Learn from past, but always look ahead

I was inspired by Insight Editor Elgin Toh's article (Bicentennial a chance to tell warts-and-all history of S'pore; Jan23) in the light of another story in Monday's papers (Israel slams Holocaust legislation in Poland; Jan 29)

What is past is gone.

You cannot change the past.

You can only live from the lessons it may provide.

A child today is not responsible for the actions of his forefathers.

When Singapore celebrates 200 years of international trade, will it be necessary to follow other cultures that enshrine the arguments of the past?

There is no white child born in Germany over the past 50years who is free of guilt over the Nazi activities of World War II.

Israel, Iran, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Syria and Turkey: All carry the burden of their forefathers and the teachings of their current leaders - the twisted teachings of the past where hatred begins and celebrations end.

Singapore, in celebrating the 200 glorious years as an international trading post, should not fall foul of those whose opinions divide the community.

Remember the struggle, celebrate the pain of the nation's forefathers and leaders like Tan Tock Seng who were there at the beginning of Singapore's transition into a powerful sovereign state it is today.

All was not in vain. The achievements today came from that sometimes painful period.

Go Well.

Warren Buntine

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