Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Condolence On Demise Of Civil Graciousness Of Lee Hsien Loong

Expand Messages
  • Syntax Error
    From: Law Sin Ling 1 October 2008 Condolence On Demise Of Civil Graciousness Of Lee Hsien Loong Sg_Review How does one define condolence ? According to the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 1 8:29 AM
    • 0 Attachment
      From: Law Sin Ling
      1 October 2008
      Condolence On Demise Of Civil Graciousness Of Lee Hsien Loong

      How does one define "condolence"?

      According to the Cambridge dictionary, a "condolence" is "sympathy and sadness for the family or close friends of a person who has recently died, or an expression of this, especially in written form." And the Oxford dictionary defines it as "an expression of sympathy, especially on the occasion of a death."

      'Condolence", a simple word with a simple meaning, an emotional expression which is not unique to humans, but that Homo sapiens nonetheless have brought to a more dignified form.

      The present Prime Minister of Singapore Lee Hsien Loong is a learned man. He graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Degree in Mathematics and a Diploma in Computer Science. He then went on to obtain a Masters in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government in Harvard University.

      You would expect this man to get the definition of "condolence" right. You would expect this man to understand the meaning of grief and sympathy such as would be experienced by the family members of a deceased. You would expect this man to have a functional heart. You are wrong on all counts.

      On the 30th September 2008 following the decease of Singapore's legendary Opposition champion Mr Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam in the morning of the same day, Lee concocted a condolence letter (see annexure below) with two major paragraphs. The content of the letter said a lot about his upbringing and mental eudemonia.

      The first paragraph was scornfully presented in the form of an adversarial epitaph, casting the deceased as a political spoiler whose apparent mission was to "demolish" the institution and its products to which Lee and his political clan relate to. Short of an opulent itemised elaboration as only such justice could then be accorded to Mr Jeyaretnam, Lee summarily judged the deceased to have been a destructive political force for Singapore. Lee's description of Mr Jeyaretnam's "dogged tenacity" contains a thick suffusion of hereditary malice reminiscent of the dark unrestrained personal hatred Lee's politician father Lee Kuan Yew once liberally emanated through epithets on Mr Jeyaretnam as "mangy dog" among other unrefined lyrical utterance.

      If Lee had meant to demonstrate subtle vindictiveness through a mighty show of disgraceful and uncouth avidness to carry on a fight with a lifeless man through an undoubtedly ungentlemanly display, he has aced his effort. But those words have no place in a condolence, not even by the thinnest stretch of Cambridge teaching. A bit of Harvard courtesy would have infused a semblance of human civility into what Lee passed off as a condolence.

      Even a wretched goon knows when to put away the switchblade. Lee has a psychopathic attitude problem.

      The second paragraph was over-the-top patronising not unlike the posture adopted by a certain lofty late eighteenth-century French king to his modest subjects begging for crumbs. And that is to say nothing of the complete irrelevance of the content to the occasion. But again as was in the preceding paragraph, the need for Lee to establish the position of the PAP as subduer, and for the two successors of Mr Jeyaretnam to reacquaint with that indelible humiliation, probably has its roots in the 'Magnificent Mentoring' of Lee's father who once purportedly swore in rage that Mr Jeyaretnam would be made to "crawl on his bended knees, and beg for mercy." It is a shame that the learned Prime Minister saw it desperately necessary to exhibit his subjugating generosity by dispensing an out of place citation, although it is to the credit of the late Mr Jeyaretnam that he has shown why even a 'dog' has more pride than the fleas that bite it.

      Lee's 'condolence' is at best another reminder to the world of the characteristic of those who carry the mindset of one who reigns majestically rather than leads respectfully. Lee's vision of Singapore becoming a more gracious society will not be realised by one who delivers a condolence as a political and personal victory speech.

      (Mr) Law Sin Ling



      30 September 2008

      Mr Kenneth Jeyaretnam
      Mr Philip Jeyaretnam

      Dear Kenneth and Philip Jeyaretnam

      I was sad to learn that your father, Mr Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, has passed away.

      Mr JB Jeyaretnam was a Member of Parliament for Anson constituency from 1981 till 1986, and a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament from 1997 till 2001. He used to engage in heated debates in the House. Perhaps it was because he and the PAP never saw eye to eye on any major political issue and he sought by all means to demolish the PAP and our system of government. Unfortunately, this helped neither to build up a constructive opposition nor our Parliamentary tradition. Nevertheless, one had to respect Mr JB Jeyaretnam’s dogged tenacity to be active in politics at his age.

      However, our differences were not personal. In 1993, one of you (Kenneth) wrote to Mr Goh Chok Tong, who was then Prime Minister, to say that you found employers in Singapore reluctant to offer you a job, and your only explanation was that the employers felt the authorities would not welcome your employment because of your name. Mr Goh replied with a letter which could be shown to prospective employers, to say that the government did not hold anything against you, and that employers should evaluate you fairly on your own merits, like any other candidate, because Singapore needed every talented person that it could find. Mr Goh had previously made the same point to your brother Philip, whom he had invited to lunch. I am therefore happy that both of you have established yourselves in Singapore.

      Please accept my deepest condolences.

      Yours sincerely

      Lee Hsien Loong

    Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.