Ladies and Gentlemen,
The state owned and controlled Singapore newspaper the Straits Times, just as the entire mass media is state owned and controlled in Singapore; has this story "Retirement means death, don't stop working: MM Lee" Jan 11, 2008.
In it Lee Kuan Yew says what he does to keep alive as long as possible. The trick, he says is to keep active and challenged with work. And to cycle, swim among other forms of exercise which he does. A sedentary life he says, will be the end.
Lee Kuan Yew is 84 years old. In September, he will be 85. We all become old and die. But in Lee Kuan Yew's case, he appears almost obsessed with thoughts of death. He fears death. He appears desperately trying to prolong life, as if every minute counts. He appears afraid to die! The question is why?
Fyodor Dostoevsky was a great Russian novelist. Among his books is the acclaimed "Crime and Punishment". The story is that of a young man who kills an old woman, a woman deaf dumb and evil. Evil because she was a moneylender in St Petersburg, his town, who lent money to peasants at enormous rates of interest. She had ruined the lives of many. But she was rich. The young man killed the woman and stole the money. He reckoned that killing her was no loss to society. She was an evil old woman. On the other hand, the money would help his family and send his sister to college. The benefit to society by her death outweighed the crime. So he killed her and took her money.
The young man, after the murder was progressively overcome by guilt. His conscience was killing him day by day. Eventually overcome by the sense of guilt, he goes to the police and confesses. And in confessing he becomes whole again. He is relived. The burden on his back is gone.
Dostoevsky's point is this. Man has to account to his conscience. And conscience is actually a living Hell, much worse than any Hell after death. I think in Mr. Lee Kuan Yew's case, he fears death. It is his conscience troubling him. He is afraid to die. He fears what lies ahead. He fears for his children; what will become of them. Will a truly representative government come about in Singapore? Will his children have to flee the country with their money. Will the future government of Singapore apply for their extradition to Singapore? Will they have to stand trial? Will they have to go to jail?
Then again it is the evil that he has done. What about his detaining Lim Chin Seong under the ISA, torturing him, his suffering under solitary confinement, his being injected with psychotropic drugs, the electric shocks, the beatings and the suffering that he endured for many years. Was it necessary? Was it for the good of Singapore? Or was it for himself?
Many others. What about the suffering of Chia Thye Poh the longest serving prisoner of conscience in the world! Why was it necessary for Lee Kuan Yew to punish a man so?
What about JB Jeyaretnam? What about Dr. Chee Soon Juan? Was all this done in the name of the Republic of Singapore or was it done for himself? What about the innocent men and women who were labelled Marxist Conspirators and tortured?
Is Lee Kuan Yew now, at the age of 84 suffering pangs of conscience? Is he the young man in Dostoyevky's Crime and Punishment?
This deliberate attempt to do all this for the purpose of prolonging life will have a negative effect. He is clearly afraid of death. He has created a situation in Singapore where the country is unable to continue upon his death. So he fears death. For himself. For his family and for his country.
In fact this obsessive fear on his part; in fact has the opposite effect. In his desperate attempt to prolong life even by the minute, his end approaches even faster.
As for any other man, I am sorry for him. Human decency requires me to say so. Poor man.
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