The passing of one of our founding fathers, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, has saddened many people. Over the past many years, we are all used to having him around to take care of our Singapore. My friends and I were discussing how much he, who is our first prime minister since Independence Day, has contributed to our successful Singapore.
While news of the passing of Lee Kuan yew has been circulating online since early this morning, I can’t help but have many thoughts coming through my head upon seeing the video where our current PM, Lee Hsien Loong, addressing the nation at 8am. Some people said he almost cried while addressing, while others commented he can’t cry on national TV because as our current leader, he has to be strong and lead the nation forward. But how is he really feeling right now?
I was born in a family where helping out in the family business is inevitable. Through my life, many people has look upon me as ‘The Boss’s son’, and while doing my degree, friends will often remind me that I don’t have to study so hard since my career path has already been set. At work, colleagues will always know me as ‘The second generation’ of the business. The term ‘second generation’ I believe also applies to our current PM. Many people will always judge how can the second generation do better than the first? While others will say ‘You are where you are today because of what the first generation has provided you’
As a second generation, I always try my best to show that the second generation’s work is not just based on or continued from the first. I truly feel and understand there was always a need to prove that the second generation can achieve success on their part. While it has been built from the first generation, the second generation has to work even harder to not only maintain the success, but build on and achieve the next tier of success. In Chinese, there is a saying ‘创业难, 守业更难’ Not many people understand this. They see success that the second generation is enjoying but yet, they don’t see how pressure is also building up on them to make it even better. The second generation might be able to work things out but there will always be a doubt somewhere in them that they will want to seek advice or assurance from the first generation to endorse what they are doing is right.
While our Current PM is grieving over the loss of his father, I am sure he is also facing the pressure to carry on the success to the next level. Now that he can’t seek advice from his father, he will face a bigger test and pressure than ever before.
While we continue to mourn over the passing of Lee Kuan Yew for the next seven days, let us not forget that we, whether the second, third or even fourth generation of Singapore, must start working even harder to bring and maintain the success and peace that we have enjoyed today and before. Rest in peace, Mr Lee.