Like Petunia Lee, I found and still find it difficult to add to the tributes and sharings that since Monday have come into my consciousness like a tsunami via various Internet media, the print platforms, TV and radio.
It’s not that I don’t honour and respect Mr Lee Kuan Yew, my country’s first Prime Minster who released us from the yoke of colonialism, whether British or Malaysian.
I do. From the bottom of my heart.
But whatever tributes I have to make have already been made by more significant voices and in more meaningful ways.
On Monday morning, I went to the temple in Waterloo Street to remember Mr Lee in a way that’s meaningful to me.
On the journey, I made it a point to give way to drivers who wanted to change lanes or exit from side roads, despite it being my right of way every time. It’s not something I do willingly on normal days.
I gave way as a conscious small effort to thank Mr Lee for having led Singapore for so long and so successfully. For my benefit and my family’s.
But perhaps that’s the wrong thing to do? Dedicate road courtesy to the giant who has just left us? Like some consider it wrong of the MP who dedicated his work out to Mr Lee’s memory. Ditto the bakery chain for creating a bun to sell in his memory even when the proceeds are going to charity?
I wonder why it is more appropriate to queue for hours to pay respect to his remains or write condolence notes and send flowers?
Sure, those are the conventional routes to express respect and sorrow.
Still,let’s not diss all other well-meaning but less orhodox things done out of the pure desire to remember the father of independent Singapore.