Home, My Views

My Views- Science Communication & Scientific Literacy

Hey Guys!

First of all, I’m sooooooooo sorry for breaking my promise and stuff. I know this is super terrible because yeah (breaking promises is bad). To make up for it, i will (probably) be writing more posts (so as long as Julian continues to pester me ceaselessly). I still want to aim for the 1 post every fortnight goal and i’ll still keep trying to achieve that someday.

Make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into before making a promise to a bunch of people

-Clyde Lhui 2016

Lately i have been getting into a lot of stuff. Stuff like learning Japanese, photography, music, cooking and a bunch of other stuff. I might be writing posts about those in future so yeah (i know i say this a lot and end up not writing but oh wells).

Well as you can probably tell by the title, this post is about science communication and scientific literacy (pretty self explanatory i guess). I feel very strongly about these 2 topics and that’s why I’m writing this post.

So first off, DEFINITIONS!

Science communication generally refers to public communication presenting science-related topics to non-experts. This often involves professional scientists (called “outreach” or “popularization”), but has also evolved into a professional field in its own right. It includes scienceexhibitions, journalism, policy or media production.

-Wikipedia

And…

Scientific literacy is the knowledge and understanding of scientific concepts and processes required for personal decision making, participation in civic and cultural affairs, and economic productivity. It also includes specific types of abilities.

-Literacynet.org

 

I know that you guys could have easily googled that but hey, 10 seconds saved is 10 seconds saved 🙂

So in short, science communication is talking to people who aren’t scientists about science and scientific literacy is knowing enough science to make logical and good decisions.

I think you are beginning to see how these 2 things are linked.

Perhaps i should further explain why i decided to write this post. In my daily life, i spend a lot of time with my friends (who are largely a group of nerds (who mostly take pride in their nerdhood)) and my family. Since i love science and i spend a lot of my time with my friends  (who are nerds), we spend a lot of time talking about science and related topics. As such, when i talk to my family about a ‘science related topic’ (I’ll explain the apostrophe later), i notice whenever something is off.

My aunts and uncles like to send long WhatsApp messages about stuff they hear from their friends and 95% of those messages that i end up reading are wrong in one way or another. My mum once showed me this video:

Well I think most of you can see why this video is wrong.

(In case you didn’t figure it out, your stomach is part of your body which is at 37 degrees Celsius for the most part)

(Also ice water warming up is kind of a thing)

I know some of you must be thinking: “I’m not stupid, i wouldn’t believe things that don’t make sense.”

Well there are quite a lot of things that people misunderstand.

For starters, nuclear power. I am a strong advocate for nuclear power. It’s clean, reliable and fairly safe. Unlike solar panels or wind turbines that stop working once the sun stops shining or the wind stops blowing, nuclear power plants can work 24/7 and supply enough power to support entire power grids. Furthermore, new nuclear plant designs which have improved safety features are constantly being suggested, making future power plants safer than before. Despite this, many people have a very negative impression of nuclear power.

Image result for nuclear power plant cooling tower

Does this look familiar?

Well it should. I have seen countless news reports about climate change showing images or videos these pumping out massive white clouds.

The only thing is these are the cooling towers of nuclear power plants.

Most people see these images and go “OH NO! We are pumping all that carbon dioxide into the atmosphere!?”. However, the white clouds coming out of the cooling towers are literal clouds: clouds of water droplets.

(Hopefully) by now you should understand the fact that we are prone to having a lot of misconceptions. It could be due to the way the media presents facts, the way social media promotes controversial content or any other reason out there. Regardless of the reason, i hope that you understand that this is pretty bad and it’s something that is extremely hard to avoid. I myself cannot claim that all the knowledge i possess is 100% accurate (in fact i do get things wrong pretty often).

What i hope you get out of reading this post is that knowledge is never absolute and that life and learning is all about constantly renewing our knowledge by being sceptical and challenging our own beliefs. We all need to keep reading and keep discussing so as to improve the accuracy of our knowledge. I think it’s also important for us to keep an open mind and not to immediately say “No that’s wrong.” when someone has contrasting beliefs (well you could but remember to provide your reasons and explain your views).

