Tomorrow (16 September) our former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew will be celebrating his 90th birthday, a longevity by any standard. No doubt there will be felicitous greetings from far and near to congratulate this nonagenarian on his so-called auspicious 90th birthday. In Singapore there will be many like Mr. Chua Thian Poh and Mr. Wee Cho Yaw, two prominent Chinese community leaders who will fall over one another to show their so-called obeisance. In fact never to be outdone in their obsequious zeal, Mr. Chua Thian Poh, president of the Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations and Mr. Thomas Chua, president of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry had organised a grand pre-birthday bash at the Shangri-La Hotel meant to celebrate the so-called auspicious occasion in a grand way but with a pathetic imperfect element in that the birthday nonagenarian could not attend on his doctor's advice. He was represented by his second son Mr. Lee Hsien Yang who received an award on his behalf, an opportunity lost in glorifying his presence. A picture book "Lee Kuan Yew : A Life In Pictures" was also published to commemorate the occasion. The celebration will not be complete without congratulatory messages from present and past world leaders. Of course they are not to know the unconscionable aspect of Lee Kuan Yew's persona.
All this pomp and pageantry has the illusion of giving a veneer of veneration to former MM Lee Kuan Yew, but does not really give an insight of the loathing of the heinous aspect of his character by a substantial section of the community. Of course with the propaganda of the mainstream media, especially The Straits Times, the undercurrent of abhorence seems not to be apparent to the casual observer unless he or she follows the social media. The netizens are quite generous in their vitriols of the former MM Lee Kuan Yew from time to time especially when he makes a booboo in his discourse.
It cannot be denied that there are some Singaporeans who are still nostalgic about the so-called greatness of former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew in transforming Singapore from a third world country to a first world nation. But at the same time he had done something inhuman to his political opponents and it is an open secret that some of them had been incarcerated by him for nineteen and thirty-two years, even longer than that of the incarceration of the famous Nobel Peace Prize winner Nelson Mendela.
The nonagenerian Lee Kuan Yew has expressed a wish that when it is time for him to go that it will be a peaceful and painless death, But if one believes in karma, retribution has a way of exacting justice and Lee Kuan Yew may find his wish hard to fulfill. He also said that after his death and the coffin is closed the verdict will be known. (蓋棺論定). His 90th birthday is as good a time as any for the verdict on him to be known. There will be his diehards who will extol his so-called achievements and virtues and there will be his dissenters who will bury him with his evil deeds.