By: The Editorial
Like most media, print or online, we too have decided a few weeks ago when news of Lee Kuan Yew on a ventilator was first announced, to prepare an article; a soliloquy, an `in memorium’, an obituary of sort to remember the man so that when the inevitable happened, like it did this morning, we could quickly post on our website and thus giving the impression that we cared so much for him that we would wake up at 4 in the morning to type something coherent and nice in thirty minutes.
Who are we trying to kid? We were all fast asleep.
So we didn’t have anything to post except for a poignant picture of the man.
It was not so much because we are all chronic procrastinators (we are looking at you, Ben), but because deep inside our hearts, we did not want him to die. In our eyes, we simply could not see him dead. In our minds, we could not imagine him to just roll over.
And that, is the mark of a true legend.
So unlike the heartless horde of reporters, analysts, writers and bloggers who could find within them the duplicity to string together an obituary for someone who was not dead hoping that he would be dead soon so that they could be the first to publish an `in memorium’, we just couldn’t do it.
So we spent today, huddled together in our conference room overlooking the pristine Marina Bay (yeah right!), trying to cobble together an article befitting a true legend. And we were lost for words.
We had wanted to take the easy way out and cut-and-paste an article or two from respectable news media such as the BBC or Bloomberg but that would be a cop-out.
We could make a list of all his achievements in bullet form but we thought we could do better than that.
One of us suggested that we should organise a protest or rebellion and see if the old man would get-up and live again. Needless to say he, *cough* ben*cough*, was stared down.
We considered taking a drive to SGH and take some photos of the cards and flowers that the well-wishers had left and pretend that it is newsworthy.
How about linking a youtube video of a song that best encapsulates how we felt about the man’s passing? Someone suggested.
Even then we couldn’t agree on the song.
Should we go for the cheesy and mushy like `candle in the wind’ by Elton John or `tears in heaven’ by Eric Clapton?
Or should we be edgy and anti and go for `papa don’t preach’ by Madonna?
Or perhaps `Majullah Singapura’ because the man lived his life through that anthem. But we didn’t want to break with protocol.
And as we sat and reminisced and sipped our wine (yeah right!), we realised that there was nothing that we could write to add to the cacophony of tributes served by others.
So we decided to call it a day to allow the initial hysteria and sadness to abate and perhaps we will write something nice tomorrow.
We did however finally agree on a video that best described the man who had perfected the art of giving the middle finger to his critics. A man who was so consumed by passion and who exuded an abundance of confidence that he couldn’t have cared less about what his detractors thought of him.
And just like the video and melody, you would either love him or hate him but he.will.not.go.away.
He was and still is an earworm not only to Singaporeans, but to many others around the world.
He is LEE KUAN YEW!