A taxi driver’s reflections

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On 5th Aug 2014, I took out my i40 taxi from Komoco. It’s now one full year. My contract with the taxi operator is over. I could return the taxi anytime if I do not want to carry on driving taxi. My options are now open. I now have a choice whether to continue driving taxi to earn a decent living or move on to another job.

I would like to take this opportunity to reflect on my trials and tribulations during this one year period as a hirer. I drive 7 days a week on the day shift from 6am to 6pm. On average I clock about 250km per day with about 15 to 20 trips. That’s about 20 passengers a day if we include some of the trips with more than one passenger. I could lay claim that I ferry about 600 passengers in a month. For the whole of one year, it’s approximately more than 7,000 passengers! Yup, I meet all kinds of people from the lowest food chain to the highest – the good, bad and ugly of humanity so to speak. Some of the interesting encounters I’ve previously blogged about and published on this blog. Of course, there are so many other interesting real life stories to blog about if only I have the time. I’ll come to that later.

Let’s analyze this taxi trade. Is it suitable for everyone? Unless they change the rule, only citizens can apply for a vocational license to drive a taxi. From my experience and conversations with other fellow taxi drivers, this profession is only suitable for the middle age preferably above 40 yrs. The best age to enter this profession is between 45 yrs to 50 yrs. It is definitely no go for those younger ones. Reason is that there is no CPF, no annual leave, bonus or sick leave etc. You need CPF to buy a flat, build up your nest egg for retirement, medisave etc. As such, you will need to build up your CPF first by working in a company. Taxi drivers do not have all these. Their daily takings are in hard cash. Not easy to save for the raining days.

Some may say that after retirement from a normal job, maybe could consider taxi as a post-retirement career. Taxi driver – subject to medical requirements, is allowed to drive till 75 yrs. Lao Si from EM put it succinctly when we had a mini conference about taxi driving. He said that if he were to retire at 62 yrs, he would not consider taxi as a career option even though he has driving license. Driving taxi especially at such an advanced age is not easy. Taxi drivers face all kinds of traffic summons if you are not careful especially now with cameras all over the place. Whatever you earn may not be enough to pay all the summons. What about safety considerations?

When you are older, your eyesight and reflexes are slow. If you are not alert, it may cost your life. The moment you sit in the driving seat of a taxi, the beautiful super highways and smoothly paved roads in front of you are minefields. One wrong step, game over! No second chance lah! I would add that if you are older, your memory may not be as good cuz you will need to remember the tons of landmarks and routes in order to earn a decent living as a professional taxi driver.

But it seems that nowadays no need taxi vocational license or any formal training, one could still ferry passengers around in a private car. Are we back to those days where “pirate” taxis roam the streets? Remember those unlicensed taxis or “pak ong che?”

Lao Si says that he would rather go to the idyllic park to work as a sweeper. You are paid to exercise as a road sweeper in the public park at about $1,200 a month (with workfare) working only 5 days a week from 7am to 3pm. Any thing above that is considered OT. You will get extra if you work on weekends. He knows a friend who just did that. With basic pay, OT, and workfare from the govt, he’s getting more than $2,000 a month as a road sweeper after his retirement. Yes, you are paid to exercise by working as a sweeper in our beautiful parks. If it’s raining, no need to sweep but income still come in. Whereas, if you drive a taxi, most taxi drivers would rather sit in the coffeeshops to wait out the rain. The safety aspect supersedes all else. 2 or 3 knocks NOT on the ceiling BUT on the ass of another vehicle you are out of the trade! Why take unnecessary risk by driving under heavy rains? No driving meant no income for the taxi driver. That explains Lao Si’s penchant to work as road sweeper rather than a taxi driver if he were to retire from his current teaching job! Really langgar lah!

But if your flat is fully paid up, children grown up and no more financial obligations, I would say driving taxi is quite a viable option. You are your own boss without much stress or pressure. You get to meet all kinds of people. Most importantly, you could even eavesdrop all kinds of conversations between passengers in your taxi or when they are talking in the phone. Always keep your ears open and your mouth shut whenever you hear anything. Unless you are asked, never talk much with passengers. Not every passenger likes to talk. But if they do, just entertain them by giving fair comments and honest opinions. Recently, I have ferried many expatriates from the Overseas Family School opposite Elias Mall which just shifted from Paterson Road. They would like to know about the neighborhood. I’ll just brief them on the amenities and landmarks around the vicinity with a bit of history thrown in.

