditional sense with their same-sex partner. But hey, the same housing rule is applicable to singles too, alrighty? So it’s not like the rule’s there just to make things difficult for the LGBT community.

Surely most of us are logical enough to understand that the government cannot go all foot-loose and free up the rulings such that everyone is allowed access to subsidized flats. And hey, it’s not like we have no recourse, you know. If you have the money, you can always buy a private property. And if not, just wait till you’re 35 years old. Meanwhile, you can always continue to live with your family, or go rent a place if you really want, need and can afford the privacy.

 

I am with PM Lee in that there is space for the gay community, but they gotta be careful not to push their agenda too hard. Why? Coz if they push the agenda too hard, there will potentially be very strong pushback from the more conservative (and possibly religious) sections.

The country is not restricting your freedom to love, but within the parameters of the law and policiies, we are still largely Asian and family-focused. For most of us here, this is how we’ve chosen life to be.

 

Guess it’s hard to talk about this topic without touching on what THE LATE LKY had said, ya? He was, to many people’s surprise, quite tolerant and understanding.

Here, a very interesting exerpt from his Hard Truths to Keep Singapore Going book,

Homosexuality – It’s in the genes
(pp 377 – 380)

As in many societies, the issue of homosexuality is controversial in Singapore. From the heated parliamentary debates in 2007 over whether to retain or repeal Section 377A of the Penal Code, which prohibits sex between men (it was eventually retained), to the unease over homosexual content in student sex education manuals, the subject polarises the public. It was no surprise then that we received questions on this topic from both sides of the conservative-liberal divide, including one that asked how Lee would feel if one of his grandchildren were gay.

 

Q: What is your personal view on being gay? Do you think it’s a lifestyle or is it genetic?

A: No, it’s not a lifestyle. You can read the books you want, all the articles. There’s a genetic difference, so it’s not a matter of choice. They are born that way and that’s that. So if two men or two women are that way, just leave them alone. Whether they should be given rights of adoption is another matter because who’s going to look after the child? Those are complications that arise once you recognise that you could actually legally marry, then you say I want to adopt. Vivian Balakrishnan says it’s not decisively proven. Well, I believe it is. There’s enough evidence that some people are that way and just leave them be.

 

Q: This is more of a personal question, but how would you feel if one of your grandchildren were to say to you that he or she is gay?

A: That’s life. They’re born with that genetic code, that’s that. Dick Cheney didn’t like gays but his daughter was born like that. He says, “I still love here, full-stop.” It’s happened to his family. So on principle he’s against it but it’s his daughter. Do you throw the daughter out? That’s life. I mean none of my children is gay, but if they were, well, that’s that.

 

Q: So what do you see is an obstacle to gay couples adopting children? You said, who’s going to look after the child?

A: Who’s going to bring them up? Two men looking after a child? Two women looking after a child, maybe. But I’m not so sure because it’s not their own child. Unless you have artificial insemination and it’s their own child, then you have a certain maternal instinct immediately aroused by the process of pregnancy. But two men adopting a boy or a girl, what’s the point of it? These are consequential problems, we cross the bridge when we come to it. We haven’t come to that bridge yet. The people are not ready for it. In fact, some ministers are not ready for it. I take a practical view. I said this is happening and there’s nothing we can do about it. Life’s like that. People are born like that. It’s not new, it goes back to ancient times. So I think there’s something in the genetic code.

 

Q: It took time for Singaporeans to be able to accept single women MPs. Do you see Singaporeans being able to accept a gay MP? It’s already happening in a fairly widespread fashion in Europe.

A: As far as I am concerned, if she does her work as an MP, she looks after her constituents, she makes sensible speeches, she’s making a contribution, her private life is her life, that’s that. There was a British minister, I shouldn’t name him, a Conservative. He was out of office but he was hoping to become the leader of the party and we had dinner with a few friends. He thought he had to come out upfront that when he was at university at Oxford, he did get involved in same-sex activities. But he’s married now with children, he’s quite happy. So he came out with it. He didn’t become leader of the party, and that’s Britain. He thought he had come out upfront and it’d protect him him from investigative reporting. It did not help him. But had he kept quiet they would have dug it out, then it’s worse for him. So there you are. You know, there are two standards. It’s one thing the people at large, it’s another thing your minister or your prime minister being such a person. I mean Ted Heath [16] was not married. I shouldn’t say who the ministers were who said he’s a suppressed homosexual. So the opposition party leaders were telling me because it’s very strange. Here’s a man in the prime of life and getting on, 40, 50, still not married, single, and he was that way at Oxford. So they said, suppressed homosexual. That’s the opposition talk by very reputable leaders who tell me that seriously. So? And with it of course is disapprobation, that he’s unworthy to be a leader. But that was in the early 1970s.

