R.I.P Mr Othman Wok
With the death of former Cabinet minister Othman Wok on Monday (April 17) at the age of 92, Singapore has suffered a great loss. It even rained heavily on Tuesday (April 17), the day of his funeral, similar to how it rained during late founding father Lee Kuan Yew’s funeral.
But how have ordinary Singaporeans actually been affected by the sad news?
After all, not many youngsters may know much about Singapore’s founding fathers (and mothers), as their contributions towards the nation took place ages ago, before they were born. Even if we may have heard the stories about what these well-known figures have done, it’s not often that we find out first-hand how they are like.
So we compiled a list of tributes from Singaporeans who have actually had the pleasure of meeting Mr Othman, to get a sense of how he affected the lives of normal people:
1. Inspiring Stories
This netizen recounts how Mr Othman was so willing to share his stories at National Education semiars, despite being in his 80s.
2. A Reminder To Serve
This person recalled how Mr Othman reminded the ruling party that their job was to serve the people.
3. Fond Trip Memories
This guy actually managed to follow Mr Othman to Hawaii, and was the beneficiary of his kindness.
4. Tales Of Racial Riots
While this person had the benefit of hearing first-hand how Mr Othman dealt with the tumultuous racial riots in the 1960s.
It is obvious that these people look up and were significantly touched by Mr Othman’s contributions and even the little things he did that made their day.
5. Poetic Tribute
However, dedicated Facebook user Andrew Yip even wrote a poem to celebrate Mr Othman’s involvement in Singapore as one of its “Old Guard”.
While Mr Othman was undoubtedly a great leader, he was also a good parent, according to his daughter Lily Othman in a video interview for Yahoo Singapore:
He was a very diplomatic, kind and loving man. Even though he had a very busy schedule, he always made time for us.
And of course, those who spent the most time with the minister were other ministers, who didn’t hold back in sending their blessings his way.
Particularly, President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Deputy Prime Minister DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who paid tribute to the man over Facebook.
Keep Moving Forward
All in all, the passing of Mr Othman may be saddening, but it also calls for a well-deserved celebration for his life and his contributions to Singapore.
Amid the racial riots and tensions, it’s leaders like Mr Othman who help push us in the right direction.
It’s time we return the favour.
Featured image from Facebook