The newly opened OFS and some of the condominiums at Pasir Ris link are my new customers. What about all those new and upcoming condominiums along Pasir Ris Drive 1 where calls are plenty. Whenever I leave my carpark, I am spoilt for choice with many bookings coming from these places. Of course, the HDB flats also do have calls but not that much. With all these extra dwellings, it has become more crowded. As we speak now, there are at least 3 more condominium clusters under construction – next to OFS, next to NV residences and two more at Pasir Ris link. With all these latest condominiums, there is still only one Elias Mall and the same Pasir Ris Drive 1. Try coming here on weekends for your breakfast, every stall is super long queue! What a langgar situation!

We could see the dilemma here. Without all those extra dwellings, I’ll have less business. The side effect is over crowding with less space for original inhabitants like myself. The roads in the neighborhood are jam packed in the early morning peak hours especially that junction near to the new flats underneath the MRT viaduct leading to Pasir Ris MRT. Vehicles ignore the yellow box junction and jam up all the traffic. Every morning it’s the same chaotic no govt situation. When we need enforcement action here, there is none! But they are always seen “terrorizing” residents armed with digital camera for petty parking offenses when there is no obstruction at all! Really langgar!

The above scenario is repeated all over the island. Large swathes of kampungs in Eunos, Ubi and Tai Seng areas where I used to roam as a child are now heavily built-up industrial areas. It generates business for my trade (and jobs for others also). I live all my life in the East especially Bedok, Ubi, Eunos, Tai Seng, Paya Lebar etc. Over the last 50 yrs, I’ve seen the immense transformation second to none in the world where the entire population as in those kampung areas were shifted to HDB towns with the former turned into mega industrial estates and industrial buildings! Is this desirable? Could we still go back to those kampung days? There is no easy straight forward answer indeed. It depends on what angle you are looking from.

Most of my passengers are foreigners and tourists. Out of the thousands of passengers I ferried over the one year period, I’ll put my head on the chopping block to say that every one – not one single foreigner who is not envy of our spectacular economic success. They admire our transformation from zero ground level to high-rise concrete buildings, from the vast timeless sea to reclaimed land with huge mini cities springing up with a blink of an eye. I used to tell foreigners that they don’t name “Beach Road” for nothing. It used to be a Beach nearby. The Americans would say crazy! Yup, what you see beyond Beach Road was once upon a time sea. No foreigner is not amazed at the artificial garden created on top of the hotel! Not forgetting the billion dollar Avatar Gardens by the Bay on reclaimed land! Again, they say it’s crazy! From nothing to something over one generation is indeed crazy by any standard of measure!

I could go on and on to paint a huge canvass on our glorified transformation from nothing to something. It is the next phase that worry me and citizens of my generation. Will it sustain for the next 50 yrs? Or will we disintegrate and bite the dust? This time round there is no more kampung to fall back on but tons of collapsed concrete. As Singaporeans, we will have to decide for ourselves which way to go cuz all these do not happen by chance or the kind act of God.

I think Charles Dickens’ opening paragraph … best describes the time we Singaporeans are living now … (credit to Dr Chan for reminding me when he quoted on his blog)

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us ….”

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Non-payment of taxi fare and a sympathetic taxi company

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My brief report of non-payment of taxi fare…

On 14/4/15(Tue) @0837hrs, I picked up a pax (current call booking) from Point A to Point B. We arrived at the destination @0916 hrs. The fare was $25.25.

The pax wanted to pay by Nets but my POS (Point of Sale) terminal machine was not working. It hang. The pax claimed that he had no cash with him. There was also no ATM machine nearby. As he was late for work rushing for time, he informed me that he would transfer the fare of $25.25 to my POSB savings account. I then gave him my account number by writing it on my name card. He took my name card with my POSB savings account written on it promising that he would transfer the fare over to my account asap.

Up till today, it’s already past 3 days I have yet to receive the amount from him. As part of driver welfare, I hope the company could assist me to get back the non-payment of taxi fare from the pax.

Looking forward to your kind assistance. Best regards.

Reply from company…

Dear Cabby,

We refer to the non-payment report you filed with the company.

We will follow up with the case with the passenger for the taxi fare payment.

