Honour our heroes

It’s disheartening to read news article about someone injuring himself while saving another person and have to pay the medical bills.

Dutch Australian IT executive Filip Lou, 34, was in Singapore for a conference when he saved a European woman attempting suicide near the Esplanade. He cut his feet and hands in the process and was bought to Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for bandage and tetanus injection. Then comes the disappointing part, he was asked to pay the $90 medical bills.

Hello, this person just risked his life to save another life. Instead of thanking him, the hospital wanted to charge him for his medical bills? Where is the compassion? Well, the good thing is that an unidentified man turned up at the hospital after the newspaper article and paid Mr Lou’s bill.

Why the rigid bureaucracy? Why isn’t there flexibility in the system? Have we become a materialistic society where money is more important than anything else in the world?

This person is a hero. OK, he isn’t a national hero but he risked his life to save a stranger. Shouldn’t we reward him instead of asking him to pay for his medical bills?

Who would dare to risk his/her life to save someone in the future? Shouldn’t we honour our heroes?

And if you look at the history of Singapore, we don’t really have a culture of honouring our heroes and those who have contributed a lot to Singapore. When was the last time a monument was built in honour of people who has contributed to Singapore? Or a road/school/park/hospital named after our hero? We rather come out with stupid names like Compassvale or Anchorvale than name them after people who has contributed to Singapore.

Most of the memorial in Singapore are for World War 2. It’s not that we don’t have any heroes after World War 2. It’s just that we don’t recognize their effort and contributions to Singapore.

Take Mr J.B. Jeyaretnam for example. He is the first opposition MP in Singapore. He contributed significantly to the political scene in Singapore. Yet no memorial for him when he passed away in Sept 08. OK, maybe because he is an opposition.

How about Mr S. Rajaratnam, one of the founding fathers of independent Singapore who wrote the pledge?

Or Mr Kuo Pao Kun who pioneered the Singapore theatre scene.

How about Mr Wee Kim Wee, 4th President of Singapore?

Or Mr Ong Teng Cheong, the 5th President of Singapore? He was the first (and only) elected president of Singapore. And before he became President, he was a Deputy Prime Minister and he pushed for the development of the MRT system. Without him, we might not have MRT and Singapore’s transport system will be in a mess. And we didn’t even give him a state funeral when he passed away back in Feb 2002.

I’m sure there are many more people who has contributed significantly to Singapore but I missed out their name. That is because we don’t honour them and their contributions.

OK, we did name a school after Mr Yusof Ishak and a bridge after Mr Benjamin Sheares. But surely there are a lot more people who has contributed significantly to Singapore and deserved a memorial to be remembered by our children.

It’s disheartening to see that we don’t give credits to those who have contributed to Singapore. Who is willing to step out and contribute to Singapore in the future? Look at America. Washington DC is full of memorials that honour their glorious dead. Daniel Webster Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial just to name a few.

It is even more disheartening when our “beloved” Health Minister Mr Khaw Boon Wan suggested sending the old to nursing home across the Causeway in Johor where it is much cheaper. LOOK, the senior citizens has contributed to Singapore one way or another. You don’t ask them to go Malaysia nursing home when they are old just because it is cheaper there. YOU MAKE IT CHEAPER HERE IN SINGAPORE IF YOU HAVE TO. These are our people. Take care of them when they are old. Its time for us to pay them back for the contributions they have made in Singapore.

Honour our heroes. No matter how big or small their contributions may be.

11 Responses to 'Honour our heroes'

  1. nicole says:

    All the more the unsung heroes should be honored… like the cleaners and road sweepers, without them, our streets won’t be clean :)

    “Honour our heroes. No matter how big or small their contributions may be.”

    I like the quote. Yes, every hero should be honored :)

    nicole’s last blog post..questioning the question

  2. Neo says:

    No worry DK! I believe in the near future, we will start to build memorial hall and statues for people who contributed to the nation.

    HE don’t have much time left in Singapore. So, the government will name road after HIM and build a museum as a form of memorial for HIS excellent contribution in building one of the world’s most successful family business.

    All we can do is to wait and see that happen.

    Neo’s last blog post..The games xpo stomps lion city in july

  3. Jacelyn says:

    Agree with the last paragraph. Excuses. They should just bring down all the prices in Singapore. So what if across the border is cheaper? It’s 2 different things :o

    Jacelyn’s last blog post..LG Prada – Fashion Meets Technology

  4. Gerry says:

    You have the Lee Kwan Yew School of Public Policy. and he sure isn’t stuffed yet.

  5. dk says:

    Nicole: Yeap. That’s why I was super pissed when Khaw Boon Wan suggested sending the old to JB nursing home.

    Neo: I know. But other than him, there are others who have contributed to Singapore. Shouldn’t they get a memorial too?

    Jacelyn: It’s actually quite simple. Just subsidize the medical cost here. But I doubt they will ever do that.

    Gerry: Oh well. Like I said, there are other people who have contributed to Singapore. Not just him.

  6. citizen solder says:

    “… WE didn’t even give him a state funeral when he passed away back in Feb 2002….”

    eh eh eh.. dun anyhow use the word WE ok.. its THEY…

  7. dk says:

    Citizen solder: If you are a Singaporean, then it’s “we” lor. If not, then it’s “them” lor. Hahaha…..

Trackbacks/Pingbacks
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  3. […] I said, we could name these places after someone who has contributed to Singapore. Instead, we come up with meaningless names like Joo Koon. […]

  4. […] would gazette his grave as a national monument. I’ve blog about this topic previously that we don’t have a culture of honouring our heroes. I hope more can be done to recognise the contributions of our heroes. A facebook group has been […]

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