"Mangkang Menua,Mangkang Dunya,Ngetan Ke Bansa!!"

September 14, 2010

Lee Kuan Yew: Don’t judge a man until you’ve closed his coffin

Lee Kuan Yew – tougher than a nail

EDITOR’S PICK This is a very wide-ranging interview encompassing politics, religion, philosophy and love. Singapore’s Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew shares a very tender side that perhaps he would never have allowed himself to reveal when he was younger.

“I am an agnostic. I was brought up in a traditional Chinese family with ancestor worship. I would go to my grandfather’s grave on All Soul’s Day which is called “Qingming”. My father would bring me along, lay out food and candles and burn some paper money and kowtow three times over his tombstone. At home on specific days outside the kitchen he would put up two candles with my grandfather’s picture. But as I grew up, I questioned this because I think this is superstition.

“She (his wife Geok Choo) has been for two years bed-ridden, unable to speak after a series of strokes. I am not going to convert her. I am not going to allow anybody to convert her because I know it will be against what she believed in all her life. How do I comfort myself? Well, I say life is just like that. You can’t choose how you go unless you are going to take an overdose of sleeping pills, like sodium amytal. For just over two years, she has been inert in bed, but still cognitive. She understands when I talk to her, which I do every night. She keeps awake for me; I tell her about my day’s work, read her favourite poems.”

The following is the transcript of the interview Seth Mydans had with Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew, for the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune. The interview was held on 1 September 2010.

Mr Lee: “Thank you. When you are coming to 87, you are not very happy..”

Q: “Not. Well you should be glad that you’ve gotten way past where most of us will get.”

Mr Lee: “That is my trouble. So, when is the last leaf falling?”

Q: “Do you feel like that, do you feel like the leaves are coming off?”

Mr Lee: “Well, yes. I mean I can feel the gradual decline of energy and vitality and I mean generally every year when you know you are not on the same level as last year. But that is life.”

With his wife of 60 years- Kwa Geok Choo

Q: “My mother used to say never get old.”

Mr Lee: “Well, there you will try never to think yourself old. I mean I keep fit, I swim, I cycle.”

Q: “And yoga, is that right? Meditation?”

Mr Lee: “Yes.”

Q: “Tell me about meditation?”

Mr Lee: “Well, I started it about two, three years ago when Ng Kok Song, the Chief Investment Officer of the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation, I knew he was doing meditation. His wife had died but he was completely serene. So, I said, how do you achieve this? He said I meditate everyday and so did my wife and when she was dying of cancer, she was totally serene because she meditated everyday and he gave me a video of her in her last few weeks completely composed completely relaxed and she and him had been meditating for years. Well, I said to him, you teach me. He is a devout Christian. He was taught by a man called Laurence Freeman, a Catholic. His guru was John Main a devout Catholic. When I was in London, Ng Kok Song introduced me to Laurence Freeman. In fact, he is coming on Saturday to visit Singapore, and we will do a meditation session. The problem is to keep the monkey mind from running off into all kinds of thoughts. It is most difficult to stay focused on the mantra. The discipline is to have a mantra which you keep repeating in your innermost heart, no need to voice it over and over again throughout the whole period of meditation. The mantra they recommended was a religious one. Ma Ra Na Ta, four syllables. Come To Me Oh Lord Jesus. So I said Okay, I am not a Catholic but I will try. He said you can take any other mantra, Buddhist Om Mi Tuo Fo, and keep repeating it. To me Ma Ran Na Ta is more soothing. So I used Ma Ra Na Ta. You must be disciplined. I find it helps me go to sleep after that. A certain tranquility settles over you. The day’s pressures and worries are pushed out. Then there’s less problem sleeping. I miss it sometimes when I am tired, or have gone out to a dinner and had wine. Then I cannot concentrate. Otherwise I stick to it.”

Q: “So…”

Mr Lee: “.. for a good meditator will do it for half-an-hour. I do it for 20 minutes.”

Q: “So, would you say like your friend who taught you, would you say you are serene?”

Mr Lee: “Well, not as serene as he is. He has done it for many years and he is a devout Catholic. That makes a difference. He believes in Jesus. He believes in the teachings of the Bible. He has lost his wife, a great calamity. But the wife was serene. He gave me this video to show how meditation helped her in her last few months. I do not think I can achieve his level of serenity. But I do achieve some composure.”


August 27, 2010

Chinese, Indian Felt They Are Marginalised, Malay Threatened, Dayaks?

Yeah! 1Malaysia – who cares about the non-Malays bumiputera as it has always been Umnoputras!

Taken from Bintulu.Org

Discussion on Malaysian politics has always been centered along racial line – ie how to protect the interests of Malays, Chinese and to lesser extend the Indian – but not the Dayaks or the natives of Sarawak?

Yeah, let’s grab their lands, while we still can shall we!

It is to everyone amusement, really, why the so call Dayak leaders (Jabu, Masing, Mawan) keeping an ‘elegant silence’ on this matter – although it could mean death or alive to their communities – literally. Did they not feel the Dayaks also been marginalized, threatened all along?

Whose faults were that? NEP, NDP or Razak, Mahathir?
In a close examination of Malaysia’s development policies, particularly the NEP and NDP, Associate Prof Dr Madeline Berma found that these policies had in fact benefited the Chinese more than the Dayak and the natives of Sabah (recently termed as bumiputera minority) although they are the target group under the two policies.

In an article ‘Towards The National Vision Policy: Reveiw of the New Economic Policy and New Development Policy Among the Bumiputera Communities In Sarawak‘ she said sufficient evidence showed that the government had succeeded in reducing poverty by increasing Malay and bumiputera minority income level.

“However the government has achieved little success in redistributing wealth to the bumiputera minority (Dayaks) as reflected in their limited control and ownership of physical capital (machinery, real estate), corporate equity and human capital (education and skills).

According to her, the pro-bumiputera (Malay) economic policy of distributing income appeared to be coherent and succeeded in the initial years, because the majority of poor are bumiputeras.

But, moving forward, the real challenges for Malaysia government is no longer about forming an economic policy that centered around political rhetoric of improving inequality – ie., between bumiputera (Malay) and non-bumiputera, but more on addressing the widening gap between bumiputera (Malay) and the non-Malay bumiputera.

The natives – including the Penan have not only excluded from the benefits of NEP, NDP but also denied their rights particularly over their own ancestral lands by the government.


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