Meanwhile, management is sympathetic of your unfortunate encounter of this non-payment incident. On compassionate ground and goodwill, management has decided to reimburse you the taxi fare to offset your operation losses.

A letter stating the date and amount reimbursed will be sent to your registered address by month end.

Should you receive the payment from the passenger, please update us.

Yours sincerely,

J T
Drivers Affairs

I started as a taxi hirer with my taxi company since 5th August 2014. This is the first time I encountered such an incident of non-payment by passenger. I didn’t know what to do when the passenger did not keep his promise to pay me the taxi fare. As a last resort, I tried seeking assistance from my company by emailing the management. The response was swift and comforting even though it’s a relatively small amount and it’s also not their fault. I should have insisted on his contact number and full particulars there and then. Since the passenger’s hp number was erased at the end of the trip, I could not contact him to claim back the fare. Only my company still has the details.

To quote Lohcifer, “The above episode clearly shatters all myths that taxi operators do not care about their hirers.” Prior to this incident, I did email to management about my taxi’s slight bald tires even after the monthly preventive maintenance. Straightaway, the workshop manager called me up to return to the workshop immediately to have the tires replaced. No questions asked. Yup, taxi operators do care for the welfare of their drivers. Safety is their primary concern.

Every few days, company will flash a message on our MDT (Main Display Terminal) to remind us to check our in-vehicle camera. If there is no blinking blue light, we will have to send it to the workshop for repair. The camera is to protect us in case of dispute in an accident with another vehicle. That camera really saved me one time when another vehicle hit against my taxi. Link

Once in a while, we also receive email from company reminding us not to pick up or drop off pax at locations with LTA cameras installed especially bus stops at certain locations. Even up to today, I still do not understand why taxi being a public transport is not allowed to pick up or drop off pax at bus stops even after restricted bus lane hours. Sometimes, I pity those pax especially those handicapped pax on wheelchairs waiting at bus stops on raining days for taxi. Talking about those LTA cameras, I had an unpleasant encounter with them when I personally went to LTA to appeal. I’ll blog about it other time.

Back to my non-payment of fare. If I had used 3rd party taxi app, do you think the company will bother to look into it? As such, I never use 3rd party taxi booking apps at all. Those 3rd party taxi apps do not operate and maintain fleets of taxis yet they shamelessly entice taxi drivers with all kinds of gifts if they hit booking targets. Is it fair to existing taxi operators with fleets of taxis to maintain not to mention the huge infrastructure costs incurred in its operations set-up? I’ll blog about 3rd party apps other time.

Suffice to say, those 3rd party taxi apps are taking an easy ride on the back of existing taxi operators when they take so many years painstakingly establishing and building up their taxi business operations. They blatantly advertise their 3rd party taxi apps as if it’s their god given entitlement hijacking existing taxi operators’ own taxi apps in the name of free trade and competition.

Posted in Langgar | 7 Comments

Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s house for public viewing?

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Should Mr Lee's house be preserved as a heritage?

Now that our founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew is gone, what about his house at Oxley Road? What will happen to his house? If I’m not mistaken, he did mention in no uncertain terms that the house should be demolished to make way for developments when he’s gone. He did not wish that his house be preserved at the expense of under-utilization of precious land. He would prefer the land where his house is sited and the surrounding area be freed for optimal utilization! After all, it’s prime land where every inch is gold.

Mr Lee’s wish for the ultimate disposal of his house need to be respected. But before that, I feel that the house ought to be refurnished and open up for public viewing for a limited period of time before it’s demolished. The old bungalow where Mr Lee lived most of his entire adult life also need to be meticulously documented for posterity before it’s gone. In the event that Mr Lee’s old house at Oxley Road is open to the public, I suggest a nominal fee of $10 be charged for visitors with the Pioneer Generation and students paying half the rate. The money collected could be donated to charity like the Students Pocket fund for needy students or presented to the library. Mr Lee used to donate to our public library.

The above suggestion is a win-win situation. The public curiosity could be assuaged and at the same time doing a good deed via donating the collection to charity to accumulate merits for Mr Lee. I believe it will be resounding success if Mr Lee’s old house is open for public viewing. We could see for ourselves the overwhelming response from the public when Mr Lee’s Red Box is displayed at the museum. Long queues were formed when the public got wind of the Red Box display prompting the authority to extend visting hours to cater to the unexpected huge crowd. Mr Lee’s book; “One Man’s Views” also hogged the current Bestsellers List at bookstores selling like hot cakes. As such, we could expect huge crowd to swamp Oxley Road right up to Orchard Road if his house is declared open for public viewing.

