– Vijay K. Saluja
an ardent admirer of LKY
again on a visit to Spore
BIRTHDAY OF A LEADER-Case Study Singapore
Vijay K. Saluja
Director, Giraffe Heroes India Program
I am on a visit to Singapore. Yesterday ie 16.September 2013, was the 90th birthday of Mr Lee Kuan Yew is considered the Founding Father of Singapore. He was the first Prime Minister of Singapore since its independence in 1965 [being a member of the Republic`s Legislature for 58 years] & stepped down in 1994, giving way for other younger leaders of his party [PAP] & then as Minister Mentor –until 2011.
STRAIT TIMES & TODAY, are the main English newspapers of this City-State. But, I did not find any page of these Papers carrying pictures of the `Hero` of the Republic like the way our various newspapers in India fill their many pages with the big photographs of the leaders whose birthdays or birth-anniversaries fall on that day! These pages, I understand are perhaps sponsored by various political leaders, public undertakings[at public money cost] or corporate groups. One can see huge banners in our Delhi/other cities proclaiming Birthday wishes for the leaders with their big photographs & as well figuring on those posters are the photographs of some of the local leaders & their names etc etc.Of late, this phenomenon of telling the citizens about birthdays of even local elected representatives have become more frequent & electrical posts are often dotted with these proclamations?! I sometime wonder-why these acts, when there are more important things to attend to?
|Lee Kuan Yew|
On this day in Singapore for such a TALL Leader of the Republic, of course a one-day conference, titled `The Big Ideas of Mr Lee Kuan Yew` was organized by Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy of National University of Singapore which was attended by more than 500 public & civil servants past & present, former & current politicians, academics & industry leaders.
The persons associated with him in the past & even now, paid glowing tributes to his unwavering dedication to meeting various challenges while building the country to this level..What level Singapore has achieved over the years due to the lifetime of service & struggle is amazing & astonishing, to say the least! Throughout & even now, despite his not so robust health, he keeps on making call for action & unity among various Singaporeans which are now from various regions of the World-Chinese, Malay, Indians,Indonesians, & of-course so many expats who are in Singapore, working for their various organizations.
Present President of the Republic Mr Tony Tan inter-alia remarked while wishing him `joy & continuous good health` that `Generations of Singaporeans have benefitted from Mr Lee Kuan Yew`s life-long contribution towards creating the peaceful & prosperous Singapore that we know today. Mr Lee reminds us that Singapore is a constant work in progress as he continues to work tirelessly to secure our future even after more than five decades of public service`.
|Singapore – The Lion City|
I will conclude this brief article with some of the following messages which I could gather from the tributes paid to this Great Builder of Singapore, by his Fellow-Associates & country-men..Some of these, I hope may be relevant to we Indians & other persons from various regions?
True leaders of a Nation whom the citizens admire are those who are dedicated & obsessed in building their country against all odds & face various challenges with brave face & as well infecting their colleagues & country/men with action, commitment enthusiasm, integrity & unwavering positivity.
They do not believe in rhetorics but actually bring positive & tangible changes on the ground & amongst the system & society.
They therefore strongly believe in multi-racialism, multi-casteism & have respect for all religions.They actively seek help of the citizens to be co-operative ,helpful,,sharing fruits if collective efforts, do common good.
They themselves well provide caring governance & leadership.
They are constantly on the move for positive ideas from all quarters & take all steps to get these implemented.
They do not seek greatness. Greatness is thurst upon them by the grateful citizens.
Some of the remarks of the Readers in the Paper, which came out next day[ie today]——
Mr Lee Kuan Yew-a colossus among men
It was his indomitable spirit & willingness to do what others would deem improbable or even impossible that catapulted Singapore to become a bustling metropolis.
.He opted sensibly & calmly for long-term benefits even as the short-term pains seemed excruciating.
We are grateful for his visionary mind & inspiring the Singapore population.
It is indeed a pleasure for me to be here in Singapore, for a brief while. What a city-state it is! I will cherish this VISIT..