Tonight's post will be a little different from the usual Jay Chou updates or commentaries.
Yet, in a strange way, what I'm going to write about is tied in with how this blog came to be.
Allow me to explain.
See that man on the cover of the 6 April edition of TIME magazine?
That, my dear readers, is Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the Founding Father and first Prime Minister of my beloved country, Singapore.
He passed away peacefully on 23 March 2015 at 03:18 hours, local time.
His impact on Singapore's history and development was immense and ever since his passing on, Singaporeans have been mourning yet paying him tribute.
By no means can he be described as perfect but there was never any doubt that whatever he did in his tenure as Prime Minister (for 31 years!), was done out of a singular obsession with taking care of our tiny island and our citizens when Singapore became an independent nation in 1965.
For a little more insight into Mr Lee, here is a link to a website which has been set up:
As can be seen, he instituted many policies, some popular, some not so but all aimed at improving life for the citizens, regardless of race, language or religion. He was an excellent orator with an amazing intellect and has been lauded as a great statesman. Yet he remained very much a simple family man who loved his wife and children.
There were two policies Mr Lee implemented for which I am especially grateful for, as Minister of State for Education, Communications and Information, Sim Ann elucidated on.
These were his contributions to women's advancement and that of bilingualism.
He made education for every child, boy or girl, a priority, and insisted on the use of English as the medium of instruction and working language, with the compulsory learning of one's Mother Tongue so as to maintain a 'cultural ballast'. In the Singapore context, Mother Tongue referred to Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, in line with the main racial groups.
There were many who struggled with the then stringent standards imposed on Mother Tongue and many who failed.
But on the whole, the benefits of learning two languages became evident when we entered the working world and were more able to function effectively in both Asian and Western settings.
I certainly found my average standard of Mandarin very useful when I became a fan of Jay and began translating what he said to other non-Chinese friends on a forum for international fans. Which has led to this blog, followed by the Facebook Pages and enabled me to forge some really awesome relationships which are still ongoing.
I have also found it easier to interact with Chinese fans as I could converse and write simple comments in Chinese. Sometimes. these fans write to me in Chinese and I answer them in English....which seems to work as well!
Looking back on other aspects of Mr Lee's life and character (which are beyond the scope of this post), I am pretty certain Jay would use only one word to describe him viz DIAO.
And I absolutely agree.