Sunday, November 09, 2008

Paying Back and Doing Good

陈嘉庚 Tan Kah Kee (1874-1961)和李光前 Lee Kong Chian (1893-1967)集企业家、商业巨子和慈善家于一身,其臻于至善的一生,在过去的百余年间对新加坡影响至深。陈嘉庚是一名民族主义者,坚信惟有教育和现代化方能为中国带来富强和昌盛。李光前则秉承了陈嘉庚促进教育的宏愿,在新加坡走向建国之时,慷慨资助国家的教育事业和其他社会之需,其仁者风范在新加坡社会堪称楷模。

Two great men of initially humble backgrounds-one an apprentice in a rice mill, the other juggling jobs as teacher/translator/surveyor. Yet they were willing to work hard, possessed prudent and effective business sense, and most of all, had a lifelong passion for education and paying back to society.

Tan Kah Kee seemed particularly perceptive: "Our land is still plagued by cumulative evils of autocratic rule, incomplete development of a republican system, inadequate education of the population, and underdevelopment of local industries. The improvement of these four facets relies exclusively on higher education and specialised knowledge."

Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive, and to sow seeds that will profit countless generations to come.

Check out the exhibition at National Library:

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