The Missionaries

As Dr Goh's body lays in Parliament House awaiting a state funeral, the people came from near and far to pay their last respects and tributes to a great and honourable man who had done so much for so little for his country. All the words were of the works that he had conceived and done. They remembered the times they met him when he was serving as a minister and busily doing what he had to do. And words would not be enough to describe all the things that Goh Keng Swee had done in his ministries. One word was starkingly absent. No one mentions anything about sacrifice. No one tells how men of his time, including senior civil servants, slogged through days and nights just to get the job done. If I can recollect, even when he was a minister, he had never complained about the sacrifice he made for the people and country. For he did not need to justify for himself or what he was doing. There were plenty of works to be done and they went about it like missionaries. A calling, a duty to the people and the country. And they did a damn good job for it without the glamour and the trappings of extravagant rewards to go with it. They were men and women on a mission. Dr Goh was an exceptional missionary.


Anonymous said...

Mr Chua Sir:

one WORD You use in this post describes the MAN Mr Goh Keng Swee most aptly and appropriately.

He was/is an HONOURABLE MAN.


Anonymous said...

He could have contributed more if he had stayed on beyond 1984. Perhaps that could have provided a better living environment for us Singaporeans.

JSG said...

Dr Goh and his great colleagues of the past run for office for a very simple reason - the call of duty, towards Singapore. I believe the pay for ministers back then was 'appropriately sufficient'.

The ministers of the current government did not come into politics for the same reason. Their main reason for coming into politics IS sadly good salary and prospect.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hi JSG, welcome to the blog.

May I just add one more reason for those invited to enter politics, they made a big sacrifice to enter politics. This is a more noble reason, I think. I sincerely believe that people who stepped forward to sacrifice themselves to serve the people deserve to be respected.

Though Goh Keng Swee and his peers did not claimed to have sacrificed themselves, in reality they were the ones that truly sacrificed for the people without uttering that word 'sacrifice'. And their incomes were, as you said, 'appropriately sufficient'.

Goh Keng Swee used to live in goodwood Hill. His last days were spent in the East Coast instead. Many people gone into politics and upgraded from HDB to private properties, from one to many....