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Tuesday, 24 March 2015

A Singapore nerd's humble tribute to our Founding Father Lee Kuan Yew (1923-2015)

A colour photo that reflects the mood of a nation in mourning of a great leader that can never be described in black and white.

Feel sad?
We should feel lucky to live from third world to first within a short 50 years in this sunny island set in the sea.

Mood black? 
You shouldn't, when you have the freedom to taste all the colours of the rainbow in this little red dot, regardless of race, language or religion.

Why mourn? 
When we should celebrate his remarkable brilliance for future generations to emulate so that his spirit will live forever.

My little note above is published in Singapore TODAY newspaper on 25 Mar 2015, albeit with some edits.


An Ode to LKY

Heart sank but hope will float again
Tears flowed but spirits will rise again
Blackness enveloped but this red dot will shine again
The Maestro has left the stage but the band will play on again
If time can be reversed, we will do it all over again


With the renewed exposure of LKY in western media, I hope that their readers will once and for all respect our Asian naming convention of putting our family name first and not bastardise his name as Kuan Yew Lee which doesn't work the same as Harry Lee. Likewise, Park Ji Sung should be remembered as a Korean soccer player and not be mistaken for a garden called Ji Sung Park.

State Funeral Organising Committe

During this challenging period, please be thankful to the State Funeral Organising Committee (yes it exists) which is working round the clock to ensure that everything goes smoothly during this national mourning period, together with thousands of grassroots leaders manning the dozens of condolence sites around the country. And of course, the tireless local media bringing you the latest news updates. Even in time of sadness, everyone works as one people, one nation, one Singapore.

The queue
The Singapore population can now be classified in these few categories: Those who queued; those who attempted to queue but left after 10mins; those who left work early on the pretext of queueing; and those who brought the elderly or babies just to be in the priority queue.

The most romantic thing you can say to your spouse is that when you die, you would like your ashes to be mixed with theirs. It is also the most insensitive thing to say since your spouse would have to die earlier than you for that to happen.

Two observations:
1.Those VIPs who needn't queue at Parliament House will have the added privilege of seeing LKY's face. And these people will never speak openly describing how he looked.

2. Shouldn't Sunday's State Funeral Day be designated as a public holiday? If so, if a holiday rests on a Sunday, the following day Monday should be a holiday in lieu? Singaporeans have spent the entire week following the news and queueing. The additional rest day will be much welcomed, never mind the economic impact.


Final thought
Am I the only one who is looking at our dear Loong, Yang and Ling as orphans now? And I guess the only thing up for adoption is their late father's vision. Any takers?

In Jan 2014 I wrote ' I hate Lee Kuan Yew'  (click to read)

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

All in a day's work in Singapore - real-life office stories as told to me (Part 9)

Red reigns supreme in the spectrum in the corporate world. Whether you are devising a blue ocean strategy, launching a green initiative, writing a white paper, or organising a black-tie gala event, you will always be strangled by miles of red tape.

World's best colleagues

"My colleague made me realised that I should cherish my quiet moments which I am at my most productive... whenever this colleague is not in the office."

"The only thing worse than a colleague who has forgotten your name is when she addresses you with the name of another colleague who you absolutely hate."

"I can read my colleague like a book simply because I don't think she ever reads."

Five questions we often ask departing colleagues (and our real reasons behind them)

1. Where are you going? (so that I can laugh at that company's misfortune in hiring you)
2. Why are you leaving? (only now when you should have left a year ago and save us the misery)
3. Let's keep in touch (virtually so that I can block you on Facebook and email)
4. You will be missed (since we wouldn't have new fodder to gossip behind your back)
5. All the best in your future endeavour (in looking for another job 6 months down the road when your new employer realised their mistake in hiring you)

Click here for more 'All in a day's work in Singapore'