Singapore—No doubt about it, turning 50 is a milestone in anyone’s life. Recognizing perhaps that not everyone is given the privilege to celebrate one’s ‘golden’ birthday, it’s not uncommon for newly-minted golden boys and girls to look back in thankfulness and realise what they’ve learned along the way.

Indeed, gratitude seemed to be a theme with Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Leon Perera (Aljunied GRC), who celebrated his 50th birthday last Monday, September 28.

His Meet the People Session volunteers got a special thank-you shoutout in a Facebook post about the “five simple truths” he’s learned in his life, which included a birthday photo with WP volunteers, complete with a cake with lit candles.

#feelinggrateful to my MPS volunteers for an impromptu birthday celebration on Monday,” wrote Mr Perera, followed by his life lessons.

“1. Don’t chase happiness too much, it is hard to catch. Pursue goals and dreams. The happiness naturally comes with their realization.

2. Don’t aim to be someone, aim to do something.

3. Don’t expect other people to be perfect all the time. And don’t expect yourself to be either.

4. When you define a goal, give it your all, bring your A game,…or else don’t attempt it.

5. As soon as you can, define what a life well-lived would be to you. Know your non-negotiables in life. And then, live so that at the end, you can look back to know you did your best. I saw a war tombstone once that summed this up – it simply said “Well done, Ted.


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Mr Perera also served as a Non-Constituency Member of Parliament (NCMP) from 2015 to earlier this year after having contested in the East Coast GRC for that year’s General Election. Previous to this, he was a longtime WP grassroots activist at Aljunied GRC’s Paya Lebar division.

Netizens flocked to his Facebook page to greet the MP, as well as thank him for being their “voice” in Parliament.


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IN FULL: WP MP Leon Perera highlights the urgent need to revisit social and economic strategies in Parliament