Needless to say, both me and Ewe Tiam have begun the search for our own pirate costumes!
Check out Our Community page for more details of the event and more.
It was also my birthday yesterday, and I'd really like to thank all the people who dropped me well wishes.
Thanks to denka and darren for organising the "surprise" BBQ on Thursday (Amidst exams and the like). Hahhaah, wasn't much of a surprise but I'm just glad to have seen good friends come together in such a serene setting as this to eat and be merry.
On Saturday, I got an incredible opportunity to be in the same room as a man I admire deeply. The founding father of modern Singapore, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew.
It was at a Young PAP forum. The first time the young PAP had MM Lee as a guest. The forum was titled, Political Development in Singapore in the next 20 years. And to tell you the truth, I had expected a more explosive event, in terms of content, but I think most people in the room just stood in awe of MM's presence and were content they had managed to get in!
Taking nothing away from the people who organised the event, it could have been done better. The venue was all wrong. It was held at dragonfly in St Jame's Powerhouse, and I can understand their desire to promote a "young hip factor" but many of my peers agreed we would have been better off in an auditorium.
Standing for three hours, is simply not conducive for a forum of any kind, and furthermore does little to suit the stature of MM and the event itself.
Nonetheless, I was grateful for the opportunity.
It was a rare insight into a brilliant mind. MM started off slow. And you could sense a little bit of unease in the beginning, but as soon as he got into the swing of things, his mind started whirring, he din't stop.
He tackled a number of topics expertly and with ease. Clearly he had done his homework. He came prepared with immigration statistics, reports, quotes, and articles to back up his case.
I think the biggest eye opener for me into the man himself. And this surprised me. I was always of the opinion that this was a stubborn and resoloute leader, on all terms. What I took away from the event, was that this was a man whose stubbornness was founded on reason, on fact, on reality and circumstance.I saw this in two instances. The first when he was asked about censorship. And he said, listen, I can't tell you where censorship is going, it all depends on how the world moves along, how value systems change (I'm not quoting him by the way, paraphrasing). He then said, many cabinet members had been against bringing crazy horse into Singapore, but he had dispelled their concerns. And said, Singaporeans are now mobile enough to watch such a show in Paris, or london or the like, if it's going to contribute... why not!?
You've got to take all of this into perspective. We've got an 80 year old gentleman here. Now most of our grandmothers or grandfathers would scoff at any such activities, heeding their traditional instincts and sense of propiety. Not this man. He is clearly one who moves with the times, but one who has to measure that response against the response of 4.5 million people, set against the larger backdrop of 5 billion. The point is, he's not out to please everybody. He's out to ensure the stability of Singaporean society at large.
In my opinion, he is a man of intense incorruptibility. The question I had in mind for him was had he established a system that would ensure similar men of power would lead singapore in the future. Was it fail safe? It needs to be for certain. It is clear Singapore cannot afford anything less.