Saturday, March 28, 2015

Remembering LKY

The night before, I told my friend that I hope Mr Lee Kuan Yew survived. The very next morning, he passed away. I watched the national address by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the chinese address was one of the hardest segment. I sobbed, when he struggled to continue his speech. 

My primary school best friend has a strikingly similar name with the Mr Lee, that's how I first heard about this great man. My dad is a voracious reader, I remembered when we moved, I organised the books according to category and there were a couple of memoirs of Mr Lee. When I first came to Australian National University, I went to one of the five libraries, Menzies. I saw the collection of your books, and borrowed one. Unlike Mrs Lee or my dad, I am not a voracious reader like I used to be, I didn't manage to finish it. At that time, his last book 'One Man View of the World' was just released and I was more interested in that. 

I was almost part of his investment in human resource back in 2007. I tried for the ASEAN scholarship when I was Form Three and it turned out I stood a chance. I was brainwashed by how nice the institution was and I thought it could be my chance. The tuition was free but there is no way my family could afford SGD1,200 a month for living expenses. Things could have been so different now if I left for Singapore that time. 

In 2013, I went to Singapore by myself. The main purpose was for sitting an entrance test to Nanyang Technological University. Once again, I was brainwashed and slightly disgusted by the almost-perfect nation. The life in Singapore, based on my observation was robotic and efficiency-demanding. But it was modern, safe and first-class, as compared to my country. 

I have seen tributes and videos, it touched me and everyone who watched it. A tribute was held by the fellow Singapore Students' Association in ANU and without hesitation, I knew I have to go. There were addresses by the High Commissioner of Singapore to Australia, two students and an expatriate. All were beautifully spoken about Mr Lee.

It was difficult to hold the emotions. The soft background music with monochrome pictures of Mr Lee created a solemn atmosphere. After the addresses, we watched the official national address by PM Lee. I was grateful that it was not the chinese address. I was on the verge of storming out the lecture theatre if the chinese address is presented. It followed by a short documentary on Mr Lee's life and a minute of silence, which was difficult to endure.

After the documentary, I could not agree more on the idea of meritocracy, a principle which was held by Mr Lee. I remembered during my English essay-writing in college, I wrote on a country who accepted citizens based on merits. Coming from a middle income family background, everything is merit-based for me, since I was ten years old. After a season of hard work, there comes rewards, in the form of cash, phone, medal and recognition. Even today it still is, but the reward comes in the form of fulfilment.

I felt for the Singaporeans, it was a painful loss. I wept for the passing of Mr Lee, but I am not sure if there is a Malaysian politician, significant enough to wept for. I hope one day, Malaysia will have a leader, at least half as inspiring, impactful and influential as Mr Lee. Perhaps one thing I learned throughout the week was, despite being in the state of mourning, recovering or grieving, do not lose hope, time will heal everything. And this is exactly what I need at this time. 

Thank you for the inspiration Mr Lee. Your legacy will stay and will continue to inspire Singapore and the world. May you rest in peace. 

Wen Xin

Saturday, March 21, 2015


The week is good and productive, probably one of the few weeks to have smiley faces. Actual work for the term had done, I heaved a huge sigh of relief but there are still a lot of work for foundation for the upcoming events. 

I met up with a friend over the week. Being the only one who understands the journey of recovery that I am going through, Gina tried to talk me into letting go. Her theory was legit but it made me feel sympathetic about you. I am not sure if I can ever forgive you for the amount of pain you've put me through. Even if I can forgive, I don't think I can ever forget. Putting blame on you and thinking that you are a jerk are probably the excuses so that I could put you behind. The amount of work and studies have been my anesthetic. At least when I am occupied or stressed, you won't pop up into my mind.

Currently addicted to this song, pretty much a song that everyone should be able to relate to. Inspired by this and may this be a last piece about you:


Wen Xin

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Wheel of Determination

It was a Tuesday, I met an acquaintance on the way to campus. We had a good 15-minutes conversation. Both of us are from a similar background where coming to foreign land to study is not an option but a dream. Except, he would't even dare to have that dream. I do not know why but those words trigger some sort of emotion in me. 

Both of us made it here. We enjoyed the time here but for some reason, the sense of belonging is missing. I wish we could talk further but we headed to our separate ways. I spent some time in Hancock Library, somehow productive. I left Hancock to catch a tutorial with reluctance, not because of the distance but a guilty feeling. I'm getting used to the travelling between campus and my off-campus residential hall. It's tiring but it's worth it.

On the Union Court bridge, a man in a wheelchair, surged pass me. He had one of his leg bandaged and extended to the front, like a cannon. I looked at him briefly and soon, he was out of sight. There is a ramp, with a 30 degree angle of inclination to Manning Clarke Centre. Then I met him there again. He was pushing himself against the inclined ramp, making his way up. It was a long stretch of maybe 30 metres. His speed decelerated immensely. I can't imagine the force needed to roll the wheels to make his way to the top.

'Excuse me, do you need a hand?' 'No, thank you.' Somehow I felt the 'No, thank you' was uttered with some sort of ego that 'I can manage myself, I don't need your help.' I walked pass him and heard him groaned in exhaustion. I can't help it but to look back 5 times. I was afraid that he couldn't make it to the top. 

He has a strong will, he was slow but he did it. He made it to the top and I heaved a sigh of relief. I continued my journey to the College of Business and Economics building. I thought, if that man, physically disabled, can push himself to the obstacle, without a single help; why couldn't I? It is of a different context but it's the same concept. I have the drive, but not the determination. He had the drive and he had the determination. This is something I needed to fix in 2 months.

It was midnight. I called the escort service to my home. The driver I got acquainted to had finished his shift. It was a different driver this time and we engaged in a short conversation. A student left his/her laptop in the car and he said it belonged to a student who is aspired to be an accountant. I commented that it is a common degree to pursue in Asians as we are often told that accounting promises good cash and good job.

'Marry an accountant'
'Hmm, no, accountants are dull and rigid' - It's a bad generalisation but I really couldn't stand the accounting practices.
'Oh? But they earn good money'
'Yeah, but too dull'
'Well, my wife is an accountant'
'I'm so sorry, but erm I do meet people who really have a passion in accounting' - trying to lessen the awkwardness.
'Can't complain much, she earns good money'

I'd never speak again when I am worn out after a long day. But, I am always tired.

What a day,
Wen Xin

Monday, March 2, 2015


'I am busy'

I got mad after hearing that, as if I'm not busy? I am sensitive over insensitive words. I felt like life has been easy for others but not myself. And everytime I absorb everything like a sponge, whether positive or negative. Everytime I would need to pretend things are fine with optimism. 

It's ironic because I literally do nothing on my empty Monday. My work is filling my head all the time, and I constantly escape from the other two things that are seemingly more important. Things get disorganised that I am late, and I absolutely despise being late. 

2.5 months away to something I signed up for three years ago. 4 months to go to redeem myself. 7.5 months to go to let go a burden. 

I'll tell myself this is the last day I'll remain this way. And I put myself to bed to sleep the night away. 

And I repeat the cycle over and over again everyday.

Wen Xin