Saturday, October 06, 2007

MM Lee @ NTU

Last Thursday, 4th October 2007, Singapore's founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, visited NTU for a ministerial forum. It was held in Nanyang Auditorium which could accommodate 1800 people. Not only Singaporeans were interested to hear what MM Lee has to say, people from China, India, Vietnam, etc. were eager too.

I had dinner with Siew Ghim and Wilson before we headed off to deposit our bags at LT2. After which, we walked over to Nanyang Audit and was "surprised" at the long queue extending towards the direction of Canteen A. It was indeed a long queue, kind of like what you will see at Boon Lay bus interchange in the morning where students queued up for bus service 179.

We got into the queue and Huimin joined us soon after. It was a long wait; i guess we were in the queue for about an hour plus before we actually got into Nanyang Audit. The emcee who hosted the event is really a joker; she behaved very elegantly, cat-walked and smiled a lot... but it felt weird, very very weird. Are we not used to people behaving elegantly or did she overdo it? I think is a bit of both.

MM Lee arrived shortly after everyone got seated and gosh he really looked old; well he had just celebrated his 84th birthday not long ago. He gave a long keynote which was a summary of his memoirs which i had read. But it sure feels different with him saying out in person. It makes the events come alive.

The Q&A session was next. There were people who were anxious to ask questions but those who managed to snatch the mike were either china chinese, india indian or Vietnamese. This eventually led to MM Lee calling out to Singaporeans to ask questions. It sure reflect the current situation when CC and II are almost every where in Singapore. Competition here and there and increasing CC and II sure made some locals do feel like 2nd class citizens.

Yes, globalisation is at fault here but isn't there a better way for this to happen? I don't have an answer for this but it is really unavoidable especially with our greying population.

Let's not wait for our multi-million paid ministers to come up with solutions, we should reflect and think hard - what kind of Singapore do we hope to create?

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