Monday, March 23, 2015

Lee Kuan Yew dies at the age of 91

The passing of a Giant of Asia

 Lee Kuan Yew                                                                                                                                                                              16 September 1923 - 23 March 2015
 
We mourn the loss of one of the greatest leaders of our time, Mr.Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) of Singapore. He was a great man who is credited by the world at large for the success and highly elevated socio-economic status of his country today. Singapore may be a tiny and inconspicuous dot on the world map but has become a highly developed and modern state comparable or even better than many first world countries. 

No one will dispute that it was due to none other than its founding Father and first Prime Minister LKY. It was his wisdom and foresight that steered the country to great heights as seen today. Its economy is strong and stable, the people of diverse ethnicity peaceful and united, standard of education high, low crime rate and the people are modern, progressive and enjoying a high standard of living.

LKY has been through many political crises during more than five decades of his political career. He was seen as a dictator and suppressor of free speech and democracy by his opponents. He sent many of them to jail denying their rights and even destroying the family lives and political careers. It is undeniable that he had his shortcomings and mistakes, who doesn’t? 

But LKY always thought and believed that what he did was right for his country and he did not waver from his vision to create a united ,progressive and prosperous nation that is admired and respected by many around the world and envied by its neighbors who remain lagging far behind despite their vast resources.

On a personal level, his tremendous love for wife of over sixty years, right until her sickness and death illustrated the humane aspects of this great leader which is rare for a man of his stature. Reading of his love story with his wife only makes one respect him more.  

LKY may be gone but leaves behind a nation and its people who are respected and admired by the whole world. I am sure Singaporeans of all race and creed and from all walks of life will be grateful to him as it was because of him that can now walk with their heads high. His opponents may not like him by I am sure they too will admire him for his courage, wisdom and foresight that very few leaders have today. We have indeed lost a giant and an illustrious son of Asia.

We extend our deepest condolence to his family and his people and may he rest in peace.

Monday, March 02, 2015

Anwar’s pardon an opportunity for healing

The action of Anwar’s family seeking a royal pardon for Anwar Ibrahim, who has been sentenced to jail for sodomy by the Federal Court, is a welcome sign. It could be the beginning of the healing process after nearly 2 decades of hate politics that gripped the nation and brought to a standstill.

Anwar has fiercely denied the charges and went all out to defend himself leading to the High Court acquitting him of the charge. However the Appeals and Federal courts have overturned the High Court verdict and sentenced the former DPM and Opposition Leader to 5 years jail. Despite this conviction, the truth will never be known, as it will be known only to Anwar and his alleged accomplice.

At the age of 68 and with serious spine problems, it would be inhumane to send a person to the hard living conditions in prison, more so for an alleged immoral activity between two consenting adults, which many see it as not a crime in the first place. If it was some gruesome murder or brutal rape of a minor it would be justified not an immoral act like consensual sex between two consenting adults.

Will the King pardon Anwar is the question many are asking, considering his prolonged trial was so highly politicized. No ordinary citizen with such an alleged consensual sodomy would have got the 5 year jail sentence that Anwar got. Furthermore the prosecution will not go out so enthusiastically to appeal a case like sodomy that we all know is common these days.

Well it is the prerogative of the King whether to pardon him of his alleged sins. I think Anwar should be pardoned not because he was a senior politician, former DPM or Opposition leader but because of his contribution to the nation and because of his age and ill health. He should be pardoned to put an end to the nearly 2 decades of hate politics that has divided the country politically and ethnically. The race relations have deteriorated to a level that it is threatening the peace and harmony in the country. A royal pardon will allow the process of healing of a badly divided and wounded nation.

The two-party system of democracy that Anwar helped to create must go on with the younger leaders taking lead. The racial and religious divide must be narrowed with new leaders who have no old baggage to carry with them.

The nation urgently needs new leaders with integrity, honesty and national patriotism, leaders who will unite the people and get rid of the hatred for one another created by selfish politicians. We need to see the dawn of a new Malaysia where everyone regardless of race or creed have live happily with equal opportunity under the Malaysian sun. The pardoning and release of Anwar from jail may start this process of national reconciliation and healing.

Teacher's Day 2017

  You made the difference To all our teachers Wherever you may be, existing and departed. Thank you to each and everyone...