Friday, August 13, 2004

A New Chapter - for the Singapore Government and me

For those of you not hiding underneath a bomb shelter (or not from Singapore), you would have come to realise that Singapore has a new Prime Minister, Mr Lee Hsien Loong.

The transition was smooth and was shown "live' on all of S'pore's free-to-air channels yesterday. Mr Lee is the third Prime Minister, succeeding his previous predecssor, Mr Goh Chok Tong, who ruled the country for the past 14 years. The swearing in ceremony, held at the grounds of the Istana with 1,400 or so invited guest. The guest list includes not only politicians, businessman, key army figures, but also hawkers, taxi-drivers, students, tv stars, sport personalities, etc. etc.)

Damn, why was I not invited !! Alas, should i feel hurt that i was left out from this fabulous opportuity to rub shoulders with S'pore's elite ???........Nah! That is just so NOT me...!
What was i doing then ? I was in the gym, trying "unsuccessfully" to lose that extra pounds gained from a weekend of glorious food.

The story goes: The TV was on, and as i was running on the thread mill, feeling a bit like a fat hamster in that little "ferris-wheel contraption" pet owners buy to "entertain" the hairy furball in its cage, i overhead the guys around me sniggering and commenting, when the Minister Mentor (Mr Lee Hsien Loong's father- Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the first Prime Minister of Singapre) was sworn in. "What the hell is a "Minister Mentor", i overheard one exclaimed ! Is there anywhere else in the world, where there is position called Minister Mentor ?

That got me thinking (and i seldom do that),..What if all countries do the same, and create a position for their former, experienced, well-liked, retired Head of State as an advisor, a mentor to the new Steward of the country? Would the world be a better place?

Hmmm...of course, not if the mentor was a dictator or tyrant of a previously overthrowed regime (Sadam, Hussein,Slobodan Milosevic, Pol Pot, Ferdinand Marcos, Augusto Pinochet, are but a few that comes to my mind),

But, what if, the previous Steward was one who has lead his/her country to positive economic and social development within its country, encourage co-operation and partnership across its neighbours by building bridges of friendship and communication.. Wouldn't the world be a better place ?? I think so...

I may be simplistic in my outlook, some may say. But really, don't we all wish that we have good leaders (be it among your peers or work place) who is always there to freely impart their knowledge, experienes and help you along that journey in life ??? Well i do...and that's why i am happy that S'pore have a Minister Mentor.

Looking at myself, in my life's journey, my favourite teacher was a friend and a mentor to me, constantly reminding me to think of the consequences of my action or "to think before i act". Without him, i will probably remained a hot headed, brash and quick to react person...... In my working career, i have various "mentors" giving me free advice on how to handle difficult situations as well as projects....To them i am grateful as well. In my personal life, my better half is like a mentor to me as well. She dispenses at the right moment, advise that are worth a million dollars.....

So my point....Be grateful, especially if we are blessed with a benevolent Mentor...It's not often we get to have one..

1 comment:

Ivan Chew said...

"What the hell is a "Minister Mentor", i overheard one exclaimed ! Is there anywhere else in the world, where there is position called Minister Mentor ?
Where in the world indeed, RojakMan. Where vast majority of her citizens live in sanitary conditions, enjoy amenities like an indoor gym, watching TV, and openly critising the government without fear of the secret police watching :)