The recent memorable visit of the Myanmar icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi may still be fresh in the people's mind. Since she is a renowned Myanmar politician of international standing, it was not surprising that PM Lee Hsien Loong pulled out all the stops to make her visit a historic event. In view of the fact that Daw Suu Kyi has captured the attention and affection of the world with her uncompromising struggle for democracy against the powerful military junta which had ruled Myanmar with an iron hand for decades, PM Lee would not want to miss the golden opportunity of showing his exquisite hospitality to the Myanmar herione during her short stay in Singapore to enhance his so-called international reputation. So among the programme which had been meticulously arranged for Daw Suu Kyi, there appeared to be one which had perhaps flummoxed many Singaporeans, unless it was meant as a stop-gap.
There were many who wondered what significance was there in the meeting between Ms Grace Fu, Minister in PMO and the Myanmar icon Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. Daw Suu Kyi is a political fighter of international stature who could easily dwarfed the mediocre credentials of Ms Grace Fu, notwithstanding that she is a PAP minister. In spite of being overawed by the formidable stature of her honoured guest Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Ms Grace Fu nevertheless managed to utter a few words of friendship between Singapore and Myanmar while Daw Suu Kyi spoke with conviction about her hopes for her country and her people.
But the contrasting personalities of the two female politicians are very prominent. Ms Grace moaned about her "sacrifices" during the period of the ministerial salary review. She was reported to have said that when she entered politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor for her. The more considerations for her were the loss of privacy and personal time, public scrutiny and career disruptions. She had further said that she had ground to believe that her family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though she experienced a drop in her income. So it was with this recent pay cut. If the balance was tilted further in the future, it would make it harder for anyone considering political office. Well she is now a million-dollar PAP minister.
Daw Suu Kyi too had her sacrifices all too familiar to the world. She was compelled to forsake her husband, her two young sons and personal freedom to fight for democracy for her people. But true to her lofty character, she perceived her "sacrifices" more of a choice than a sacrifice. "If you choose to do something, then you shouldn't say it's a sacrifice because nobody forced you to do it" Daw Aung San Suu Kyi said. (This paragraph is quoted from a post "Transitional Eternity").
The contrast between these two women - one a political luminary of world renown and the other a run-of-the-mill PAP minister - is so great that one glitters like a shinning star in the dark and the other exhibits darkness like a starless night.