Category: Current Affairs
Published on Monday, 17 August 2015 00:00
Written by Shawn Danker
The announced retirement of both Wong Kan Seng and Admiral Lui Tuck Yew felt very bittersweet to me.
Personally, I felt that Mr Wong should have resigned back during the Mas Selamat escape scandal to preserve what was left of his good name and legacy.
I myself was angry at the lack of accountability back then. But after seeing how Mr. Wong has diligently attended parliament sittings without fail, it has softened my views of the man a little.
From my seat behind the reinforced glass of the public gallery, I saw a quiet and unassuming man. Mr Wong looked like he was still weighed down with his previous failure, but he refused to let that dark cloud dislodge him from his duty as one of our silent sentinels. I can only hope Mr Wong's announced retirement will bring him the peace he needs.
I've never met Admiral Lui in the course of my work. I initially thought of him as someone who looked very beng with a name that was just waiting to be mocked (Tuck Yew rhymes with a vulgar insult). But I have to admit that my opinion of him has changed after watching him speak within the parliament house's floor. I saw a man who stoically carried out his duty. He never once publicly complained or made excuses for mistakes. He simply took whatever situation that was in front of it and made it his burden to bear. This is probably why I still think of him THE first transport minister to be seen taking the train and bus.
His nay sayers would continually mock him and claim he was riding the trains or buses for show. They even went so far as to use his name as a synonym for eff you. I always felt that particular brand of mudslinging and balls breaking was uncalled for, especially the public denigration of his name. The man like many of us tried to make the best of the rotten hand of cards he was handed as transport minister.
We forget that Admiral Lui's duties also required him to manage our air and sea transport services as well. Something he has done swimmingly since we have heard zero complaints of. The only thing that continued to vex him during his tenure was the MRT.
Admiral Lui did his best trying improve the current landscape through a series of decisions that he pushed through. But alas he will not be in office to see the fruits of his labour thanks to the instant gratification nature of public anger. I only hope that his public legacy will be vindicated once the long term effects of his tenure become more visible.
I would like to say to Admiral Lui that his country thanks him for his service and dedication. But I lack the hubris to think that I speak for my countrymen. So I will just close off by saying thank you Admiral Lui Tuck Yew for your unwavering dedication to your duty despite all the setbacks and insults.