 

Q: Did you come to this view on homosexuality just through scientific reasoning alone?

A: No, by my observation and historical data. I mean, in the Ottoman empire, they had a lot of it. And there was one story that D. H. Lawrence was captured in Arabia and they sodomised him. The Ottomans had their share of homosexuals and I’m sure there were also women in the harems. So? So be it.

 

Q: What about your acquaintances or your friends growing up throughout life, were any of them gay as well?

A: I’m not sure about acquaintances, but not my friends. I mean, they were all married. But I’m sure there must have been. This is not something which is recent, it goes back into historic times. And you have animals sometimes acting that way. So it’s not just human beings, there’s something in the genetic code.

 

Q: So is this one aspect where the conservative views of society are diametrically to your own practical view?

A: I’m not the prime minister, I told you that before I started. If I were the prime minister I would hesitate to push it through against the prevailing sentiment, against the prevailing values of society. You’re going against the current of the people, the underlying feeling. What’s the point of that, you know, breaking new ground and taking unnecessary risk? It will evolve over time, as so many things have, because after a while my own sort of maturing process will take place with other people. You don’t just live and then you cut off your ideas after a certain time. You keep on living and you watch people and you say, “Oh that’s the way life is”.

 

Q: But are you, personally speaking, frustrated by this conservatism?

A: No. I take a purely practical view.

 

Q: But are you frustrated by how this conservatism is perhaps opposed to the practical view?

A: No, that is life. I can’t change them overnight. I think society , their own experiences, their own reading, their own observations will bring about change despite their innate biases.

 

Click HERE if you’re keen to read more about what LKY thought about the subject of homosexuality.

Yea, it’s really a matter of time. But the time is not now.

Like what LKY had said, we have a part Muslim, another part conservative older Chinese and Indians, it’s best to go it slowly. We have to be careful so as to maintain social and racial harmony. Not everything in the world is about the pursuit of ideals and exercising our freedom of choice and expression to the fullest. It’s a lot to do with balancing our freedom with other people’s, and the delicate part is in how we’re all so blardy different.

But when it’s time, when we’re ready, we will know it. And come that time, nothing will stop it from happening coz it will come naturally.

For now, perhaps we should just live and let live. And respect others’ views as much as we want ours respected.

 

Of late, there’s a BLOGGER whose writing I’ve come to enjoy. Her posts are typically short, but so alive with sassiness and personality. I wish I write like her.

Anyway, saw this on her INSTAGRAM.

No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right. #LoveWins ❤️

A photo posted by Flora (@floraisabelle) on

 

Wish wish wish people are more tolerant. At least for this weekend. It’s a win for the LGBT community after decades of championing and all that. Wish we could just let them bask in the happiness for a bit. You know, like don’t rain on their parade? (But oh wait, LKY did say no gay parades here for now ^^)

Perhaps there’ll be people who say I don’t understand since I ain’t a Christian nor am I Muslim, hence I don’t get how the LGBT acts are all deeds of sin or whatever the heck they wanna label it. Can’t argue with it, since I really don’t know. But that doesn’t mean I ain’t entitled to my own views. Last I checked, views and opinons are personal, and even agnostic people like me are entitled to them.

There are so many other things that can do with more care and attention than the LGBT issue. Heck, I’ll just come outright and say it. There are more (and perhaps bigger?) sins than LGBT acts.

Besides, the world that we live in is falling sick. There are so many problems everywhere we look. Surely these LGBT-concerned parties can go concern themselves with other things like saving mother earth or helping poor children, rather than to worry themselves about what happens in other people’s bedrooms?

Of course that’s just me and my runaway thoughts expressed in my personal blog.

And oh, THIS is a pretty good read, no matter which side of the fence you’re sitting on.

 

Anyway, wanna leave you with some rather interesting food for thought. Not sure about you, but I had a ‘Ya hor?!‘ moment when I read it.

Image Credits: visa.tumblr, pinkdot.sg

It’s May (Day)…

Gosh, it’s already 3rd May. The past five weeks passed so quickly that I can’t even really remember much of what happened.

I came back from my Japan hols in on 22nd March, a day after Mr LKY had passed away. The week that followed was surreal. Thereafter, was busy catching up with work and I even went on a short work trip to Hong Kong two weeks ago. Then the next thing I knew, May Day had come and gone.

