My ‘Love – Hate’ relationship with LKY
“No one is going to hand me success. I must go out & get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world, and myself.” — Unknown
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October 21, 2016 ·
Bertrand Russell’s Advice for Future Generations
Bertrand Arthur William Russell (18 May 1872 – 2 February 1970) was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, writer, social critic, political activist, he was a prominent anti-war activist and a Nobel laureate.
Advice from Bertrand Russell when he was interviewed in 1959 by John Freeman for BBC’s Face to Face.
Kudos to Lee Kuan Yew, for finally succeeding in making a little girl cry!
Chee Soon Juan Talks To Ellen Ratner Of Talk Radio News Service Bureau
The Chees vs The Lees
WE NEED NOT FEAR WHEN WE ARE GUIDED BY OUR CONSCIENCE
My mother said that after LKY death many people will start bringing out the dirt of Lee’s family to vent out their anger and frustration and I am surprised that I am one of them because those who know me they know where I stand in regard to LKY in particular.
I would like to share this article in today Straits Time written by Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew’s daughter Lee Wei Ling who is the director of National Neuroscience Institute.
“Doing what’s right without fear or favour”
I was born and bred in Singapore. This is my home, to which I am tied by family and friends. Yet many Singaporeans find me eccentric, though most are too polite to verbalise it. I only realized how eccentric I am when one friend pointed out to me why I could not use my own yardstick to judge others.
I dislike intensely the elitist attitude of some in our upper socio-economic class. I have been accused of reverse snobbery because I tend to avoid the wealthy who flaunt their wealth ostentatiously or do not help the less fortunate members of our society.
I treat all people I meet as equals, be it a truck driver friend or a patient and friend who belongs to the richest family in Singapore.
I appraise people not by their usefulness to me but by their character. I favour those with integrity, compassion and courage. I feel too many among us place inordinate emphasis on academic performance, job status, appearance and presentation.
I am a doctor and director of the smallest public sector hospital in Singapore, the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI). I have 300 staff, of whom 100 are doctors. I emphasise to my doctors that they must do their best for every patient regardless of paying status. I also appraise my doctors on how well they care for our patients, not by how much money they bring in for NNI.
My doctors know I have friends who are likely to come in as subsidized patients. I warn them that if I find them not treating any subsidised patient well, their appraisal – hence bonus and annual salary increments – would be negatively affected. My doctors know I will do as I say.
I remind them that the purpose of our existence and measure of our success is how well we care for all our patients – and that this is the morally correct way to behave and should be the reason why we are doctors. In NNI, almost all patients are given the best possible treatment regardless of their paying status.
My preference for egalitarianism extends to how I interact with my staff. I am director because the organization needs a reporting structure. But my staff are encouraged to speak out when they disagree with me. This tends to be a rarity in several institutions in Singapore. The fear that one’s career path may be negatively affected is what prevents many people from speaking out.
This reflects poorly on leadership. In many organizations, superiors do not like to be contradicted by those who work under them. Intellectual arrogance is a deplorable attitude.
“Listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story,” the Desiderata tells us. It is advice we should all heed – especially leaders, especially doctors.
I speak out when I see something wrong that no one appears to be trying to correct. Not infrequently, I try to right the wrong. In doing so, I have stepped on the sensitive toes of quite a few members of the establishment”. As a result, I have been labeled “anti-establishment”. Less kind comments include: “She dares to do so because she has a god-father”.
I am indifferent to these untrue criticisms; I report to my conscience; and I would not be able to face myself if I knew that there was a wrong that I could have righted but failed to do so.
I have no protective godfather. My father, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, would not interfere with any disciplinary measures that might be meted out to me.
And I am not anti-establishment. I am proud of what Singapore has achieved. But I am not a mouthpiece of the government. I am capable of independent thought and I can view problems or issues from a perspective that others may have overlooked.
A few months ago, I gave a talk on medical ethics to students of our Graduate Medical School. They sent me a thank-you card with a message written by each student. One wrote: “You are maverick, yet you are certainly not anti-establishment. You obey the moral law.” Another wrote: “Thank you for sharing your perspective with us and being the voice that not many dares to take.”
It would be better for Singapore’s medical fraternity if the young can feel this way about all of us in positions of authority.
After the Sars epidemic in 2003, the Government began to transform Singapore into a vibrant city with arts and culture festivals, and soon, integrated resorts and night F1. But can we claim to be a civilized first world country where the disparity between the different socio-economic classes is much more extreme and social snobbery is even worse than in Singapore? But that is no excuse for Singaporeans not to try harder to treat each other with dignity and care.
After all, both the Bible and Confucius tell us not to treat others in a way that we ourselves would not want to be treated. That is a moral precept that many societies accept in theory, but do not carry out in practice.
