Dear Dr M,

Your little diatribe has left some Singaporeans (at least the people on this wall) quite speechless. Actually not so speechless that we couldn’t express a range of emotions. The most common emotion is incredulity, as evidenced by how we can’t decide whether to laugh or to cry. In fact, most times, we ended up banging our head against the wall. A few of us even started rolling on the ground as well.

You see, we didn’t realise that your retirement job is “entertainer’’. We hesitate to use the word “comedian’’ in deference to your former position as prime minister and the fact that you are of the same generation as our first prime minister who has just died. We’re quite pleased that you recognize the term “kiasu’’ and more than pleased to know that we share this trait with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, who wouldn’t give you an inch during bilateral negotiations.

We suppose you know the reason? Give you an inch and you’ll take a yard? And was this about your favorite project, the crooked bridge? Or did you want more money for water? Why do you think we make our own water?

Of course, you’re not authoritarian. Who said that?? Only authoritarian people stay in the Government, as you say. Nice people, on the other hand, resign so that they can be on the outside to snipe! Snipe! Snipe! Snipe! Even at their handpicked successors. Poor Mr Lee…he wanted to speak in Parliament but his son said no, that he should leave the job to the young ones. Mr Lee should have done what you do: blog, give interviews to everyone – and let it all hang out…!

We’re sorry that you had a harder time than Mr Lee, because you had to run a much larger country which needed many roads. We’re sorry for your racial problems and we’re super glad that Singapore hasn’t added to them since 1965. We’re not sure that we forgot our minorities but we are very sure that you definitely, definitely didn’t forget your majority. We are now also learning about the rights of the people from reading media reports on your tumultuous politics, interesting arrests and fascinating court cases.
It was good of you to declare that you “didn’t steal government money’’, although we don’t care since it isn’t ours.

You also said you “didn’t do quite a lot of things’’, which makes us wonder what you really did. You wanted to know what mistakes you made since you obviously couldn’t find any. We hesitate to name any since that would be interfering in your internal politics. Maybe, can we just say that perhaps, just probably, you suffer from a surfeit of modesty?

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