The picture of a family prostrating to the ground as they paid their last respects to former President S R Nathan at Parliament House has drawn mixed responses from netizens. The picture taken by Kane Cunico was published in Channel NewsAsia and also in their Facebook (http://bit.ly/2bRaJYy).
Some netizens felt that such reverence was unnecessary. One netizen said, “he deserves our respect, but this is a bit over the top unless they knew him personally.” Others said that the family was just trying to gain attention, because the media will always feature any acts of prostration at the wake. One even called the family “xiao”.
Another netizen however apologised to the family on the behalf of fellow Singaporeans and said: “please accept apologies on behalf of my fellow Singaporeans. If one really wants to show their respect, and teach their children respect through their customs, who are we to interfere and say “Xiao” and “attention seeker”.”
Others felt that the family paid obeisance because it was required by the religion the family practices, and that they should not be judged for doing so. Yet others felt that the family was courageous for paying respects in the manner that they had, for the former President of Singapore was a great man.
The picture has been shared several times, and those that shared the picture were also divided about the gesture of the family.
Prominent blogger Andrew Loh in commenting on the picture wondered if the family had gone overboard with how they expressed their appreciation for what he did.
“The reason why I am not given to express profuse thanks to our public officers, whether deceased or not, is because so many of them, especially those at the very top, are already so amply paid,” he said.
In March this year at a time when commemorative events were being held to remember the passing of our founding Prime Minister, a Facebook user shared a video of a a group of kindergarten children bowing in front of a banner bearing the photograph of the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew. The user said that teachers had taught the children to do so after telling them a story about him.