I wish Singapore could be an exception in this as it has been in many other areas where we have surprised others with our success.”
Why the Government dampens our Pure Spirit on World Harmony Day 2003?
MY LETTER TO MM LEE WAS WRITTEN AROUND THE MIDDLE OF 2013. IT WAS WISHFUL THINKING THAT WE WILL BE ALLOWED TO HOST WORLD HARMONY DAY TO LIBERATE PALESTINE BUT YOU DON’T TRY YOU DON’T KNOW. EVERYONE SHOULD PUSH THEIR LUCK SOMETIMES:)
Dear MM Lee,
CAN WE DO MORE AND SHOULD WE EVEN CARE?
I wish you the best of health. On 28 November 2011, I wrote to you with regards to the Palestinian people’s struggle for a homeland http://www.dearmmlee.com/palestinians-need-our-support/ Today I am writing to seek your permission to allow World Harmony Day platform to rally for the LIBERATION of PALESTINE. http://www.palestinebedrockoftheworld.com/palestinian-declaration/
Your wisdom inspires me. When my teacher said that if the world does not care for the Palestinian people, then Palestine will disappear from the map of the World, I knew that you could guide me in my quest to help the Palestinians. I’m sure you would not want that to happen to the poor Palestinian people because you fought tooth and nail for our beloved Singapore and hence you must be able to feel their pain and sorrow.
Without Singapore we are nothing, and thanks to you, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, we stand tall in the eyes of the world. Similarly, without Palestine, the Palestinians have been treated worse than poorly treated livestock in their own country by Zionist Israel. I hope you can give the Palestinians your support by allowing us ordinary Singaporeans to play our part in striving for greater humanity, and we pray that it’s not too much to ask from our Singapore Government.
This was what President Obama said on December 2009 while accepting the Nobel Peace Prize in his acceptance speech, “Let us reach for the world that ought to be — that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.” This was exactly what we were doing on World Harmony Day 2002, but unfortunately, due to the coming Iraq war, one of the Ministers turned our event upside down:(
Our pure actions did not harm Singapore in any way and we hoped that they, in fact, enhanced our reputation as a nation in support of peace and harmony. We were so troubled that the authorities thought WHD members were terrorists in the making, it was heartbreaking. I am sure that after viewing the video, you will think otherwise.
Everyone who attended that night could feel that all the members’ souls were genuinely striving for greater humanity which is so necessary in our troubled times. And especially in these times when Zionist Israel is adamant in their desire to bomb Iran! On that night, the people had given us a thumbs up and asked us not to give up, no matter what! I don’t expect our government to give me the THUMBS UP, but I sincerely hope the government will allow us to support the Palestinian people’s struggle for a homeland. Silence is a crime and I do not want to be a criminal! And I hope you feel the same.
I believe now is the time that I can open my heart to you without reservation and my sixth sense tells me that you are ready to listen to me with an open heart because we cannot turn away anymore. My mother, Lim Soon Heng, said that Lee Kuan Yew is a reasonable man and he will listen if what we want to do is for the good of Singapore. Our foreign policy should not be one-way traffic, and as PM Lee Hsien Loong said, we must have the right politics and the right politics now is to change our mindset that the WEST is not our protector!!
The right politics for me is to give the Palestinian people my full support that allows us to strive for greater humanity. Even the Good Israelis and American Jews are in agreement to give the Palestinians a Homeland, so why are we silent?
I sincerely hope the Singapore Government can do more for Palestine, but even if we are not on the same page, please allow and support the caring Singaporeans like me to play our part because this is what is expected of us from Almighty God. I LOVE GOD VERY VERY MUCH so I must also obey God’s law which means JUSTICE MUST PREVAIL!
Chong Sun Wah
Dearest MM Lee,
In my younger days I often heard the people especially the intellectual ones and businessmen condemning the government actions and this was what my mother said, “The government must continue to do what is best for the people and nation, but for Singapore to excel and not just survive a small percentage of the population must sacrifice for higher ideals if not society will be stagnant.” I admired her wisdom and foresight so I embarked on the spiritual journey to save my soul and the souls of my children.
Singapore is our home and the home of our children’s children; therefore all Singaporeans got to give Singapore the best without reservation. “We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa. There are works to be done and every Singaporeans got to play their part whether we are paid or not or whether the Government understands our intention because for Singapore to excel beyond our imagination as a great renaissance city “Together, We Can All Make A Difference, And Together, WE ALL COUNT!!
“Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – Emerson
I was truly moved by Arundhti Roy’s words, who said (or words to that effect) “the World is changing… on a quiet day I can almost hear it breathe …” Similarly, when I looked at a building or a piece of land, it comes ‘alive’ to me and I can sense a meaning from its design and see it ‘breathe life’ into the people. My six-sense also tell me this tiny red dot will one day be a LIVE university for the world on spiritual attainment. The foundation that you have piled for Singapore as one racial family will hold us together.
I know that the World is changing and will be changing (I’m not talking the Buddhist sense of things being impermanent) in spite and despite us. But rather than being a bystander, or one who remains inspired, I want so much to be in ‘spirit’ and in the move of this ‘great change’. I want to be part of this change and if possible be the one to influence these great changes. For this reason, I need to do proposals with the hope someone of high authority will hear me.
When SM Goh was the prime minister he had called upon the whole nation to come forward to contribute ideas- “Big ideas or small ideas, let them flow. Turn Singapore into a nation of ideas.” On Straits Times October 14, 1999, this was what PM Goh got to say.
“Set up citizens’ ideas teams and let the ideas flow. This invitation came from PM Goh in parliament yesterday when he said the Government was serious about consulting people and getting them to participate in national issues. Having given Singaporeans physical stakes in the country, it now wants to deepen their emotional stakes. He said: “This is why I have made consultation and participation one of the Government’s major goals. It is to give Singaporeans a bigger say in their own future, and thus bond them to Singapore.”
With these words, the Prime Minister threw his weight behind the centerpiece of Government policy that was spelt out by President S.R. Nathan last week in his address to parliament. Mr. Goh had first issued his rallying call to ‘move beyond material progress, to a society which places people at its very center’ when he opened the last parliamentary session in June 1997. Yesterday, speaking during the last day of debate on the President’s Address, he reaffirmed the vision. He said that the economic crisis Singapore had experienced since then underscored the importance of harnessing people’s ideas and energy in a volatile environment. Singapore could make it as a first-world economy, but faced a tougher challenge of creating a world-class home, he said. To help create a home where citizens felt they belong, “where they are king and where they can decorate and arrange the furniture the way they like”, the Government would give people more scope to take part in national affairs, he said.
“We now want to go beyond feedback on how policies affect people, to encouraging Singaporeans to submit constructive suggestions and new ideas.” He urges Singaporeans to form themselves into work improvement teams to submit ideas on any aspect of government. “We will introduce an award scheme to give symbolic recognition for useful ideas put by Singaporeans, either individually or as a team.”
With his encouragement I have submitted the proposal for SMU development not to hope for an award or recognition but because I believed art and architecture should take center stage in nation-building. To be a great renaissance city we need to strive for the spiritual achievements too. Trying to push the boundary of racial and religious discussion is not an easy matter but a very fundamental one.
When I tried to host WHD 2006 the civil servants from Perlu, Mr. Prasad from National Library and Mr. Gerard Ee from Beyond Social Services were suspicious of me when I wanted to promote the book “Colours of Harmony”. Mrs. Kiang from the library gave 50 books to me to share it with the people on that night on WHD 2006. The book “Colours of Harmony” is one good example how we could build a better understanding of all faiths. They said that they do not like to be associated with religions:(
Why do they feel uncomfortable or threatened when this beautiful book is sharing with us the beauty of all religions, moreover it was developed by MCYS and not Sunflower Chong? They were also not comfortable when I invited IRO to give the blessing on World Harmony Day. They wanted to know what these religious leaders were praying for and why they needed 30mins for the prayer. I gave Mr. Harban Singh 10mins for the ten religious leaders but he said not enough. He said that he needed at least 20min, 2min for each prayer. Then he said to walk up and down the stairs need another 5mins. If it is the government hosting such occasion I believed they would not question why must the IRO get involved or how many mins should be given to them, I really cannot Tahun the civil servants because they can drive you crazy!! Many civil servants and building owners do not like to be seen or associated with religions as though religions are diseases!! We need to change this mindset if we want to reach our goal of a progressive society.
As a volunteer for the Biennale 2006, I have met many interesting people who have a lot of ideas in helping to promote racial and religious harmony. I believe with all my heart that as a people and nation we are ready to take the challenge to write a book for humanity. Let me share with you this email from a young Singaporean name Ephraim Loy from SMU.
I felt that it is an inspirational piece. Maybe you could send to MICA Minister instead?
I am sometimes guilty of not wanting to mix religious activities with daily life. But I am trying my best to embrace inter-religious activities and starting to understand other religions better.
It was an insight for me as a Christian when I visited a Buddhist temple in Vietnam last year.
Religious tolerance is good but I agree that we have to understand each other religions better considering that we are Singaporeans.
