Why do we only read about great people when they die? As i slowly read the story on Mr S Rajaratnam in the Straight Times over the weekend, i was amazed by the many achievements of this great man who was a founding father of modern Singapore. I dont know much about Mr Rajaratnam not because of a lack of interest in history nor natural apathy about politic. Just that there is so little on his contribution to modern Singapore in the public psyche.
Off the cuff, i can count….
Mr Lee Kuan Yew got his 2 volumes of memoirs
Sheares, a bridge
Yusof Ishak, our money "face"
Ahmad Ibrahim, the highway guy
Raffles, the jaga beside the Singapore River
Parameswara, etched permanently in our history book
Come on, he is the man who wrote the National Pledge, stood up to supporters of Soviet Union supporters like Assad of Syria, Saddam Hussein & Fidel Castro, envisioned Singapore to be a "Global City" before globalisation become a business fad. He was also a staunch supporters of multiculturalism, avid photographer, deep thinker and a great wordsmith.
In his late years, he was often quoted as saying:
"On my IC, it says my race is Indian. But I don't care if you call me an Indian or Eskimo. What is important is whether you consider me a good man."
I know my words would not do justice to such a great man who had contributed so immensely and left such a vast legacy. Nevertheless i like to end my tribute with….
MR RAJARATNAM, SIR
YOU WERE, AND STILL ARE A GREAT MAN!