This Week

It’s been an emotionally draining week. I have been more touched than I ever thought I would be. Even now after the national week of mourning is over, you somehow don’t feel the same. I have a greater sense of admiration than I ever did before. It’s true of human nature that we appreciate someone most when they are gone. Before that we tend to take them for granted.

I can’t seem to bring myself to write about anything else yet – it all seems trivial now, but I will at some point, tomorrow perhaps. (even with my trivial posts, they reflect how proud I am of Singapore – her architecture, culture, food etc)

There is a sense of loss still that I don’t think can be dispelled so easily, just because the official week of mourning is over. There is also a sense of purpose – you can’t help but be inspired by Singapore’s founder, Lee Kuan Yew (yes to me it’s not Sir Stamford Raffles) and his determination and diligence. I am also highly impressed by his frugality, considering that he could have lived the high life like most dignitaries. Something I was unaware of before. I am most captivated by these little tidbits of information – personal tales.

I’m sure the whole nation would like PM Lee to have some time to himself and just to rest. In the past year I have seen a softer more vulnerable side of our PM that is most welcome and appreciated. Especially through social media like Instagram where he posts pictures he has taken himself. Rather endearing.

I can’t imagine the immense burden on him this week. Anyone who has gone through personal loss will know how emotionally and physically draining it can be. And to have to grieve in public must be the hardest thing.

I was immensely moved to see the family walk in the rain during the funeral. There was no umbrella to protect them from the elements. To me, who am not particularly religious, the rain is a sign of blessing (I have always loved the rain) and I am glad that it poured down. On social media like twitter and instagram I read that many others felt this way too. The rain was comforting and the people who braved the rain to say their farewells made the historic day even more poignant.

I have been deeply moved by the eulogies of the sons and grandchildren. Even the hardest of hearts will shed a tear. I hope they do enter politics inspired by their grandfather. The grandchildren seem to be highly capable young people. What better training can you have, but to have listened in on world affairs from a young age. Also helps to have learnt from the sharpest mind.

They demonstrate that you can speak good English (Standard English) without putting on a fake accent. I am a sucker for good diction as well. (I’m sorry but poor diction makes me cringe and I know I need to improve my own)

I can’t help think about another young man, Amos Yee, whose ego made him feel indestructible and led him to produce a purposely offensive video (that has since been removed) that would obviously get him into big trouble. Did he want to get into trouble on purpose and court more fame? He is undeniably highly intelligent and eloquent, but you can be intelligent, silly and reckless at the same time. Did he realise the enormity of his actions at the time? Highly disrespectful, I know, but ultimately the actions of an impulsive kid. Yes, to me 17 is still a child. Also was there no one to advise him otherwise? Or no one to teach him basic respect even though I know he was imitating the comedic style of some famous YouTubers who spew vulgarities? (I guess it’s a different generation and I’m an old fogey?) And to think of his future that may now be tarnished?

I find vulgarity so distasteful and unnecessary. What I find even more distasteful are people online making threats of bodily harm against this kid.

The teen has been arrested, but out of compassion for his age I hope that he is released. For all his bravado in his online persona, he must be terribly afraid.

Perhaps compassion alone rather than punishment can make him feel otherwise. It seems that there are Christians online (because he made remarks offensive to Christians) who are petitioning for his release and that is a lovely sign. I am highly impressed by this group of people who are restoring my faith in humanity. This world needs more kindness and understanding.

Even if you don’t agree with someone’s views you can debate about it in a dignified manner. It is why I have the highest respect for Mr Chiam See Tong.

Just my disjointed ramblings for today and I felt a need to write them down.

Update the next day:

He was only 16? I recall feeling immortal at that age and not giving deep thought to my future.

I can’t help feeling more sorry for the parents than the kid, now with their faces plastered on the media. They seem so downcast. What an ordeal for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had no clue what their kid was up to or if they did that he would go this far?

My partner commented from what he read in the news, and pictures he saw, that the kid does not seem in the least remorseful. He probably thinks I am being too lenient over this matter. I guess he is giving a 16 year old more credit to think for himself than I do. At the same time he believes that even at 16 a person should take responsibility for what they say or do.

I still feel that perhaps Amos needs counselling and help and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was bullied in school considering that he expressed on YouTube that he doesn’t quite fit in? It must be hard to be alienated at that age. All of that can shape your perspective. Even more telling is that he quit school against the advice of his parents? So it seems that the parents don’t really have control over his decisions.

But you never know, perhaps he will make a turnaround and be the next tech leader like Bill Gates, so I reserve my judgement.

Update 4th April:

Still hoping to hear that the kid has been released and given counselling. It would be very sad to see his potential go to waste or to be misdirected.  Alienation is never a good thing especially if this child has faced it in school and felt bullied or not challenged enough. At the same time I can imagine that with his aptitude and attitude, he must have been a handful for both teachers and parents.

Just hope more people feel compassion for him, because he is not an adult yet. If I had a kid that age I would be very worried indeed. I just cannot understand people being cruel to him and wanting to see him severely punished just because of his arrogance, rudeness and recklessness of youth. My partner felt that they should make him do community service as punishment if need be. I guess whatever is done it will set a precedence so the decision won’t be easy.

About bookjunkie

Blogging about life in Singapore helps me survive the mid-life crisis

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  1. Pingback: Daily SG: 31 Mar 2015 | The Singapore Daily

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