I cannot forget what my teacher said, “Tolerate, tolerate so much one day it will burst like the ballon.” She said that we need to speak out by having a dialogue. The idea of a book for humanity is not plucked from thin air but in fact came about after a vibrant discussion of racial and religious conflicts in our primary school days even though we were not allowed to discuss on such topics at that time. In the late 60’s my mother and many others like my teachers said that “Lee Kuan Yew” must be crazy to believe he could create a new society in Singapore anchoring onto PAP ideology of pragmatism instead of God’s love. But I don’t think you are crazy instead I wanted to be your partner to help you create this new nation with love and compassion. In my simple mind, I thought all we need to do was to write a book for humanity, it’s not to replace the religious books but a book for freethinkers too. Most religious books anchor onto God’s love but this book will anchor on to “The Consciousness”. That was how your generation with a deep conscience had built this unique Singapore.
Richard Vieter wrote a chapter on Singapore Inc:
“Singapore has become a rich country. It has remained secure in South-east Asia amid countries far larger and somewhat less stable than itself. Singapore has done this through a combination of great leadership, effective developmental strategies, and strong government institutions. It is difficult to think of another country with a similar set of government institutions that work so well.”
So far our success is on the pragmatic achievements and I believed strongly that we are ready as a people and nation to take this great challenge to take the lead in the spiritual sphere too. (I can foresee in the near future the world needs such materials from us.) We need renaissances to develop education programs on racial and religious harmony to support the mainstream education. Most teachers need ready materials whereby they could use it to interact with the students. During Biennale 2006, some teachers approached me for the materials to be used in the classroom. But unfortunately, I got to turn them down because we need to purchase the materials from the foreign artists and definitely the government does not have the budget for it:(
My mother said that you would live till 100 years old, and I hope you could help the world to realize this book for humanity so it can be taught in all schools around the world. It is not necessary for us to do this work for humanity but if we have a strong conscience as a people and nation we know this is the right step to take. Furthermore, if we could achieve this ultimate goal we will definitely be known as the great Renaissance city. Isn’t this what the government aspires Singapore to be?
We need to have a group of renaissance to work tirelessly for humanity but where are they and who is going to pay them? But don’t forget in order to reach this ultimate goal our society must open the racial, religious and political doors to foster better communication, hence is the government ready for such a BIG STEPS?
Love, light, peace, harmony, and unity,
From:”STForum” <email@example.com> Add to Address Book Add Mobile Alert
Subject: Re: Civil servants pay
To: “Sunflower Chong” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 Apr 2007 11:41:31 +0800
Thank you for writing to us. We do appreciate your making the effort.
We receive up to 70 letters each day. Limited space means we can publish only about a dozen every weekday.
This means having to make often-difficult editorial judgments on which letters to publish.
We regret we are unable to publish your letter.
Ms Noor Aiza
for Forum Editor
The Straits Times
Sunflower Chong <email@example.com>
Date:10/04/2007 12:34 PM
To: STForum <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Civil servants pay
I am writing to all civil servants
Dear Fellow Singaporeans,
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean will be less because of that missing drop.” – Mother Teresa.
There are works to be done and each and every Singaporeans got to play their part whether we are paid or not or whether the Government understands our intentions or not. For Singapore to excel beyond our imagination as a great renaissance city “Together, We Can All Make A Difference, And Together, WE ALL COUNT!!
There is no reason for all of you not to be happy because you are the master of your own happiness. (This is a New Singapore where there is room for dialogue and communications. I am sure your superiors are much willing to listen to your needs and anxiety. Do share with them instead of keeping it and make yourself so unhappy that it will affect your performance.) If you are not happy with your environment to take it as a challenge and find your own happiness because happiness is the greatest gift in life.
Frankly speaking, the government cannot make all of you happy but what they can do and have done is to increase your pay to show their appreciation of your hard work. Likewise, you too got to return this favor by putting your pay aside and enjoy your work with a fresh outlook on life instead of comparing pay. My mother said in Cantonese, “Yan beh yan we beh say yan.” It means people compare people will compare until die, that means we should not compare.
So if you are the master of your happiness I believe all of you will put your pay aside and enjoy your job, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.” – C Emerson
If you can do that then you going to be the most blessed person in the world just like me and thus has acheived great success in life:) Let me share with you what my 84 uneducated mother said of me in cantonese, “Ah Mui ah, lee yao lui, mo lui, lee toh so Happy”. It means you got pay or not being paid you still work until so happy:) I really wish all civil servants can be happy because if you are happy your family can feel your happiness and they will be happy for you too. Isn’t that what’s life all about?
I really wish all civil servants can be happy because if you are happy your family can feel your happiness and they will be happy for you too. Isn’t that what’s life all about?
love, light, peace, harmony, and unity