So many times over the past few weeks I’d wanted so badly to blog. I’d click open the page on my iPad, but dozed off. Heck, I didn’t even have time to finish sorting out the photos from my Japan trip.

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Soon, I hope *fingers crossed*

And surprise, surprise, I’d received a handful of email from readers! All of them who had written to me were reading my blog from before, yea, that old blogspot blog that I’d since locked away. So sweet of them to remember!

And nooooo… I haven’t abandoned this blog! I was just busy.

But there was one comment on MY MAKGEOLLI POST that caused an eye-rolling moment though. I’d replied tonight, so you go read both his comment and my reply. Hope that’d be the last I hear of him.

 

Now as most of you would probably know by now, I work for the Labour Movement, so Labour Day (May Day) is a big deal to us. Even if the workers don’t go on strikes on May Day, it IS still an important occasion for us.

Click HERE to read the 10 things you probably didn’t know (but should, hehe!) about Singapore’s Labour Movement.

An interesting piece as it explores the more serious issues like how Mr LKY started his political career as an unionist, how his close ties with the workers and unions helped shape his political values and hence, policymaking, to the more light-hearted curiosities like why union members refer to one another as ‘brothers‘ and ‘sisters‘.

Hehe, even PM Lee was referred to as a ‘Brother‘!

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Talking about May Day, I really really really love this series of #MaysofMayDay done up by COMMUNITY.

I’ve no idea who’s behind this Instagram profile, since there’s just a Youtube channel on its bio. The Youtube channel also gave nothing away about who they are, what they do.

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And this one’s my absolute fave! Not that the glass ceiling situation is THAT bad here, but I love the construct of the image and the copy’s just brilliant!

Oh, did I mention I’ve a long-incurable love affair with shoes? Hee!

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Anyway, back to Labour Movement and May Day.

What usually happens on May Day for Singapore’s Labour Movement is that we will have a May Day Rally in the morning of 1st Day, where the Prime Minister will be guest-of-honor. This is to reflect the symbiotic relationship of the ruling party (PAP) and NTUC.

Since it’s SG50 this year, the May Day Rally’s done on a much bigger scale. The Star Vista saw a superb turnout of some 5,000 union peeps and guests on Friday morning!

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Quite an amazing sight!

It’s also my first May Day Rally, so I also didn’t know what to expect. I was initially bewildered why all the attendees were supposed to wear the NTUC polo tees, which come in a variety of colours.

But on Friday morning, seated in the hall, I knew why. It was to create a sense of unity and togetherness.

And more importantly, we’re all for one, regardless of what industries we’re in, what jobs we do, what collars we are, on this day, all of us workers come together as one, to celebrate the special meaning May Day has for us.

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PM Lee and his wife, Ho Ching, DPMs Tharman and Teo Chee Hean, as well as the other ministers and MPs like Mr Goh Chok Tong, and Mr Tan Chuan Jin all attended the Rally in the NTUC polo tees. Nice!

PM Lee and our outgoing labour chief were both wearing red.

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Bwahwahwah, me tooooo!

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But more importantly were the messages. SG Lim took time to highlight the contribution of ordinary workers in various industries over the pas 50 years to make an extraordinary nation out of Singapore. He thanked them for their hard work towards nation-building.

SG Lim also stressed on the need for the Singaporean workforce to continue to upgrade so that we can continue to face up to future challenges. I think he’s right; we have nothing, no natural resources except for our people. If without skills, we can only compete on price. I shudder to think of the day if we all become cheap labour. So in order to attract investments and all that jazz, we’d better buck up and be sure that today we start learning tomorrow’s skills, so that we’ll be FutureReady.

Be it to up-skill, re-skill or second-skill, we’d better get ourselves some skills that would be relevant to the future.

The third thing that SG Lim touched on was on tripartism, and how it is critical that we keep the well-oiled engine going. For the future will not be easier, so we cannot let our guard down. All three partners have to work well together, in fact, they should work even more closely together as there will be more challenges in the future.

You can read more HERE.

 

As for PM Lee, he spent some time talking about his father and how his political beginnings were with the unions. PM Lee reminded us that it’s our first May Day without Mr Lee.

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As PM Lee was talking about his father’s work with the unions, he became emotional at one point and had to hold back tears. We could all hear how his voice became shaky and he had to stop himself so that he would not break down. It was so heartbreaking to watch, and oh my…. all sorts of feels…

Like SG, PM Lee reiterated on the relevance and importance of TRIPARTISM.

