berthahenson

Honouring LKY

In News Reports, Politics, Society on April 11, 2015 at 2:57 am

On Monday, some very important questions will be asked about how we should honour the memory of Mr Lee Kuan Yew. Now, I am NOT being sarcastic because I DO think something should be done to keep him or at least his thoughts alive beyond merely ensuring re-prints of all his books. So the MPs have come up three suggestions which I suppose will generate a bit of debate given how everyone has something to say….(I’m just going by my FaceBook wall)

The three:

1. Have his face imprinted on coins and dollar notes.

I like this idea.

After all, given that we have our first President’s face on dollar notes…why not? It’s something that our currency board can do quite easily and I rather like some variety of faces on my dollar notes…. And Mr Lee himself never said no. He was against monuments built for him and I suppose that would mean statues and busts. He wouldn’t be against being in the hands of bankers or fishmongers would he? He was a man of the people and everyone would have a bit/a lot of him in their wallets…He was concerned about economic development and our Singapore dollar is super-strong, a reflection of the man as well.

Of course, those who don’t like him might want to deface their notes. But that’s their lookout. If defaced so much that it is no longer accepted as legal tender, too bad…That will teach people to be careful with their money! Hey, that’s another LKY maxim!

2. Re-name Changi Airport after him

Not a popular choice it seems even though he was the man who moved the airport from Paya Lebar to Changi. And SIA pilots are sure to remember the man who thumped them and threatened to replace all of them! There are plenty of precedents abroad. Charles de Gaulle airport in France, JFK in the US. Better, methinks, than Ho Chi Minh city?

People will have to get used to saying “I have to get to LKY tonight’’, “Planes delayed at LKY’’ and “Did you get any duty-free booze at LKY?’’ But we Singaporeans can get used to anything….One argument in favour: Besides Singaporeans, foreigners will be forced to be educated on the legacy of LKY as well…His name will be remembered forever, far and wide. Hurray! The Singapore dollar, on the hand, is only circulated on this tiny red dot.

So why unpopular? Methinks people rather like the term “Changi’’, more than the LKY name for the airport. I like Changi too…It is so Singaporean. And we don’t need to ape the ways of foreign countries do we?

3. Have a Founder’s Day for him

Quite a popular choice, since it’s likely to be public holiday. So should it be on the day of his death, March 23? Or his birthday, Sept 16? Some people, however, think it should be a PLURAL Founders’ Day – for all the first-generation leaders since he wasn’t the sole architect of Singapore.

I’m not sure about this since he would probably tell us to “stop this nonsense and go back to work’’. Also, what would we DO on Founder’s (singular) Day? Re-play old broadcasts and enact scenes from LKY’s past? Have mass readings of his books? Hold an LKY festival? Or should the day simply be a day that’s marked on the calendar like Teachers’ Day, Racial Harmony Day, Total Defence Day or Youth Day? That is, no public holiday…but the school children will have to do something…?

As you can tell, I am personally not in favour of this. I am also not in favour of preserving his Oxley Road home given that it is the family’s wish to have it demolished. We should respect their wishes.

Monday’s sitting is sure gonna be interesting…

PS. Actually why don’t we name a battleship after him? And I don’t mean steamboat.

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  1. The best way of honoring LKY is to continue to be the very best we can and not compromise on the quality of our work in our nation building. We should keep our nation clean ( and not through the army of cleaners ) because this would be how he wanted Singapore to be. We should continue his ideology of progress based on meritocracy instead of easy handouts which he was against. We should emulate his thrift and prudence by wisely investing our wealth. Like the policy of home ownership so that everyone has a stake in this country, we should let our young have a stake through education, jobs and housing.

    It is easy to put up statues, rename roads and institutions but if the spirit of LKY is missing, Singapore will end up with things of nostalgia with no desire to better ourselves. And that is not the way he would want it to be.

  2. More than 12,000 Singaporeans have petitioned to rename Changi Airport after him. Others suggested a Founder’s Day and a new Singapore note to bear his image.

    Mr Lee Kuan Yew left words with his family that their residence at Oxley Road should not be made into a national monument.

    He also disagreed with the idea of having a statue and said that many statues had ended in rubble.

    At the SG50 celebrations on 9 August 2015, in addition to the many planned events, I hope the Govt will set up a National LKY Remembrance Trust to honour Mr Lee.

    Let us have a permanent Trust as a follow up to the great outpouring of sorrow and gratitude during the seven days of mourning, culminating on 28th March with thousands of us drenched in the heavy downpour along the route of the funeral procession.

    A target of a S$1 billion Trust is achievable when the Govt pledge dollar-to-dollar backing for every dollar of donation made by the public.

    The total donation is not important or the main objective.

    Of greater significance would be how Singaporeans make a collective national effort with a strong desire to remember Mr Lee, not the amount that would be donated by each person whether rich or poor.

    Some may donate $100,000 or S$1. Let us make every dollar counts.

    The Trust should be used in support of our social services, education, health and the environment over the next 50 years to touch the lives and for the benefit of all fellow Singaporeans in our fast-aging society.

    It will enhance Mr Lee’s legacy for us to promote an inclusive society for all Singaporeans in many generations to come.

  3. Rather, We should name a battleship STEAM BOAT.

    Battleships used to be steam engines dyring the early days and it surely will remind us about LKY about how he transform Singapore from a MUD FLAT to METROPOLIS like from steam ships to diesel powered ships.

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