I tried and tried to make my own words a tribute to him. It is very hard because when I get to about 5 lines I start to cry and then it all goes down hill from there.
Been off the grid, away from the country for a week now, and came back to the news of a nation in mourning.
It's odd because when Singaporeans travel, we meet with people who have harsh opinions about our country.
People who have read about or visited Singapore often talk about the artificial, sterile or manufactured nature of the city.
They say the greenery is artificial.
The laws are artificial.
The policies are artificial.
The buildings are artificial.
The water is artificial.
The roads are artificial.
The harmony between the races is artificial.
Some might argue that this is true. Perhaps there is a superficial artificiality to the city. But beneath it all, there is a hidden reality that we must acknowledge.
We must acknowledge that the greenery may be artificial, but the beauty is real.
The laws may be artificial, but the safety is real.
The policies maybe artificial, but the peace is real.
The buildings may be artificial, but the sweat and blood that went into building them are real.
The water may be artificial, but the thirst for a better life was real.
The roads may be artificial, but the destinations are real.
The harmony may have been artificial, but the people are, and always will be, real.
We must acknowledge that the city may seem artificial, but the man who built it, was as real as they come.
There is an old adage that goes, ‘Done is better than perfect.’
As a leader, he got it done. As a people, if we want, it’s up to us to make it perfect.
I came back to a nation in mourning. And for the first time, in a long time, everyone on the island is doing something together. I guess some men have a knack of bringing people together, even when they're gone.