The clock just struck twelve. Today marks the 50th year of independence for my country, Singapore; known also as the little red dot 🙂 . I can't remember how this cute name came to be but it has stuck to the national psyche somehow. An earnest pride of our achievements in spite of all limitations - of land, of resources.
And here, a man. A great man. Of immense energy and charisma, but not just that - a steely will; brave heart; a master of both great and small - Lee Kuan Yew, led this pygmy nation to this day. He is not here to celebrate with us today sadly. He had departed on 23 March 2015.
I recall distinctly the raging tempest, the night before the dismal announcement. Fiery claps of thunder. Wild lightning bolts. Torrential sheets of rain (they might have been tears from heaven). It was the same on the day of the State Funeral Procession. Throngs of thousands waited in the downpour, lining the streets to bid their last farewell to the dear man, our founding father.
I kept one particular illustration of Mr Lee (picture on the right) that moved me most, among the copious articles surrounding his death (which had set both local and international media abuzz substantially). He is depicted with his back view in the midst of a garden; seemingly inspecting it with both pride and caution: this garden he planted by his sweat and blood. The blue jacket is one he often donned while in office. This garden - is both my country, the Garden City, and perhaps, paradise. I'm quite sure Mr Lee would be peering from heaven today, watching if everything is well with his garden; and may I add, with pride at our National Day Parade in its Jubilee year. Rest in peace, Mr Lee.
And to all my fellow citizens and residents, I wish you all a wonderful Jubilee Weekend!!