The insatiable appetite of the public for Mr Lee’s legacy is not surprising at all. Up to now, most of us do not really know how Mr Lee lived his frugal life in the old bungalow. We could only see the house from the outside. The public could not get near to the heavily guarded house. Even non-residents of the neighborhood are not allowed to pass by the house. But when a photo of his living room cum dinning room is circulated on line, it went viral. Some of the netizens even started comparing his living room with some other VIP’s luxurious opulent living room setting!

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Mr Lee's simple living room at Oxley Road.

Do consider the suggestion to open up Mr Lee’s house for public viewing before it’s erased from the public mind forever. I’m sure many of us would like to take pictures of ourselves with frens and family members as a memento in Mr Lee’s house for remembrance even if it’s a wee bit of his legacy where we could treasure and keep for eternity. Pls do not deprive us Singaporeans of this privilege.

Read related article here.

Posted in Langgar | 4 Comments

RIP Mr Lee Kuan Yew (1923 – 2015)

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One week of national mourning with half mast state flag

Three days before our founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew left us, I blogged about my Malaysian passenger expressing his gratitude to him. Like that passenger, many of us could sense his imminent passing. It was a true account captured vividly on my blog post.

Temasek Review Emeritus (TRE) and The Real Singapore (TRS) as usual re-posted that article on their sites. They usually do that whenever I blog something interesting. That blog post attracted more than one hundred hate comments on TRE. Wicked and insulting comments on my character and integrity. I really detest them. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly inform TRS and TRE from henceforth to stop publishing my blog posts on their sites. There is no necessity for me to be there to be verbally abused repeatedly. Those coward hiding behind anonymity just shoot like nobody’s business. Uncivilized haters out there who behave like animals and do not care about others’ feelings. Click here for the link.

I was quite sad reading those remarks not only on that Malaysian passenger article but also on my previous other blog posts especially the conversation I had with Lao Si about whether our Prime Minister pay is very high? Even my dear friend Lao Si was attacked with all kinds of hate comments and lies! Some of the things those morons uttered on TRE site were imaginary lies hitting at Lao Si and me. Why should I subject myself to such unwarranted abuse?

When I read about one lady blogger suing another lady blogger (or court protection order I’m not sure cuz I didn’t follow their public spats) over some remarks made which she termed “cyber bullying”, I could empathize with her. For that, I fully support initiatives to protect and safeguard online discussion. Catch them by their necks and squeeze them when they go beyond normal decency and decorum! Say ‘NO’ to cyber bullying!

Of course, there is freedom of speech here in Singapore. We are not North Korea. As long as one gives opinion responsibly with facts and fair comments, no one is going to fault us. Like what one Minister said something to that effect, “If you call him stupid, he could take it. But if you accuse him of taking money then you better back up with evidence.” Freedom of speech does not mean that you can verbally abuse, insult or spread lies about others.

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Earlier I said that I was quite sad when I read those wicked comments on my blog posts. My previous blog post had more than 100 wicked comments without any positive comment supporting me. I was disheartened and perturbed. I was sad cuz I thought that lots of our fellow Singaporeans were like them. I was proven wrong. I was vindicated. Over the past one week of national mourning for our founding Prime Minister, I could see with my own eyes that most Singaporeans are not like those crazy trigger happy online retards! The tens of thousands of Singaporeans young and old queuing for hours sometimes up to 10 hours just to pay respects to Mr Lee and many more thousands lining the roads braving the heavy downpour to bid their final farewell to Mr Lee are irrefutable facts. Only retards and morons will label such unprecedented phenomenon in our 50 years of existence as propaganda. Like my dear friend Lohcifer commented that unlike North Korea, “ours is a spontaneous outpour of public grief!” Read Mr Brown’s blog here where he has beautifully captured those historic moments earning PM’s praise.

Mr Lee’s passing has also touched many foreigners. Not only that Malaysian passenger I blogged about, but so many other nationalities especially the Indians. Those Southern Indians are extremely grateful to Mr Lee and his team for bringing progress even to far away poor Indian villagers where they could find jobs here and bring food back to their families in their hometown like that Malaysian passenger. Click here to watch the video here to see for yourself. Is it staged propaganda? You decide for yourself. Like what I said on my previous blog post, “A Titan whose powerful brilliant light shines far and wide, as the name says it even though he’s en-caged on a tiny piece of rock!”

