Goodbye, Mr Rajaratnam (1915 – 2006).
I never knew you well because your work was done at a time when I did not exist, and when I was a child with little or no political knowledge. The pledge was just something I recited everyday during assemblies and it did not matter to me who wrote it.
But you were a founding father of my country, and I respect and admire the fact that you had used the pen to fight many a battle. Watching the past speeches that you had made, your intelligence and articulate nature shone brightly and it is clear that when you left politics, when you were besieged by the onset of dementia, we lost a great mind.
Death comes to us all, no matter how brilliant we are. My eyes welled up with tears seeing your coffin, because it only emphasizes to us that Death is really part and parcel of life. All that warmth, liveliness and wits all reduced to nothing but a cold body, soon to turn to dust and seep back into the welcoming arms of the earth.
Do we care? Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, work, exams, is anyone shedding a tear for you? Would I have bothered if I were an A’level student buried under common tests and CCA? Are we truly an apathetic young generation?
“Here lies a man.
We are sorry to see him leave the earth.”
Indeed, we are.