He also renewed the ruling party’s commitment that they would always have the workers’ interests at heart, and they would always be a supportive partner to the Labour Movement of Singapore.

This Government will always be on the side of workers. This was Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s promise right from the start, and this…

Posted by Lee Hsien Loong on Friday, 1 May 2015

 

What about PM Lee’s messages?

Other than stressing on the need to carry on Mr LKY’s legacy of partnering NTUC to support the Labour Movement to improve the workers’ life, he also spent time to share his worry about leadership renewal.

Hehe, this led to MAJORRRR speculation that the general election should be coming. In fact, some people even went so far as to call PM Lee’s rally speech the first election speech!

Hee, news site, Mothership, so excited they’d published an article on 8 ‘ELECTION IS COMING’ QUOTES FROM PM DURING THE RALLY.

Ex-ST journalist and now an online writer with a rather impressive and vocal following, Bertha Henson also shared HER TAKE ON PM LEE’s RALLY SPEECH. Interesting read, so go read!

 

And oh, I was talking about how union peeps address one another as brothers and sisters earlier on, ya? BERTHA and ALVINOLOGY also touched on this in their posts.

 

Omona! It’s already 5AM! I’d better go sleeeeeep! I’d just leave you with the May Day video that NIGHT OWL CINEMATICS had produced to thank the workers for their contribution to the nation through the years.

Image Credits: vulcanpost.com

Not Ready to Say Goodbye

I’ve just come back from a 12-day Japan trip since Tuesday.

Since I’ve been back, it’s been a mad week. Lots going on at work, and am sure you’ve heard about MR LEE KUAN YEW’s PASSING early Monday morning, 23rd March 2015 at 3:18AM, to be exact.

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It was been a strange week. Guess it’s unusual times for all of us here in Singapore. I’ve always loved our Founding Father, and his brand of tough love is such a special thing. So I already knew I’d be sad when he’s gone. But I really didn’t expect to be THIS sad, to be THIS affected.

Guess as strong and fierce his love is, our love back for this Iron Man is no trivial force either.

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I said it’s a strange week coz everything seems to be at stand-sill. Everyone’s watching and reading all things LKY. Really, everywhere I go, I see people glued to their cellphones checking THE CROWD QUEUING TO GO INTO PARLIAMENT HOUSE TO PAY THEIR LAST RESPECTS, reading some LKY articles or watching some LKY vids.

The outpouring of grief and strong show of love as hundreds of thousands of people queued for hours and hours just to file past his coffin to say Thank You and Goodbye.

And yet more hundreds of thousands visited the tribute centres all over the island to pay their last respects for the man who has been described as the founding father and founding prime minister of Singapore.

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Yes, over a million (and still counting!) people had flocked to give our very own Iron Man a very special send-off. Who would have guessed that the silent majority would be this expressive?

It was as though we’re regretting all the times we didn’t say Thank You, and all the times we didn’t show him our love. But all our near-desperate measure of spending endless hours queuing just to file past his cold, dead body for a few seconds had the feeling of us doing too little too late for a man who had given us so so so much.

He had left us with a legacy, and his legacy is everywhere we look. It’s in the homes we live in, it’s in the water when we turn on the tap, it’s in the trees that line our streets, it’s in our efficient public transport network, it’s in our schools, in our systems and policies. One only has to look around to see his life work.

 

Local online influencer who is sometimes critical, Mr Brown, has put up a beautiful site with at times breathtaking and at other times, heartbreaking photos. Click HERE to see.

Looks like even PM Lee has seen these photos!

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I read HERE that over 450,000 people had queued for hours and hours, day and night, over a four-day period to pay their last respects at the Parliament House. Another 1.1 million turned up at the various tribute sites all over the island.

I’d imagine no one really expected this overwhelming outpouring of grief. HERE’s a superb piece on why we cry.

And how does the the Great Singapore Queue of people waiting to pay their last respects at Parliament House look like?

 

Even the celebs went queuing. Like Caldecott Hill Queen Zoe Tay and company. And yea, STEFANIE SUN too.

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She was reportedly amongst one of the first ones in the queue on the first day at Parliament House. Click HERE to read.

 

Believe more ministers and MPs will be sharing their thoughts later, but so far there are two that I’ve come across and particularly liked.

