RIP Sir Run Run Shaw.

by Patrick Liew on January 8, 2014

I read with sadness the passing on of Sir Run Run Shaw, a great media mogul and philanthropist.

Although I do not know the man personally, I feel like his work has somehow been intertwined with the fabrics of my life. For that, I owe him a debt of gratitude.

When I was four, my uncle bought a projector and would regularly screen rented movies for the kampung (village). It was a popular past time and since then, I had fallen in love with “moving pictures.”

When television was introduced to Singapore in 1963, my family was too poor to afford a TV. I used to stand outside my neighbour’s house to watch black-and-white programmes.

I was such an ardent TV fan that it must have moved my neighbour’s hearts. They invited me to their home – the only kid in the whole kampung – to sit on the floor and watch TV with them.

English movies, Chinese movies, Malay movies, Indian movies… I watched them all. They transported me to another world, another dimension in life.

During school days, my daily pocket money was only 20 cents, barely enough to cover my daily expenses. The price of a movie ticket was 50 cents – a price that was almost beyond my reach.

Still, I would carefully save my money and spend part of it on my favourite movies. It was worth every single cent.

Movies created a spark in my imagination. It juiced up my life and taught me how to spice up other people’s lives – especially with stories.

While serving National Service, on my nights off, I would slip into Nee Soon Theater which was located just outside my army barrack. It was an open air theatre and the audience sat on wooden and creaky benches to watch reruns of movies.

Imagine watching a movie in humid weather and at the same time, swiping houseflies and other insects.

You may think it was uncomfortable – you‘re wrong – I was too distracted and immersed in the story to feel it.

You may not believe this – every now and then, I would join the crowd to clap when the heroes appeared – usually at the nick of time to save a  distressed damsel.

We might even stand up to jeer at the villains. (Go on. Laugh at me).

I am not ashamed to make this confession. As a die-hard romantic, I am a sucker for a good story. It does not matter whether the story is from a movie screen or real life.

I believe the stories you hold close to your heart will shape the ultimate story – your life.

If you are not happy with your current story, you can work with our Creator to live out the best of the remaining part of your story.

You can also choose to close this chapter and start a new one. You can also end this story and start a new story.

In the future, you will have to tell your story in one way or another to your loved ones and friends.

The moments of reckoning will also arrive when you will be reminded of your story. You will have to re-live the story in your mind.

In the evening of your life, there will be a lot of time to reflect on your story. I hope they will give you good dreams.

When you move on from this world to a better world, you will leave behind your story. That matters more than anything else you will leave behind.

Like Sir Run Run Shaw’s show, I pray that your story will be a good story. A story worth telling – one that will inspire others to craft their stories.

So, what’s your story?


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