Never stop questioning your beliefs and perhaps one day there won’t be Geography teachers believing that the Earth goes around the sun in a day and rotates once around its axis in a year.

Thanks for reading!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

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Black Holes- Part 2

Hi Guys,

As mentioned before, i will be writing about black holes this week.

The previous post from this series was done by my co-writer, Jackson, who mysteriously disappeared after posting it. Don’t worry, he’s still alive and well helping me solve my darn math and physics problems.

Okay so on to black holes.

In the previous post, Jackson covered the formation and structure of black holes.

To make up for the previous post’s lack of graphics, here’s a helpful diagram of how a black hole looks like:

black hole

Yes. It is black. Or rather, dark. As mentioned before, the gravity from the region beyond the event horizon is so strong that even light cannot escape. As such, it is well, dark.

Some of you might be thinking: “So as time passes, all the matter in the universe will end up in black holes. Since nothing can escape a black hole, whatever goes in, doesn’t come out. So we’ll all end up as black holes one day!”

If you seriously thought that, then you were thinking what i thought when i first learned about black holes.

However, that (in reality) is incorrect.

That brings me to what this post is about. This post is about the thing that kills black holes. How all the black holes will meet their end.It’s a story about the weirdness of the universe, and also how cool it can be.

This post is about Hawking radiation.

So what is Hawking radiation?

Simply put, Hawking radiation is radiation that is emitted by black holes. Over time, the black hole loses mass as it emits more Hawking radiation.

According to Einstein’s famous equation, E=mc^2, the energy from the radiation emitted is related to the mass loss by a factor of c^2 as such, more energy lost, more mass lost.

And what happens after the black hole loses all its mass? It basically disappears. It evaporates.

That’s also why scientists can make micro black holes in particle accelerators without getting the entire earth sucked into oblivion. The micro black holes evaporate in an extremely short span of time, thus we are all safe!

Also, it gets its name from the famous physicist Stephen Hawking (the cool guy who helped us understand black holes a lot more and is also famous from the awesome move Theory of Everything)

stephen_hawking-starchild

At this point you’re probably wondering how can Hawking radiation escape from black holes when basically nothing can escape from black holes?

Well, to answer that, we need to look into quantum physics, where things coming from nothing and teleportation make it possible for the Hawking radiation escape.

The first theory of how Hawking radiation escapes from black holes is by the separation of particle-antiparticle pairs that form in the vacuum of space.

So some of you might be familiar with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle. Most know it for its ‘position-momentum’ uncertainty version. The theory states that the more certain an observer is of an object’s position, the less certain he will be about the object’s momentum. However, this uncertainty is extremely minute and undetectable by most of us in our daily lives. But it is indeed experimentally proven and consistent with many other theories and experimental results.

Apart from ‘position-momentum’ uncertainty, there is also ‘energy-time’ uncertainty. And due to this, in an extremely short span of time, there will be an extremely huge energy uncertainty, causing the energy to possibly go high enough that random particles may be generated. Once again, Einstein’s equation: E=mc^2 comes into play here as mass in the particles is a result of the energy uncertainty. However, as we all know, energy has to be conserved (or else evil scientists would have created an infinite energy producing machine and taken over the world with crazy weapons or maybe just selling us power at ridiculous prices) as such, the particles soon disappear as they are annihilated by the antiparticle that forms with it. As such, the universe remains in equilibrium and evil scientists don’t destroy the Earth.

This also occurs at the edges of the black holes. At the event horizon.

Sometimes, a pair might form with one particle forming within the event horizon with the other particle forming outside.

antiparticle-particle event horizon

As such the antiparticle will fall into the black hole while the particle goes out into the unexplored wilderness that is the universe. Since the antiparticle must fall in as it can’t escape, all pairs that form this way will probably end up releasing a particle outside the black hole. Thus, we observe it as Hawking radiation.

The second way Hawking radiation could possibly form is by quantum tunnelling.

This effect occurs when a particle bypasses an energy barrier without reaching the required energy. For example, certain chemical reactions require a certain temperature (which is proportionate to the average energy of the particles) for the reaction to occur. As such, quantum tunnelling would be when a particle in the solution reacts without reaching the required energy.