One’s from Minister for Foreign Affairs, Minister for Law and MP for Nee Soon GRC, Mr Shanmugan. His story is similar to many of ours, or it’s what I call the Singapore Dream. How many of our families have attained a better quality of life in just one generation, thanks to Mr Lee and his team’s policies. Education to level the playing field, the emphasis on meritocracy and transparency that allow us all to have a better chance at success.

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Minister for Manpower and MP for Marine Parade GRC, Mr Tan Chuan Jin, also put up a touching note. There’s one point in his note that GEORGE YEO had already spoken of. In fact, he had even left this message on ‘Look all around you‘ in one of the condolence books he’d signed for Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

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Click HERE to read Minister Tan Chuan Jin’s note.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s life work is really all around us, ain’t it? Even if we didn’t have the opportunity to have any personal interaction with him, our lives are still invariably and deeply affected by him, by his decisions.

HERE’s a superb read on his legacy and how we do not need any museums or monuments to remind ourselves of him.

He is all around us.

 

This whole week has been an endless fever of reading and more reading on all things LKY. I think I probably read more about this man and his life in this week than I did in my entire life. But hey, I ain’t complaining. Even now, I’m still hungrily and ferociously wolfing down all the material I come across about this complex and brilliant man.

And know what? To know him is to love him.

 

Sometimes I get frustrated with how the Western media pick on us and all. But mostly, I’m happy that Mr Lee didn’t care, never did, about offending ’em from countries way bigger and way more powerful than ours. He always put them in their place.

Here, a piece of my mind on this subject. And oh, do read the article on LEGACY AND THE MYTH OF TRADE-OFFs by CALVIN CHENG below, ya?

 

(Western) critics call Singapore an autocracy, but lots of people never felt more free than when we lived here. Don’t take my word for it, read THIS or better yet, come live here.

 

Here’s another good read that even PM Lee thought his father would approve.

 

What’s interesting about this man is that despite people trying to put him into pigeonholes, classifying him leftish vs rightist, socialist vs capitalist, conservative vs liberal, etc etc etc, he’s actually none of these.

He had once said,

“I was never a prisoner of any theory. What guided me were reason and reality. The acid test I applied to every theory or scheme was: Would it work? The acid test is in performance, not promises. It is not from weakness that one commands respect. As long as the leaders take care of their people, they will obey the leaders.”

Tony Blair has also flown in all the way from the UK to attend the funeral and in HIS INTERVIEW WITH CHANNELNEWSASIA, he also pretty much confirmed that Mr Lee Kuan Yew didn’t exactly subscribe to a certain ideology. He preferred to look at the situation or problem at hand and explore how best to solve it without being bound to any political ideology.

There’s also this post by a certain Wai Ming that I absolutely love and that you absolutely have to read. He’s managed to pen a piece on such a complex subject in such a simple way.

 

Ohhhh…. forgot to say that this blog post ain’t a tribute or whatever. I ain’t ready to say goodbye, and I haven’t yet collected my thoughts enough to write anything remotely coherent. So I just want to share some reading that I’ve enjoyed this past week.

If only it is really like what this person has said, that there is no need to bid farewell. HIS LIFE-WORK IS REALLY ALL AROUND US.

 

What about this piece? THE MOST BRILLIANT POLITICIAN YOU NEVER KNEW

James Fallows would probably count as one of those who have a bone to pick with Singapore and our brand of freedom and democracy. Over the years, some less than favourable articles have been penned by this man. He too had written a piece after Mr Lee’s passing. He’d described our founding father as THE LEADER WHO LASTED.

Read that? I thought it was, a little surprisingly, not too scalding a piece.

 

Remember I’d mentioned about ex-ST editor BERTHA HENSON? Aka the Troublemaker, she too had published a few posts the past week. She shared HER TRUSTY REPORTER’s NOTES ON THE MAN.

She even wrote something on and for PM Lee too, FOR THE PM, THE FATHER’s SON.

 

Digital lifestyle site Vulcan Post also published quite a few pieces on Lee Kuan Yew. There’s one on THE EIGHT LESSONS YOU CAN LEARN FROM LEE KUAN YEW, and another intriguing piece on LEE KUAN YEW, THE GANGSTER, the GARDENER AND THE UNIONIST AT HEART.

Lifestyle blogger Flora too touched a little on how Mr Lee started his political career representing workers and trade unions HERE.

 

And oh, NTUC This Week has also published a Special Edition, Remembering Lee Kuan Yew. It’s very rich in contents!

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If you can’t get a copy at the Fairprice outlets, you can also download a digital copy HERE.

 

Gonna leave you with a tribute vid that shows the softer side of the man with a big heart.