In remembrance of a Singapore Patriot – Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam (1926 – 2008)

Just another weblog


Posted by jbjmemorial on October 1, 2008



So did you sigh when you heard JBJ passed away? Did you shake your head in wistful regret? Or did you exclaim, “Oh, what a shame!”; “End of an era!”; “What a fighter!” or some other dreadful cliché? Did you bemoan the fact that there will never be anyone like him?


 If you did, ask yourself some questions. Did you ever vote for the Workers’ Party? Did you ever buy the Hammer from JBJ as he shouted “Make it right for Singapore!”? Did you ever defend his forceful rhetoric in polite cocktail parties? Did you ever attempt to find out how to ease him out of bankruptcy? Did you ever cheer when he screamed for democracy and human rights? Did you ever roll your eyes when the PAP called him “destructive” and “irrelevant”?


If the answer is ‘no’ to all of the above, congratulations. You belong to the community of politically correct, ideologically fashionable yet completely useless and undeserving Singaporeans. You are a two-legged Pavlov dog salivating in national unison with The Straits Times and PAP as they shed a bucket load of crocodile tears.


At least MM Lee Kuan Yew is honest. He did not like the man. His dislike was immensely personal. They were going for each other’s throats. And if MM Lee comes out and pays his respects to JBJ you know he is doing it despite knowing him, despite disliking him, despite trying to destroy him.


What about you? You didn’t even know him. You didn’t even bother to support his cause. And guess what, deep down inside, you know you didn’t really care what he stood for. And yet you have the cheek to mourn him now.


Singaporeans truly did not deserve the man. We deserve the likes of Wee Siew Kim, Irene Ng, Lee Bee Wah and the rest of the gang. Like David Marshall, JBJ was a phenomenon. Both were from the legal profession. Both were ethnic minorities. Yet through sheer force of their rhetoric and idealism, they managed to transcend race, language and class to become an icon for social justice and democracy. These two men enriched our political history and vocabulary and for this we should forever be grateful.



Source: groundnotes



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