This is possible in black holes too. The energy barrier is the event horizon, the particle is a photon.

Regarding how this effect actually works, it relies on the fact that particles can be described as waves (something that is pretty complex and something that I’m leaving out in this post).

The idea of Hawking radiation is extremely important as we can learn a lot from observing Hawking radiation. Since it’s basically the only thing that we can see coming out of a black hole (actually not exactly but hey who cares) it serves an important role in our understanding of these immensely powerful balls of uncertainty.

There still is much more to cover on black holes. Being such an extreme object, it provides insight into what happens under extreme conditions.

Well, that’s it for this fortnight’s post, look forward to the next one!

 

Thanks for reading!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

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Accountability-Time for more blogging

Hi guys!

So I just ended my mid-year exams (or MYEs as we like to call them) today and I have decided to start blogging once more! Yes, from now on I’ll be posting (or rather will be trying my best to post) regularly. Well in intervals of once a fortnight! (for those who have absolutely no idea as to what a fortnight is, it’s basically 2 weeks).

“Why is this post called Accountability?”

Yes I hear you dear reader.

So recently (while I was on my mega blogging hiatus) I have been doing a bunch of stuff. One of these things is, you guessed it, WATCHING YOUTUBE VIDEOS!!!

So while I was watching YouTube videos, I stumbled upon this channel called College Info Geek . He’s a dude called Thomas Frank and he makes these videos about productivity and study tips. There’s a video on his channel about how he was able to wake up at 6am every day:

So what I’m doing is basically what he’s doing just that I’m using the system with a couple of modifications.

So what am I going to actually do?

First, I’m posting this post which is basically a commitment. Every person who reads my blog will now expect me to post something 2 weeks later. And if I do end up not posting anything for 2 weeks, people gonna be angry.

So what if people are like:

Then won’t I just end up slacking off?

Welcome to part 2 of the system.

I made a deal with my friend. So if he sees that I don’t post anything for 2 week, I’ll buy him a drink and after 3 weeks I buy him a meal. It basically escalates to the point where I owe him a Starbucks drink if I don’t post for 5 weeks.

So yeah, accountability.

Well I actually have quite a lot of topics to discuss. Like I said I have been doing a lot of stuff while I wasn’t blogging.

From meeting Nobel laureates to playing piano and even watching anime.

Lots of anime.

Expect a lot more in the future. The next post will probably be something about black holes since it has been quite a while since I last did something on that topic.

Well, look out for the next post within the next 2 weeks!

 

 

Thanks for reading!

Clyde Lhui

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Physics Notes: Turning Effects of Forces

Hi Guys,

As some of you might know i have been working on some notes on Turning Effects of Forces. These are meant to summarise the CHS notes that have been given.

I make these notes to help people score better (at least i hope i do help). If you find these notes helpful, leaving a comment on this post or a like on this post or saying thanks IRL (in real life, if you still haven’t gotten used to internet slang) would be SUPER DUPER AWESOME. It’s pretty tough making notes especially when i can’t use any diagrams i find online and i have to draw out everything myself.

Since I’m on this topic, a teacher once told me that if things come too easy, people may take them for granted. He said this after going through a similar situation where he made a bunch of notes that took him several months of hard work to make and yet no one appreciated them. (I apologise for the bad grammar here but hey with exams in full swing, I’m pretty tired so gimme a break XD). Well i don’t know if my notes are appreciated so i can only hope that they are. Many friends have suggested selling the notes and they say that i would earn a bunch of cash. I don’t know if that’s viable but that isn’t happening in the near future. My ideology tells me that if i sell the notes, less people will be able to get them so they’ll lose their effectiveness.

Sorry for making you read this long post which was written extremely incoherently.

The link for the notes is here: Turning Effects of Forces- vetted

If you ever have any queries, please leave a comment, fill out the contact form or contact me personally.

 

Good luck for your exams!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

Home, Science, Science Concepts

Superheroes, Crazy Clocks and Selfish Bosses: Einstein’s Theory of Special Relativity (Introduction: Part 1)

Hi Guys!

—————————————————————————————————–

This post is finally out.

