Wednesday, May 04, 2005

:: my private tribute::

it has been a shitty day at work, i almost bull-dozed into my boss' office to tell him that i've had enough of a foul-smelling and rotten EQ "colleague" of mine, and that, i will quit.

but of course, that didn't happen (after extra long lunch break and telling off my co-worker that his behaviour is not acceptable and idiotic)...instead, he went to the boss, to complain and bust my balls. i don't think that he has the courage to quit, because he is a friggin' deadwood who will be dead should he work somewhere else.

besides, i don't care if my boss wants to see me, as i have been wanting to give him a piece of my mind, and what could be the worst thing that could have happen? 'kena' fired lah...i don't suffer fools anyway.

sorry as i digress....as usual.

i was about to leave the office when my brother called for a ride home, since my place is along his anyway. just less than 5 minutes of driving, i blurted, "wanna go to the istana?" and he said, "yes, let's pay our respects"...

and with that, we had to endure, well, not really, just some time waiting in the queue for about 45 minutes as there are hundreds of those before us...and few more behind it. it was the last throng of those who would like to pay their last respect to our ex-president, dr wee khim wee, as the queue will stop in about 10 minutes when we arrived.

being a sombre affair, we behave ourselves, no pushing and shoving. conversations were muted and the security clearance was efficient and quick. it was the 1st time ever, i had seen a metal detector being set in a middle of a tropical lush greenery.

there wereshuttle buses to pick us up and send us back from the istana to the main gate. it was more efficient than our public transporation.

then, it was the moment of truth for me, when it was our turn to finally reach the istana. in the condolence book, i wrote "thanks for the autographed invitation card for tea during pre u seminar 1990 @ the istana..., you will be missed but remembered to many of your fellow citizens, rest in peace" but my hand shivered and my handwriting was illegible. i was almost overcome with emotion at that point. i

soon, we were inside the istana and the late dr wee's family was there by the side of the casket which was draped with our national flag. it must have been hard for them, since i believe they have been there since morning (judging from the news on tv which showed them wearing the same clothes since morning).

after offering some prayers, i lowered my head and look at the late dr wee's peaceful and dignified face before turning to his family and bowed and said to his daughter, 'we are sorry for your lost, he has always been a great man.'

with that, it was back to the efficiency of the istana security and we boarded the shuttle bus and alighted at the main gate. there, we saw the late dr wee's eldest son, thanking all the uniformed men and women who has helped with the crowd control, security and logistics at the main gate area. in such trying times, he has emulated his late father's excellent people skills. those men and women were clearing up the logistics as the event has closed.

my brother and i did not speak much on our way home, but somehow, deep inside we are glad to be able to pay our final respect to a great man who has somewhat touched our hearts and who has chosen to be remembered as a common man, not as a former President of Singapore.

tomorrow, there will be a private ceremony for the family and on friday, it will be the funeral at mandai crematorium, not at kranji memorial park, at the request of the late dr wee khim wee.

as a malay saying goes, "harimau mati meninggalkan belang, manusia mati meninggalkan nama" which literally means, ' when a tiger dies, it will leave its stripes, a man dies , he will leave his name (legacy)".

this is the best way to meet our creator, i hope mine will be this way too....



:: the grand istana - with no state flag for this sombre event:

2 comments:

jettykey said...

The malay saying is so true. Basically, there's nothing you can bring with you when you die.

SooHK said...

Althoug I am a Malaysian but I hear some good some stories about this great man..