And we went as far as flaunting our expensive and new-found toy F1 to none other person than Aung San Suu Kyi. We acted like some children who have yet reached their full intelligence to grasp the meaning of life and sufferings, eager to show off our newly-prized possession to implicitly shame those who have no possession of it.
We have taken our devotion to material goods a yard too far.
“I want to learn a lot from the standards that Singapore has been able to achieve but I wonder whether we want something more for our country.”----Aung San Suu Kyi. [Link]
And Aung San Suu Kyi simply pricked the bubble of our materialistic minds, exposing our emptiness beyond that magnificent façade which we built our self-esteem on and from which defines our success. LHL must have found it hard to understand her when Singapore has already so much more of GDP and infrastructure and wealth than Myanmar, what else could Aung San Suu Kyi be asking for?
The one thing that LHL is tenaciously proud of is the same thing which Aung San Suu Kyi has chosen to shun. And for someone who trumpets about his own success of building a one and only Marina Bay in the world, his understanding of success for a country is narrowly and shallowly focused on economic-digits and hardware. There is no meaningful understanding beyond numbers and hardware.
“….there is only one Marina Bay in the world.”----LHL
And here lies the difference between a nondescript being and a leader. Here is a leader whose vision for her country that is not circumscribed by the tangibles but beyond.
Aung San Suu Kyi did not specify what she meant by “more”. Definitely not a reference to F1, Marina Bay, Garden by the Bay, the casinos or expensive shopping malls. More likely to be looking towards the human spirit that is unfortunately not even worth a cent in economic terms. And therefore is beyond LHL’s understanding.
GDP is not an evil by itself. It is needed, provided that it triggers to all strata of the society that contributes to the figure, to ensure a basic standard and quality of living for the people of a country. Nevertheless, it should not be pursued to the extent of reducing quality of life for the majority of the people in the process. And GDP alone does not define the spirit and the soul of a nation.
I may not guess what exactly Aung San Suu Kyi wants for her country. But it should be closer to the heart and further from the pockets.
It is easier to build a house than a home. Doubtless to say that LKY has successfully built a dazzling-looking house. But it is a house, and not exclusively meant for his people who have built it with him.
Aung San Suu Kyi is thoughtful and looks far ahead for her country whilst LHL is still fanatically collecting all models of the LV bags and through the adornments of these bags to shout to the whole world out there about his prominence and success.
A sense of sadness simply overwhelmed me at the thought of LHL.