Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Sign of South Korean Democratic Maturity that Singapore Lacks?


Koreans turn out in force for Roh (BBC - 02:11 GMT, Friday, 29 May 2009 03:11 UK).


S Koreans sad and angry over Roh (By John Sudworth, BBC - 13:25 GMT, Saturday, 23 May 2009 14:25 UK).

A national funeral held for former President Roh Moo-hyun, a liberal, by the current conservative administration of President Lee Myung-bak.

Former opponents honoring the passing of a "colleague". Will we ever see that happen again in Singapore? Will Singapore continue to go the way of (what I consider) political vindictiveness as part of its national political psyche? Former Presidents Ong Teng Cheong (elected, no less!) and Devan Nair were the two out of five former Singapore Presidents not honored with a national funeral and state burial. Why? Officially, it was the result of some (what I consider) arbitrary decision by the Cabinet. Unofficially, "everyone" now knows they "caused trouble" for our "ruling" (I hate that term) party.

David Marshall, our first Chief Minister, was honored at his death in 1995 (I do not know if he was given a state funeral). This was despite his being a staunch political opponent to the PAP in the early years before serving as Singapore's Ambassador to various European countries. What changed since 1995?

I hope in the future, I'd see a political landscape where leaders are honored for their service to the nation regardless of their differences with the sitting government when they die. Of course, should they turn out to be vile criminals (as Hitler was), they should be struck off the rolls (remembered, but not honored).

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