Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Majulah Singapura

Indeed, we do love Singapore, our home. Here's my wish list for this year's birthday celebrations:

a] that while we react very publicly against some government policies and misdeeds, we do not run down our beloved homeland;

b] that we learn to distinguish between ruling party, government and country;

c] that the government will re-commit to focusing on the poor, unable or incapable - and generally those among us who need a hand in this difficult world. The current balance is not right. Too much of our resources has been devoted to building up those who are already successful. The government has to date been too miserly in its dealings with the other end of the spectrum in our society;

d] that the government will stop this idiocy in buying cheap glory through the wholesale import of "foreign talent". What pride is there in this vicarious pursuit? While I was cheering on Ms Feng Tian Wei during her table tennis matches, I found myself strangely more drawn to support Malaysian badminton champ Lee Chong Wei when he was playing Lin Dan. I have to confess to some envy of the Malaysians among us, that they should have someone so homegrown and local as their champion. Though Malaysian, Dato Lee could easily pass off for the boy down the road here in Singapore. A real ka kee nang. It didn't matter that he lost. He was the object of much love and adulation even in defeat. And whatever problems the Malaysians may be struggling through in the lead up to their national elections, Dato Lee's defeat brought the people together. A lesson for the government here. It really isn't about winning or losing, but what participation truly means to the people. Solidarity doesn't come from buying cheap (not so cheap considering the $$$ spent) cosmetic simulates of glory. This only serves the interests of the 'elite' who want to posture on the world stage.

So thank you Minister Chan Chun Sing for acknowledging this problem. It's time to put a stop this lunacy.

e] that we all learn to be more gracious and welcoming to the new immigrants among us. It doesn't matter what their reasons are for taking up citizenship here. Our forefathers all came here to make money and to find a better life for themselves and their families. Our new comrades deserve an equal chance at this. Let us welcome them and make them feel at home. Singaporeans are much more caring and gracious then what has been portrayed in the more xenophobic blogs. Let's not forget what being Singaporean means.

So we turn 47 today. Cheer up, we'll survive this mid-life crisis if we but pull together, and remember our love for Singapore.

Majulah Singapura!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for these thoughts. My feelings exactly (right up to rooting for Lee Chong Wei).

One more wish that I have is for immigrants to try to assimilate and be humble.

gigamole said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gigamole said...

I suppose integration not only takes two willing parties, it also takes time. When our forefathers came over, I don't think they really had integration on their minds. That's why we have ethnic enclaves. The only ones who did "integrate" became the peranakans of today. We have integration problems today largely because positions are less malleable than before and time also appears to be highly compressed, so we expect integration to happen almost immediately. A problem generated perhaps by the government's penchant for instant gratification.