Flight into Singapore

Landing in Singapore in the evening

A few specks of lights appeared down below. Then, the main island came into view. All the island was lit up. Those amber lights - each individually visible, but together one resplendent mass - looked like a giant, brilliant chandelier lit up but resting on the sea. The smaller islands nearby looked like smaller chandeliers. They were dazzling too.

There were many ships facing the island, at a respectful distance, paying homage to a great trading place. They were all positioned in neat order: as if someone had lifted each ship and put them all in position. Closer to land there was another small number of them. Every single vessel was brightly lit and was reflected in the water. The plane dipped and came over the beautiful city: the astonishing orderliness, tall wealthy gleaming buildings, remarkable tree cover.

I thought of Lee Kuan Yew. It takes me enormous effort to take a small piece of land, to build one small building and make available a little bit of electricity for it. It takes so much effort to build the team to run the enterprise from it. Here, one man took one colonial remnant and created such wealth in it. How much entrepreneurship he spawned! How many leaders he developed! And all that in one lifetime.

There is much we can do. We need to summon the ambition; and go inside ourselves to fetch the energy for it.