After 12 months since i started this post and more than a year since the idea of this post was conceived, it’s finally out. I’m extremely sorry about the errors and having to repost but i cannot teach the wrong thing.

I strongly believe that it’s better not to know anything than to know the wrong thing for a human can talk, a human can tell other people things which may eventually lead to :

1. Awkward situations when you try to prove your physics teacher wrong but he ends up proving you wrong.

2. Trying to impress girls with physics knowledge but getting destroyed by the nerd sitting next to you

3. Writing the wrong answer in a test resulting in unsightly scores.

All of the above situations should be avoided at all costs. So i have rewritten the post. I have also realised that this topic has much more than i thought it had in terms of content so i have decided to split it into 2 separate posts. (the word count for this post approaching the 3000 word mark steadily) This is to prevent the “Too-Long-Don’t-Read” or TLDR syndrome from arising in some of my readers 🙂

This post is still pretty long but i hope you will enjoy it. Feel free to post in the comments any doubts you have and i will not hesitate to address them.

—————————————————————————————————–

This is the first part of another science concepts series. I will be introducing Special Relativity to you guys. This post is just to introduce you guys to the topic so don’t panic yet. Contrary to popular belief Special Relativity is actually very easy to learn.

Well here are some prerequisites if you are still feeling uncertain (like Heisenberg always was):

  1. Basic Arithmetic
  2. Basic Algebra Knowledge
  3. The ability to picture scenes in your mind
  4. An open mind to accept extremely counter-intuitive concepts
  5. A calculator, paper and pen/pencil
  6. A spaceship that can travel at speeds close to that of light (optional)

Yep that’s it! You can pick up the basics in a couple of minutes but i will going in some detail in this series.

I picked up this knowledge from my physics teachers so before I even begin my post, i would like to thank Mr Damian Boh for his support in my pursuit for scientific knowledge and as a friend. I would also like to thank Mr Jeffrey Goh and Ms Sonia How for giving me the opportunity to pursue further knowledge in the field of science and for being very supportive throughout this journey.

Okay so on to the the introduction.

In a previous post, I explained a little on reference frames.

If you haven’t read that post, go ahead and click the link to read it. Its pretty important in the understanding of this topic and i highly recommend that you read that post first (It takes only a couple of minutes).

So how are reference frames important in this topic?

As the name implies, Special Relativity relies on ‘Relativity’. An object’s relative velocity to another object. How does this all work? I shall explain the mechanics in a later post. As mentioned earlier, this post is just to give you a rough idea of how Special Relativity works.

Special Relativity works on the idea that time and space are variables and they alter themselves to keep 1 thing constant. The first letter of my name: c. The speed of light (in a vacuum of course but to keep this post nice and short I’m omitting all the ‘in a vacuum’s so yes). It relies on the fact that the speed of light is a universal constant and is constant to any observer regardless of his/her/it/whatever ‘s velocity and whatnot.

The idea can be represented by using a light-clock experiment but I’m going to use parabolic motion as an analogy first.

When you throw a ball upwards in a van, the ball, to you, goes up and then down, just as it would while you were standing on solid ground. However, to some guy who just happened to see you throwing the ball, he would observe that the ball was travelling in a parabola, aka a curvy symmetric shape. To picture this, you can type the function: y=-x^2 into your handy search engine, Google. The curve that results is a parabola.

The Parabola of the function y=-x^2
The Parabola of the function y=-x^2

Now from this example you can thus see that the same event can be viewed in different ways. All you have to do is replace the ball with a photon (particle of light) and you will roughly get the idea of what happens.

I know what all of you are saying, “But Clyde, light can’t go in a parabola like a ball!”

Well you’re right, it can’t so its time to end this post and forget about everything.

NOT!

We can explain this using an imaginary device. We’ll call it a “super-awesome-cool-type-thing-that-measures-accurate-time-and-is-generally-awesome-light-bouncing-time-changing-clock”

Alright. So this “super-awesome-cool-type-thing-that-measures-accurate-time-and-is-generally-awesome-light-bouncing-time-changing-clock”, (We can shorten it to SACTTTMATAIGALBTCC but let’s just refer to it as a light clock for now) what does it do? Let me draw this awesome device.

