Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Conversation: Lee & Lee

"Wa lau eh! Sister versus brother. Father just one year gone, and the family start to fight. Some more, she say he abused his power. If she dare to say, he better dare to sue. Otherwise people will believe her more than him! Oo hee kwa liao loh!"

"Don't get so excited. There won't be a show. There won't be a lawsuit."

"Why you so sure? The Lees will sue when their reputation is on the line. Here she is accusing him of abuse of power. Smaller things than that they have sued before!"

"What abuse of power? People want to commemorate the father, he just let them. How is that abuse? If anything, she is the one who is out of touch with what the people wants, and is trying to use her influence to stop people if she can."

"Ya lah. I read her post on FB. Just because she no like the way people try to show their respect, she say until like that! Like people can only show their respect her way!"

"Actually, I sympathise with her. I think she and her father are very private persons. And she is obviously very close to her father, and knows him very well. And I can understand why she wants to keep him, his memories to herself, and how she would view all this ostentatious display of "hero-worship" and "hagiography" as revolting to her father."

"I dunno what you talking about. He was a GREAT man, and people wants to show their respect and their admiration. What's wrong with that?"

"Oh, I agree. The needs of the many outweigh the sensitivities of a few. Or even just one. The problem for her is that her father is more than just HER father. He is also the Father of Singapore and Singaporeans. And he has become "public property". Or rather his persona, his life story, his life even "belongs" to the public. Yes, he may not have wanted all this hero-worship, but sadly, that is irrelevant. He gave his life to build Singapore. He may not have understood how much he had to give, and continue giving. He may not have understood that history has a way of claiming the lives of great men, and conscripting them in the service of History and the historical narrative."

"So... you talk so much, all I can understand is that you agree he is a GREAT man."

"And getting greater."

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