23 – 29.03.15 London (thinking Singapore)


black and white auto-awesome stories.

shades of grey removed.

a new morning.

‘Lee Kuan Yew is gone. Where does Singapore go now?’ (Han 2015)

rememberinglky becomes a hashtag

I grieve and deny that I am grieving.

Forgetting is a romantic storyteller.



I am from

a generation caught between generations.

I never lived through the war but

have faint memories of water rationing,

NTUC shopping wartime rations.



I resented all grandfather lectures

even though I had great respect for

those who overcame the challenges of those early days

and the mettle it took to build a nation from scratch

by everyone who called themselves Singaporean.

parents, grandparents, policymakers and leaders

in Singapore



he lectured us for wanting to see the heat and clash of political parties

simply because all we knew was peace and stability.

like a teenager who felt wrongly accused

I rebelled against

prohibition signs, fines, censorship and biopolitics.

I still do.

I felt he didn’t trust us to take care of the country he’d built.



I responded –

without realising I was determined to prove him wrong.

he seemed impatient with disenchantment,

angry with comforts taken forgranted like the

water piped straight to our houses.



heart aches

too far away to take care of others who grieve

grieving together from afar

through hours of reading every article written

watching the live feed through CNA on YouTube

without taking too long a pause.

dream-filled sleep.

too much simplification

of a life that has won the respect of nations.

too much worry.

a legacy that is complicated

deserves careful consideration.

too much haste to be consistent with old positions

regurgitates his legacy as

that well known Singapore Story

or that tired academic tirade against functionalism and paranoia (see Chong 2015)

without acknowledging that his pragmatism was driven by sincere ideals.

lack of reflection and empathy

neglects how one reacts to perceived betrayal

by the very people one sought to protect.

none of this condones harm done to the innocent.

but perhaps we don’t have all the pieces

and it is too soon to sort through the jumble of emotions

so much to lose, no time for sleep

the stars all seem to weep





If I have learnt anything at all…

I have learnt how to love Singapore