The Light Clock

There. Pretty neat eh.

The way this light clock works is by bouncing a photon (our light particle) up and down the box. Every time the photon hits the ceiling of the box, the clock ticks once. Every time the photon hits the bottom of the box, the clock ticks against. This happens several million times in a second and by the frequency of ticks, we are able to determine the amount of time that has passed.

However, the above is how the light clock looks like when it is stationary. When it moves, something crazy happens.

The Light Clock when its moving

The light now moves DIAGONALLY!

And if you still haven’t realized, the light has to travel a longer distance due to it moving at an angle.

Alright. Now take that in for a second.

So what happens?

The interval between the ticks get longer. And now the clock is reading time wrongly.

Or is it?

Remember the thing about the speed of light being constant? Regardless of what velocity the observer is travelling at?

Now its time to refer back to my post on reference frames

If you read my post, you would understand that the conflict between Galilean Relativity and Maxwell’s equations on electrodynamics has been resolved with Maxwell’s equations coming out ‘triumphant’ in some sense. So light does move at a constant velocity regardless of the velocity of the observer. Meaning if I were travelling at the speed of light (which is impossible and I will explain why in a later post) light would still move at the same speed as it would to someone standing completely still.

Perhaps I need to introduce some concrete numbers to make this clearer.

Say Flash (from DC) decided to challenge Nick Fury (from Marvel) to a race.nick flash 1

But of course Nick Fury has other stuff to do than to challenge some crazy dude in some race. So he decides to take a seat and chill. (If anyone gets the 21 reference then here’s a fistbump)

nick flash 2

But Flash is still in this and starts running. Like real quick. Like 250,000,000 ms^-1 quick. (Nick is busy with his Avenger stuff)

nick flash 3f

5 Seconds later, Superman (from DC) flies in and decides he’s had enough of this Flash guy. He stands beside Fury and starts firing his laser towards Flash.

nick flash 4

But Flash thinks that he won’t get killed because he’s running so flippin’ fast.

But poor Flash didn’t read my blog.

Flash thought that since he was travelling at 250,000,000 ms^-1m, the light would slowly approach him at 50,000,000 ms^-1. And with his 5 second headstart (which made him 1,250,000,000 m away from Nick Fury and Superman) the light would only reach him after 25 seconds, giving him some time to run away.

nick flash 5

But that obviously did not happen

4.2 seconds later, Flash gets fried. Although he was travelling at 250,000,000 ms^-1, the light was travelling at 300,000,000 ms^-1 to him, clearing the 1250,000,000 m distance in that short span of 4.2 seconds. Though Nick Fury was sitting down, he watched the light travel towards Flash at 300,000,000 ms^-1.

nick flash 6

This is probably very puzzling to you.

You might be thinking that the light got faster, since Flash saw the light moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1, the light should have been travelling at 250,000,000+300,000,000 ms^-1= 550,000,000 ms^-1

But Fury saw the light moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1.

“Where did all that extra speed go to?” You are probably asking yourself now

Let’s go back to that clock.

Since Maxwell was right, the above should happen. (If all those super heroes did exist and decided to do all that weird stuff.)

Let’s say Flash and Nick Fury were each carrying one of our light clocks.

nick flash 7

Since light travels at the same speed to Flash as to everyone else, his clock ticks along just fine.

nick flash 8

But if Nick Fury were to listen to Flash’s clock ticking and compare it to his own clock, since light travels at the same speed to Nick Fury as to Flash, Nick would hear Flash’s clock ticking much slower as compared to his own.

nick flash 9

Why? Because the light travels diagonally to Nick and travels a longer distance. Nick would see the light travel a much longer distance, thus making the clock tick slower, but to Flash the light still bounces up and down, ticking at the same rate as if it were stationary.

Do you see what just happened?

TIME SLOWED DOWN.

But wait.

Let’s take a step back from here. Let’s go back to reference frames. After all, relativity is all about reference frames.

The above is only portrayed in Nick’s perspective. What about in Flash’s perspective?

flash nick 11

Flash would see Nick’s time slow down too. Why?

