Dr. M remarked that Mr. LKY “kiasu” (fear of losing, a hokkien dialect), without realising that as a person and national leader many Malaysians would think he “su tiam tiam” (losing out to the pit bottom). In commenting on LKY, I look at the big picture, his contribution, and remembered no one is perfect. Any policy would offend some, no matter how good it might be. It is the same way I look at Dr. M, or even Chairman Mao. I suppose it’s a kind of “auditing”, the credits over the debits and the assets over the debts. Fortunately I am too small and old to worry about that. That non status is my blessing for me and my family.
Fame, success, gain and praise would have some share and shades of its opposites. That’s an ancient teaching of the Buddha on lokadamma, with three interconnected divisions, to maintain balanced views of the mundane world. Or in modern parlance, the Middle Path is the art of placing one’s feeling, emotion, thoughts in their right perspective adjacent to oneself, other people and situations, with reference to “when, how who and what” in the context of speech, thoughts and action. It is long worded, but it is a living experience of an individual. For those who read widely, it is a combination of teachings of the Buddha, Confucius, J. Krishnamurthy, Greek and modern psychology. Often I add in the little I have read of the bible and other religious teaching. That might disqualify me from their respective heaven, rebirth or reincarnation, but in world of uncertainty, it is best to live as best as we could, without harming and blaming others. And that’s not easy, again back to the Noble Truth of the Buddha. I was, not infrequently, asked about “After Death”, even before my actual physical death. I could talk for more than an hour on that, and concluded by a short statement of ignorance.
Despite the years, I thought Dr. M would have grown wiser; he was not demented, but, in national interest, dysphasia would be a blessing for many, including our current PM. That oral diarrhoea was a symptom of his “kiasu”, to promote one out and another in, until the prodigal son landed on top. In a uncertain world, it might not be a blessing to him or to the nation. If he’s good, he would be proven good; if he’s a bad egg, it would be too rotten even to deep fry or hard boiled it.