Renaming of think-tank a fitting tribute

It was an inspired decision to rename a think-tank to pay tribute to Singapore's first President as the country celebrates its Golden Jubilee ("Iseas-Yusof Ishak Institute is born"; last Thursday).

Mr Yusof Ishak stuck with Singapore through thick and thin on the long, uncertain journey in building the Republic into what it is today.

His determination to remain in Singapore was testament to his profound love and loyalty to the nation during the post-Separation period.

His strong conviction not only convinced many other Malays of diverse backgrounds to stay put instead of crossing over to Malaysia, but also convinced the non-Malay communities that Singapore belonged to all races.

Naming institutions such as think-tanks after our founding leaders will help remind us of our roots, culture and humble beginnings.

By understanding the country's past, Singaporeans will appreciate the trials and tribulations of our forefathers, who struggled to establish the successful nation Singapore is today.

Young Singaporeans should know the sequence of events leading to the present, and that the country's well-being is due to the hard work and foresight of its founding fathers, not sheer luck.

We can achieve much more when we know the country's history better.

Jeffrey Law Lee Beng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 17, 2015, with the headline 'Renaming of think-tank a fitting tribute'. Print Edition | Subscribe