Sunday, June 13, 2010

Nelson Mandela

I watched the opening concert of the World Cup. I was moved by the public respect that the crowd had for Nelson Mandela or "Madiba". I saw the video clip of his speech when he was elected President. He pledged to spent the remaining years of his life "not as a prophet" but "in the service of the people".

He was prepared to step down from office on completing his term to become a private citizen. This allowed new leaders to be elected democratically, who can adapt the national policy to suit the changing needs of the people. Although South Africa may be economically poorer than Singapore, the people seemed to be quite happy and proud of their country.

I hope that, one day, Singapore will have great leaders like Madiba.

Tan Kin Lian

6 comments:

Cyrus said...

I think Mandela may have been an effective freedom fighter but he was hardly an effective leader when he was President of South Africa.

Probably his best move was the avoidance of bloodshed after S Africa got rid of apartheid. But economically, S Africa did not progress much and the lives of many remain mired in poverty.

Lye Khuen Way said...

As Cyrus 13th June 11:34am commented, Mandela may not have been an effective President as far as the economy of SA was concerned, but he knew better than to stayed on !

He graciously let go.... to smell the roses, if you like.

What we lacked here in Singapore are Brave, well-educated, dedicated, caring individuals to step up.
Too bad, we do not have the critical mass, so do not complain.

Life is not too bad. Just comfortable enough not to instigate
revolt, mass protests but also not bad enough to throw up hidden talents/hero as in time of crisis.

Anonymous said...

What you are implying is that our old man is not a good leader. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Respect has to be earned and we all know that our old man has not earned any respect from its people. He only instill fear on its people. I can guarantee you, if you conduct a national survey, more than 70% of the people would wish him to drop dead now and celebrate merrily for his funeral. Our old man has come to a stage that he is no better than the Kim Jong Il of N Korea.

knowing when to leave said...

Agree with anon. more than 70% will wish for the old man to drop dead. I will not be surprised if majority also wish many famiLee members join him too.

Anonymous said...

But south africa is crime ravaged. With the highest rape and murder rates in the world. How can it's citizens be happy and proud of their country.

Proudly South African said...

South Africans are proud of their leader and proud of their country. Go to South Africa and then you'll know why. We have our unique problems but each place has these.

What Madiba did was to instill a culture of forgiveness and acceptance. If he had focussed on the economy only the country would have disappeared in civil war.

Come visit South Africa. We are happy for you to come and we don't mind if you make fun or criticize our leaders and politicians. In fact we do it a lot ourselves.

But if you come you'll just end up loving the place in any case :)

2nd prize is to watch Invictus. It porbably isn't too far from the truth. Except the bit about the plane. That was all planned :)

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