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My dear fren Encik ' s tribute to Mr Lee which he WhatsApp to us.

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Even foreigners working here also paid tributes to Mr Lee

Talking about Malaysians, my dear friend Encik penned his tribute to Mr Lee at one of the community tribute sites. His eyes welled up with tears but he refused to admit saying that it’s the smoke that got into his eyes! Yup, he was crying when he wrote those lines of tribute to Mr Lee. Encik came from Penang at age 18 years. Served in the RSAF for 37 yrs until he retired at age 55 yrs. Mr Lee and Singapore gave him not only a career but a family with 2 scholar kids and a HDB mansionate! If he were to remain in Penang would he be better off? He is more loyal than those locally born; at least more grateful than those haters on TRE site.

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Throughout the week long national morning, I could see Singaporeans becoming like a big family. Some giving out drinks, snacks, umbrellas, LKY logo stickers etc to those queuing for hours under the scorching sun to pay their last respects to Mr Lee at Parliament House. Even one PRC lady passenger asked me whether I had paid my respects to “国父?” She said she would go later even if the queue was very  long. I had a highly educated local lady passenger saying that if not many of us pay our respects to Mr Lee, others (foreigners) would see us differently. The hundreds of thousands standing in line to pay respects to Mr Lee has already shown to the whole world that Singaporeans are a united people putting away their differences who love their country and will stand together thru thick and thin as a society! Don’t play play with us lah!

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Mr Lee acted like a bridge between the west and east.

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Just this afternoon when I fetched my 72 years old mother home, she told me that the Taoist temple opposite Bedok Fire Station (Civil Defense) has set up Mr Lee’s altar for their followers to pay respects. I could not believe her when she told me that her colleagues – locals, PRCs and Malaysians went there to burn joss sticks to worship Mr Lee! The traditional Taoist Chinese believe that the burning of joss sticks is the medium to communicate with those departed souls. I will go check it up about the altar.

Throughout Chinese history, past great historical figures like Confucius, General Kwan, General Yue Fei, Justice Bao, Zhuge Liang etc when they passed on, are being worshipped by the Chinese in temples and shrines. I sense that Mr Lee will follow suit. Elevated to that order of great Chinese historical figures for their timeless traits and noble characteristics that the Chinese for generations adore. Even myself am a great admirer of General Kwan. Whenever I come across General Kwan in a Chinese temple, I would light up joss sticks to pay my respects! May be 50 years from now or sooner, it might just happen to Mr Lee?

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As Singaporeans, we are proud of you. We will always remember you for what you have done for us. Farewell Mr Lee.

Mr Lee Kwan Yew I have a confession to make.

Silent majority speak up.

Singapore : A fascinating alternative to the welfare state.

Posted in Langgar | 5 Comments

Conversation with my pax: The Malaysian on LKY

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PM's posting on FB. He's going thru a difficult time.

As I was leaving the carpark at Bedok South Rd after my meal break, I happened to pick up a Malaysian to Golden Mile Complex. When he instructed that I should go via Bedok South Ave 1, ECP and exit Rochor to Golden Mile complex, I straightaway knew that he’s a Malaysian due to his peculiar Mandarin accent. Malaysian style of Mandarin is quite unique.

“You are going there to book your bus ticket? You going back to Malaysia?”

“That’s correct. How do you know?”

“Oh, I was merely guessing. Since you are a Malaysian and you are going to that place so I guess you might be going there to get your bus ticket. Usually, they go there to get their bus tickets cuz there are so many tour agencies there.”

The middle aged gentleman was looking forward to go back to his hometown. He didn’t go back during the CNY due to work commitments. He told me that he’s been working in Singapore for nearly 20 years and that he would go back once a year during the CNY but missed the last one. I just listened and I didn’t ask him what was his job nor did I ask him if he’s a PR or work permit holder.

Since the latest hot news in town is about our founding father’s health, we struck a conversation on that subject. For the past few weeks ever since Mr Lee is hospitalized, I’ve heard much from many passengers – locals and foreigners including tourists and expats working here talking about him. All of the comments are favorable. They all have nothing bad and everything good to say about Mr Lee. Let’s hear what this Malaysian had to say.