In Flash’s reference frame, he can take himself to be stationary and Nick Fury to be moving backwards at 250,000,000 ms^-1

This is due to the fact that there is no absolute reference frame. Be it Nick running or Flash running, there is no difference.

To explain this, let’s go back to Nick Fury.

Now say Nick takes one of his S.H.E.I.L.D Helicarriers out for a spin.

So while Nick is having fun flying his huge flying craft across the globe, he gets tired and takes a nap.

nick-tony-2
Nick Fury sleeps with his eyes open. At least I think so…

Tony Stark decides to play a little joke on Nick by shutting all the windows. Perhaps he spent a little more time studying physics and knows how to confuse other people.

Ncik Tony 1

Nick then wakes up, realising that he can’t see what’s happening outside.

Ncik Tony 1

Now here’s the big question: Did the Helicarrier land or is it still in mid air?

And here’s the big answer: You can’t know.

The problem with this problem is that in Einstein’s theory of special relativity, it is impossible to tell if you are travelling at constant speed or if you are stationary for any experiment conducted in 2 different inertial reference frames will yield the same result.

This means that every reference frame is equally valid and equally correct regardless of the observation it makes.

So the question of who is right ultimately shouldn’t be a question, because both are equally right!

Whose time slowed down? That ain’t even a proper question mate!

If you really want to know what the clocks would say, the clock Flash is carrying would say 5 seconds and Nick’s clock would have said 9 instead. (These values are rounded down. I will discuss the mathematics at a later date.)

Flash’s time is passing by slower than Nick’s.

But that’s only half the story.

Say Flash ran next to Nick Fury. Nick would see an ultra thin Flash, almost like a Flash that had been squashed flat like a paper.

nick flash 10

Why? Because time slowing down isn’t good enough to account for light moving at the same speed.

I can hear all of you going “Huh?” right now.

Why does time slow down when you move faster?

It changes to allow light to move at the same speed to you as to some other guy sitting on the ground.

Let’s go back to the super heroes.

Earlier we mentioned that Light should in fact have been moving at 550,000,000 ms^-1 when it in fact was only moving at 300,000,000 ms^-1. Now i shall tell you where all that extra speed went to.

Since time slowed down, Light has more time to catch up to Flash.

That makes sense doesn’t it? Though we cannot imagine the perspective of light (due to the math which I will eventually get around to explaining)

So actually light moves at the same speed but time slows down to accommodate for people who decide to move.

But time slowing down isn’t enough. If you calculate the time change using the light clock experiment, it isn’t enough to account for the moving observer, so space also has to change, length has to shorten for light to move at the same speed.

Essentially light is like a super unreasonable boss. You have to conform to him, even if it means that you have to bend and change.

This is only half (actually 1/3) of the story. So far we have gone through Relativity of Space. There are two more parts of relativity which are sure to melt your mind (like it did to my mind when i tried to comprehend it). These are known as the Relativity of Time and the Relativity of Simulteinity. Look out for that in later posts.

And that is Special Relativity, a story about an unreasonable and selfish boss changing the fabric of our universe to make him the fastest thing in the universe.

I will be going through the calculations at a later date after i have completed the posts on the Relativity of Time and the Relativity of Simulteinity. In the meantime, if you have any other questions, go ahead and post them in the comments or send me a message via the contact page. If you find any part of this page to contain faulty logic/ wrong info, please post a comment or send me a message, you would be doing a service to everyone who reads this post after you.

Thank you for reading this and have fun changing space and time!

Clyde Lhui 🙂

P.s: My favourite Superhero is Spiderman. LOL

P.s: Tell me if you’d like to see more illustrations in the future.

