Too many new states in the last century have founding fathers which are not even perceived as such. In fact they are best forgotten. They achieved independence from their colonial masters but made their people worse off than when they had no political freedom. Singapore is the glaring exception.
When LKY was alive but no longer PM, no PM dared to imagine trying to wear his very large shoes. Now that he is gone, I think future PMs will try to emulate him as American Presidents look to Lincoln for inspiration.
Like Lincoln, LKY can be expected to be beyond the reach and grasp of Singapore's future leaders.
Nevertheless we would have benefited in ways no less than US Presidents also had.
As Lincoln was the embodiment of the model top leader for them, ours would be LKY. So we must try to remember him in analogue ways the Americans remember Lincoln.
A lonely future Singapore PM cannot but quietly and privately do the equivalent isn't it? Where else can he go for insight and inspiration? Don't tell me he looks outside Singapore. Of course he would but he cannot reject LKY. As I saw Low Thia Khiang trivalized LKY's contributions, I immediately rejected him. The opposition Democrats were wise to try own the Republican Lincoln. What was Low thinking?
Lincoln is their standard. LKY would be hours.
And in the NYT story, Obama even trying to copy him as thoroughly as possible. He even tried to set up his own version of a Team of Rivals.
Update: 10:10 pm
I just read the above article and of course I can't helped but compare this against the main blog post.
We are also known widely at home and especially abroad as Singapore Inc. If the metaphor of business is more pertinent than nation everything I wrote in the main post is off the mark (I don't believe that). Whatever, we must be cognizant of our tiny size and a big part of our livelihood is about making a living like many businesses do.
As our environment changes and the imperative to adapt successfully might take us far away from the challenges LKY faced to take us here. Immelt could never use the methods used by Welch and similarly Welch was quite different from his successor.
We keep the people morale up but we mustn't underestimate how challenging it is going to be navigating the future especially at the turning points. Do we even know when we are engaging one much less seeing it coming. These are not like those you can see behind the steering of a car. It is seen with the mind and imagination.
Basically I am afraid of our leaders seeing themselves as business people with political responsibilities than the other way round. We will surely get into big trouble doing that.