Critics observe, that a year after his passing, the veneration of Singaporeans for their country’s founding premier Lee Kuan Yew seems to – if anything – have increased.
The past month has seen a wide range of projects by officials and spontaneous citizen initiatives springing up to honour his legacy.
History has shown us that post-colonial leaders and founders who were larger-than-life figures often developed personality cults if they lasted long in office. And PM Lee Hsien Loong himself warned all about being “very careful not to allow a personality cult to grow around him (the memory of Lee Kuan Yew)”
“what does it mean for society when we’re all so caught up in the veneration of Lee Kuan Yew? How can we scrutinise our history when our vision is eclipsed by one man and his narrative?”
When Lee first died I wrote a personal reflection that was published in the Guardian. It was a piece that sparked anger and I was accused of being a traitor. My crime? For daring to suggest that Singapore might have done all right without Lee Kuan Yew. For having the cheek to imagine a Singapore that wasn’t tied to one man. Doubt was disrespect, questioning was ingratitude — in the eyes of some Singaporeans, there are no other paths apart from the one Lee chose for us, and any suggestion otherwise was unpatriotic.
“Such a line of thinking shuts down discussion that our country so desperately needs. It stops us from seeking a fuller understanding of where Singapore has come from, and from building up new possibilities based on inclusivity and open discourse.”
What we need is to be able to think critically and maturely, to remember him in the proper context, to restore to their rightful places other individuals who have made an impact on our history and society, and to strive to see both Lee Kuan Yew and Singapore as they really are.
This Article reports:
And of course… not forgetting… #EverythingosoPAPfault
Then there’s this seemingly helpful (and also a little disrespectful) plugin called Forget Ah Kong:
Cut each other, and every one some slack, and a slice of rainbow cake we say…
We are kinda new to this sort of grieving. A Death has occured, and not just any death, it’s the death of a man that was a revolutionary statesman, a revered grandpa, and a doting husband all at once. What we do know, is that the wound of grief never fully heals; the scar may fade, but it will always be there with us. You never get over grief but you do learn to live with it. And just as it takes the experience of death to know of grief, it also takes the experience of recovery to know that all of us will eventually recover.
“time will heal” as they say… and it’s only been a year…
Gotta wonder what #RememberingLKY #TwoYearsOn will bring, eh?
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