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
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.
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.
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