P.s: Watched and loved Age of Ultron

Photo References:

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Re: Special Relativity Post

Hi guys,
As some of you have probably noticed, my previous post on special relativity has been taken down.
TEMPORARILY
Upon closer scrutiny, I have discovered several errors and also some areas which I have not covered well or fully. I will be revising the post and once it is back again, I promise it will contain more adventures with our superheroes. Perhaps more characters *hint hint*
But till then, please take that post with a pinch of salt. The one thing I absolutely will not be able to forgive myself for is for spreading wrong information.
So as a mother would tell her child, I am telling you now my dear readers, “This is for your own good.”
Till then, please send me anything you wish to tell me, be it a question or a suggestion, I will take it very seriously.
Thank you once again and sorry for the mistakes,

Clyde Lhui 🙂

Home, My Views

My Views- Lee Kuan Yew

Hi guys,

As you probably know, i am a Singaporean and the past week has been a rather sad week for us Singaporeans. On the 23rd of March at 0318 hrs, we lost one of our founding fathers, Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I know that this is a rather touchy topic but i feel that it is important for me to voice my opinion on the issue.

Since February, Mr Lee Kuan Yew had been hospitalized for (from my knowledge of the situation) pnemonia and since then, the Prime Minister’s Office had been releasing statements regarding Mr Lee’s situation. At some point in March, Mr Lee’s health began to deteriorate and many Singaporeans began to send in their well wishes, hoping that Mr Lee would make a speedy recovery. Some people on the other hand, criticized Mr Lee and the actions he took during his leadership. However, the situation continued to go downhill until Mr Lee sadly passed away on the 23rd.

Since his passing, thousands of Singaporeans have sent in messages to pay tribute to Mr Lee, some of which are posted on the Remembering Lee Kuan Yew website. An orchid species has also been named after Mr Lee Kuan Yew.

I personally feel that it is important for Singaporeans to understand what Mr Lee has done for our country and how significant the changes he made during his leadership are to us today. We are very fortunate to be able to transition from a third world country to a first world country and without Mr Lee and his team, we wouldn’t have been able to do so.

But I’m not here to prove to you that Mr Lee was a great man who did great things. (If you want proof, look out of your window. That’s proof.) I’m here to offer my opinion on how things went during the past few days.

Please note that these are my opinions which may differ from others.

The fact that Singaporeans still remain united during this period of extreme grief is very heartening. I think that the late Mr Lee would have been very pleased to see that Singaporeans, behind our busy, seemingly mindless selves, still remain united as one.

But that is the very thing i find weird.

If Mr Lee did not pass away, would none of this have happened? Thousands of Singaporeans thanking him for his service to the nation. If he hadn’t passed away, how many of those people would have thanked him for his service? Personally i am an atheist, i do not believe in the afterlife. Why do we wait until that person cannot hear us anymore before we give thanks to him/her? Even if you do believe in the afterlife, what if it doesn’t exist? You can only hope it exists. Why do we not thank him while he can still hear our thanks and see our messages? This does not only apply to Mr Lee but practically every single famous person who has passed? The famous suicide of Amanda Todd, why did everyone wait for her to commit suicide before saying she was beautiful? We should thank these great people while they are still alive. All of these people left this world without ever hearing the thousands of people thanking them, cheering them on. I feel that this situation shows us that we need to show our thanks and cherish those who are still alive. Crude as it may sound, there is no point waiting until someone is on their deathbed before telling them how thankful you are for their help or for their mere existence. Cherish the time you have left with these people, if you feel that you haven’t been thanking your grandparents enough, it doesn’t have to be a word of thanks, actions speak louder than words. Make them a cake, a nice meal or do something nice for them on their birthday. Don’t wait any longer, you don’t have the time to wait.

But yes, we must acknowledge that Mr Lee was a great leader who played a HUGE role in Singapore’s development. Several people have been criticizing Mr Lee’s decisions while he was in power. I feel that even if we disagree with anyone’s decisions, we shouldn’t be criticizing them while they are on their deathbed. Several people have also remarked that these people are not grateful for what they have today. I partially agree with that. Singapore has been sort of a miracle. We somehow managed to turn from a third world country to a first world country, not an easy feat especially with all the problems that arose during that period. Several other countries are trying to escape the third world status but Mr Lee managed to actually pull us out of that situation.

Now that Mr Lee has passed, i hope that Singapore will continue to develop further. This is what i believe Mr Lee would want to see.

“Even from my sickbed, even if you are going to lower me to the grave and I feel that something is going wrong, I will get up.”

-Mr Lee Kuan Yew

He will get up for his spirit lives on within all of us.

 

Clyde Lhui