Politics

Letter to Mr. S. Rajaratnam

Kishore Mahbubani

by Kishore Mahbubani

Dear Mr. Rajaratnam,

Is it possible for a man to be kind and gentle, often meek as a lamb, and yet be a fierce fighter, as ferocious as a tiger, in defending a noble cause? Is it possible for a man to be a ruthless realist, brutally cold and dispassionate in analysing geopolitical trends, and yet be a romantic at heart, penning short stories and pursuing ideals, indeed grand ideals? Is it possible for a man to sit comfortably with the powerful elites, dine with kings and queens, and yet be comfortable in a humble coffee shop in Singapore, sipping coffee with taxi drivers and construction workers, while perched precariously on a simple stool?

In theory, the answer to all these three questions should be ‘No!’ In practice, you have proven through your remarkable life that the answer can be a yes. This is why you have been a strong and silent source of inspiration for me all my life, pushing me to go beyond the normal boundaries and comfort zones that we would like to wrap ourselves in.

Keep on reading and listening?

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