“Mr Lee is the greatest Chinese man ever lived. In my kampung, we all really admire him for his achievements. Not only he did lots of things for Singapore. We are also indebted to him and his generation of colleagues!” 

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Messages of well wishes keep pouring in.

I was quite surprised to hear from our Malaysian fren that he’s indebted to Mr Lee. I then asked him, “Why you said that you are indebted to him and his generation of colleagues?”

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Hands on practical man!

“Oh, not only am I indebted to him. But lots of Chinese in Malaysia also owe him a debt of gratitude! You see, due to your remarkable economic success, the Chinese in Malaysia are able to benefit and piggy back on that success. If you just look at the causeways in the morning – whether it’s Tuas or Woodlands checkpoints, you can see for yourself the tens of thousands riding their motorcycles across to work. Every year, your economy keeps growing at a fantastic rate, the number of jobs created for us Malaysians is huge. We are able to find employment in Singapore. What about those who live and work here like myself only going back once a year?”

I thought to myself what my Malaysian passenger just said is a fact. Everyday in the morning, there are tens of thousands crossing over to our country to work. And in the evening, it’s the reverse. For one thing I’m sure most of our bus drivers are Malaysians.

Our Malaysian fren further added, “Mr Lee managed to transform a tiny island into an economic power house giving us much opportunities to earn a living. Many of us able to bring food to our families, bought lands, houses and enough savings for our retirement. Jobs are scarce back home and the pay is so low compared to Singapore. For that, we are forever grateful to Mr Lee.”

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From Third World to First World.

“I feel that Mr Lee is the greatest Chinese man alive. He’s even greater than Mao or Chiang Ching-kuo etc. I say that cuz he could debate and counter the western press in English on their platform. He could rebut those western hypocrite human rights champions that your survival as a nation is none of their concern. In those days, basic needs such as security, food, housing, water and jobs override all else. There are many countries in the region with lots of liberty but do they achieve the kind of success which he has brought to Singapore? The Malaysians and many others from afar are also beneficiaries of your success.”

“But there are lots of Singaporeans who don’t like him at all. They even hate him for being a dictator!”

“What a stupid statement! You have election every 5 years. If you all feel that he’s a dictator and corrupted, you could always vote them out. As simple as that. The fact that he’s in power for so long shows that a great majority still support him.”

“You see, even world leaders from America and China like to listen to his views on world events. I would say that he’s the modern re-incarnation of Zhuge Liang. link Such a great man only appears once in every 500 years. As such, he not only belongs to Singapore but to humanity. Many outside Singapore especially people like me and my family will miss him. There won’t be another equal to his greatness. He is Singapore’s mascot just like China had Mao, America had George Washington or Abraham Lincoln and UK had Churchill, Vietnam had Ho Chi Minh, Indonesia had Sukarno etc etc…”

“You seem quite knowledgeable. I’m impressed by your knowledge.”

“Yup. I may not speak English. I may be a blue collar worker. But I read much. I live under a different system. I can see the vast differences between us. Sadly, many of you just take for granted the many things which Mr Lee has fought hard. He has left a legacy for your children which we on the other side could only dream of.

My Malaysian passenger just like so many other foreign passengers I picked up over the last few days feel sad about Mr Lee’s imminent passing. A Titan whose powerful brilliant light shines far and wide, as the name says it even though he’s en-caged on a tiny piece of rock!

“生->老->病->死” is the cycle all of us will go through. But the difference lies in “死有輕如鴻毛,重如泰山!”

Read related article here.

The glories of our blood and state
Are shadows, not substantial things;
There is no armour against Fate;
Death lays his icy hand on kings:
Sceptre and Crown
Must tumble down,
And in the dust be equal made
With the poor crookèd scythe and spade.

Some men with swords may reap the field,
And plant fresh laurels where they kill:
But their strong nerves at last must yield;
They tame but one another still:
Early or late
They stoop to fate,
And must give up their murmuring breath
When they, pale captives, creep to death.

The garlands wither on your brow,
Then boast no more your mighty deeds!
Upon Death’s purple altar now
See where the victor-victim bleeds.
Your heads must come
To the cold tomb:
Only the actions of the just
Smell sweet and blossom in their dust.

by James Shirley

Source

Posted in Langgar | 9 Comments