Just before noon, I received a msg from my good friend M Chua. It’s just a simple straight forward msg.
“Bro, DK’s Dad passed on today. Wake at …. Funeral on Thu. FYIP”
I forwarded it to some of my ex-colleagues. Later in the evening when I was about to report off, I dropped by at the following shop…
Bee Flowers & Gifts
No: 338 Changi Road #01-48
I ordered a wreath (bouquet of flowers) to be sent to the wake. The lady boss of the shop was most helpful and professional in making arrangements for it to be delivered there on the same day. That’s the least I could do for my ex-boss even though I’m no longer working in the company.
For the past few weeks, I’ve been receiving bad news one after another about my ex-colleagues from my ex-colleagues. Some of them still keep in touch with me. There was a Train Captain who had gone to India for holidays and met with a fatal accident. He went there happy and lively but never came back home. Another Train Captain complained of sudden acute stomach pain. Got admitted to hospital and never recovered. Yet another slipped and fell in the toilet due to hypertension. Got hit in the head and ended with blood clot in the head. Had surgery and he’s still fighting for his life with tubes all over his body. Hopefully, he will pull through and recover.
Yup, all happened within a month. All three of them are Train Captains in their prime. In their 40s with families and hard working staff with many more years to live on. Cuz I know them all so it’s extremely sad to hear of such bad news. Not forgetting my dear friend Bob; another ex-colleague who lives in the same neighborhood whom I’ve known for more than 15 yrs is still trying to get his life back after his spine operation. I heard that he’s recovering fast. Hope I could drink with him at Elias Mall soon.
Now I fully understand what our ex-CEO said just before her departure. Where ever she goes, she will still feel for the company and staff. But then she was with the company for only 10 yrs, whereas I clocked 18 yrs!
The latest bad news put a pause button on my busy work schedule. It really reinforces my belief that life is so fragile and unpredictable. As such, the Chinese saying, “天有不测风云, 人有旦夕祸福!” really strikes a chord. link Today you are well and good but then anything could happen just like that. That’s what happened to Bob who is an avid cyclist and yet the unthinkable unexpectedly happened! Sigh…
I ever said before, in the history of our Cabinet, there is no equivalent to DK. I caught a little portion of the Chinese interview PM gave on TV recently. He was asked if he had in mind any successor. He said that he needed about 20 yrs to prepare for the prime ministership. His successor will not have that luxury. He also mentioned that his successor may not even come from the current cabinet. PM then went on to quote few world leaders. I could only recall him talking at length about President Obama who was never tested as a political leader at the national level. He was a lawyer by profession. Not even a governor where previous presidents used to be governors first. Suddenly, Obama had to lead America without any systematic tutelage. Compared to past presidents, fact is that he’s doing very well indeed. That’s the gist I heard the PM talking about in Chinese on TV. He further said that it could even happen to us in our country. I hope that gives you an idea with regards to the first sentence in this paragraph.
My respect for that man is unwavering. I’m sure he will fix whatever problems in the rail network. Rail network is now part and parcel of our life. More and more rail lines are built and new stations keep opening up. In another 10 to 15 yrs, once the island-wide rail system is in place, it’s no surprise that railway stations will be like bus stops all over the place and all within walking distance. But first someone capable and talented need to put our oldest aging railway lines in order so that all of us could ultimately reap those benefits in its entirety.
We have to thank DK’s father for giving us such a talented Singapore son. Our deepest condolences to him and his family.