I can't resist jumping the gun here as I am often impatient about writing too much. Low Thia Khiang represents the ideas Anthony Robbins had been preaching all these years. Lee Kuan Yew is the polar opposite but to many people couldn't tell because the man is just too brilliant to cover it up.
Policy makers will often be faced with equally attractive or dismal options. Which option is the right one? That must be answered by your values and the destination you want to bring your people. Low Thia Khiang has that. On the other hand Lee Kuan Yew was too preoccupied with preserving his legacy of Singapore and taking as few risks as possible such that he is only brilliant on issues where our backs are against the wall. A good example would be our challenge of securing sufficient water for ourselves and the solution the world famously know - New Water.
Life is about growth and Anthony Robbins recognized that. As for LKY, he tried to persuade us to lower our aspirations to become realistic that it becomes unattractive and boring. Then the younger leaders had to re-jig it with F1, the two IRs etc., They used all their brilliance in an uphill struggle to keep LKY legacy alive. They had forgotten the most important advice from Dr. Goh when he retired. He made sure citizens heard the advice had given them.
We were caterpillars and now we are butterflies drying our wings. LKY reminded that we were caterpillars. If we bought his beliefs (mostly these rather than scientific fact) we will never fly. At most only the elites can take to the sky, the rest of us we were told not to waste our time. As no growth equates to death, he was stupid (a word he likes to use on others) even think, much less suggest that. Of course, with his usual cleverness he would disclaim that. You know how dead his idea of growth is?
From ST today.
Overwhelmed, the usually jocular Mr Low left the meeting room at the Hougang Town Council office for 10 minutes to compose himself. When he returned, he said he wanted the interview to continue outside the office.
'I miss a lot of things in Hougang, but I have to move on,' (Yes!, must grow, that's life)said Mr Low, 54.
A key factor in his anguish (growth is often risky and painful) was the opposition he faced from detractors of his GRC bid, with some telling him pointedly to his face that should he fail, he would become a 'li shi jui ren'. The Chinese saying loosely means 'a sinner in historical records'.
They felt his action could land Singapore with no elected opposition MP, as both he and long-serving Potong Pasir MP Chiam See Tong were leaving their strongholds to contest in GRCs.
But Mr Low persisted as he believed (we must follow leaders with beliefs we identify with) a GRC win was necessary for the opposition to play an effective, long-term role in Parliament, as a check on the ruling party or in forming an alternative government in the future.
He also believed he would be shortchanging the people of Hougang and their aspirations, had he stayed put.
What is leadership? It is to take a people on a path they wish to go but on their own they could not. The icon of leadership for me is Moses. The PAP government as of now is not making our society into one where many of us are happy to end up with. Common sense. Who would want their country to become one big hotel for foreigners where they are servants and second class citizens? The PAP was stupid but also so clever at rationalizing their stupidity. Many citizens cannot beat them in debates but their feel it in their hearts. The WP will be their effective voice in parliament. If they have any common sense left, they would lift the party whip.
In the end we are a very lucky country.