Monthly Archives

March 2015

WE HONOUR MR LEE KUAN YEW, WHO PASSED ON YOUNG AT 91

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  As Singaporeans continue to ponder the legacy of Mr Lee Kuan Yew, it would do us well to recognise that Singapore is a product of imagination and human endeavour, a mix of ideals, vigour, fortitude and courage, the attributes that make for superior leadership. A highly inspiring poem in this regard is “Youth” by Samuel Ullman.  It is a poem which highly inspired Konosuke Matsushita, founder of Panasonic, the largest Japanese consumer electronics company. “YOUTH” by Samuel Ullman Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind; it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and…

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HONOURING MR LEE KUAN YEW (1923-2015)

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Honour (Singapore) joins Singaporeans in honouring our founding Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who passed away early this morning.  If we look at an atlas of the world, Singapore, the country, fits quite nicely into the letter “o” in its name.  Indeed, in most atlases, they have to make a point of enlarging the dot so that Singapore may be pointed out. That is how small Singapore is. When Singapore became, rather unexpectedly, independent in August 1965, it had to find its own way into the future: the dream of a common market in Malaysia was broken, and Indonesia was…

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THE IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL NORMS

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The Straits Times on 13 March 2015 published an article entitled “The importance of social norms”, which was written by David Brooks, an Op-Ed columnist for the New York Times who has been described as relatively irreligious. It is a commentary on American society today with a perspective useful for Singapore. Allow me to quote extracts: “We now have multiple generations of people caught in recurring feedback loops of economic stress and family breakdown, often leading to something approaching anarchy of the intimate life. It’s not only money and better policy that are missing in these circles; it’s norms.”  “The…

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“WHAT IS THE TRUE MEANING OF THE BLACK BELT?”

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I had the privilege of speaking as the Guest of Honour at the ACS (Barker Road) Founder’s Day Celebration last Friday 27 February 2015. As I entered the school auditorium, all the students were standing up, clapping their hands.  But what made the occasion so different from any other function I have attended was that the students were cheering with gusto. Thus it was not simply the polite stand-up welcome for visitors but a warm, noisy welcome of the heart (or just the boisterousness of ACS)? Awards were a major part of the programme.  And the first awards were for…

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