An Unethical Obituary Gets Social Media Raves

Here is the obituary…

Singapore Obituary

The glaring ethics problem is that this was not written by Lye as a personal mea culpa and sincere acknowledgement of the deceased’s shortcomings and failures. It was composed by one of his sons, allegedly “based” on various conversations with his father in his final days.

Stated a newspaper that interviewed the son, Ong Tiong Yeow,

Many were moved by the honesty of the poem, which admits that “My last days were dreary and weary” and that “I never got to see my father be/ A husband to my mother so/I made mistakes being both, trying to be as human as I know.

What “honesty”? The poem is falsely presented as the dead father’s words, and are not. It is self-serving, accusatory and vengeful. Now we have learned that the son who penned the poem is gay—a big problem for him in Singapore—and the reference to Ong Peck Lye’s “son in law” acknowledges the son’s same-sex marriage. The web site Mashable makes an even more inappropriate assessment in its headline:

Obituary acknowledging gay son goes viral for all the right reasons

The gay son is “acknowledging” himself! How is this the “right reason” to circulate the father’s obituary?

Because the son is gay and because of the victims in the Orlando slaughter, the social media is praising this falsely presented obituary. The fans are ethics dunces all. There is nothing admirable about using a parent’s death to settle scores, announce “I told you so!” or to make a parent’s obituary the vessel for a personal agenda, no matter how laudable. It would have been graceless enough for Yeow to be critical of his father in the obituary, but he placed critical words in his fathers metaphorical mouth, while celebrating his own compassionate conduct.

The son’s self-serving stunt is despicable conduct, a betrayal of trust, and as unethical as an obituary can be.


Pointer: Fred


3 thoughts on “An Unethical Obituary Gets Social Media Raves

  1. I don’t even understand the passage that would lead people to assume that he recognised his son or that he expressed remorse for a lack of recognition earlier. It took me three readings to realise that the “baby” son was linked to a son-in-law. This hits me as a crime of opportunity: If it had never gone viral, and if Orlando had not happened, this… thing… would probably not be understood to mean what people are saying it is.

  2. I have a gay son. We are estranged. The estrangement is his, not mine. I declined his invitation to vote for John Kerry, and he labeled me a bigot. I hope he does not write any poetry or a eulogy after I am gone.

  3. It was written by the straight son who stayed in Singapore. He is photographed with his daughter in the ST interview. The gay son lives in NY and the Christian son in Aus.

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