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A little red dot worth fighting for

Posted by theonlinecitizen on August 7, 2007

In the lead-up to National Day, TOC’s writers share their personal views on what it means to be a Singaporean and what Singapore means to them.

By Gerald Giam

“I am not going to sacrifice my life for a worthless piece of land”, cried one reader in response to one of my articles last year about National Service (NS).

As Singapore celebrates its 42nd National Day in a few days, I hope the overwhelming majority of Singaporeans do not share such a cynical view.

Some Singaporeans see the nation of Singapore, the government and the People’s Action Party (PAP) as one monolithic entity that they either love or hate.

Last year, it was reported that some Singaporeans refused to fly their flag during National Day because they were unhappy with some government-proposed GST hike.

Retired senior civil servant Ngiam Tong Dow once said that “Singapore is larger than the PAP”. I strongly agree. Surely it is possible to disagree with the government, yet still love our country. Similarly bad experiences with the government (like NS for some men) should not diminish our patriotism.

While we cope with the daily stresses of school or work, it is understandable that we often focus on the negative aspects of our country, like the fast pace of life, the high cost of living or our authoritarian government. Unfortunately, we sometimes forget to count the many blessings we have received as Singaporeans. Here are some of the top things I love about Singapore

Peace. National and regional peace has eluded many countries. To this day many countries like Myanmar, Sudan, Nigeria, Palestine, Zimbabwe and Pakistan are still in the throes of civil unrest or war. Talk to the suffering people there and they will tell you how they wish for peace in their land. The peace that Singapore currently enjoys is much to be thankful for indeed — and not to be taken for granted, especially when we live in a pretty rough neighbourhood.

Low crime. Singapore is probably the safest big city in the world. Those of us who have lived in other countries (including developed ones) would particularly appreciate how safe our streets are. When I was living in Los Angeles, my individual freedom of movement is severely curtailed every day by the fear of violent crime. (The campus Starbucks in my university was robbed at gunpoint, and there was a drive-by shooting outside my house the year after I left.) Many expatriates would probably cite our safe environment as one of the top reasons they chose to relocate together with their families to Singapore.

Unity in diversity. Our ethnic and cultural diversity is a tremendous asset. It has undoubtedly contributed to the vibrancy of our local culture, which has in turn placed Singaporeans in good standing to thrive in a globalised world.

Ethnic diversity has been a source of great conflict in many countries. Fortunately this is not so in Singapore, where our inter-ethnic peace can be considered one of the greatest achievements of our people. (Left, picture from Hillgrove blog)

Top grade schools. Singapore students have notched some of the top scores in international benchmarks, particularly in maths and science. Singapore maths textbooks for the primary grades are being used more than 200 schools in almost all 50 states in the US. The facilities, academic standards and teaching quality of our schools are on par with some of the best in the world. Although there are many concerns over the pressure cooker environment of our schools, on the whole, I think I would rather have it this way, than have them operate like playschools.

In addition to high academic standards, our public schools also give parents the confidence that their children can go to school in safe environment free of drugs and gang violence that plagues many inner city schools in developed countries.

Excellent healthcare. Singaporeans enjoy one of the best standards of healthcare anywhere in the world. I know a Nigerian businessman who travels half way around the world every year to come to Singapore for his routine medical check-up. I have also met cabinet ministers of countries like Bangladesh who say they regularly visit Singapore for medical treatment.

They would not do so if they did not think that Singapore has the best medical facilities and doctors in the region. Singaporeans are incredibly fortunate to have easy access to such excellent healthcare facilities and world renown doctors, often at heavily subsidised prices.

Social mobility. Our system of meritocracy has provided opportunities for almost anyone to succeed, as long as they are willing to work hard and never give up. We do not have a caste system which pigeon-holes particular groups, or a system of patronage which requires guanxi (connections) with important people to get anywhere in life. Our meritocracy is by no means perfect. Being in the majority race or being a “white horse” is unfortunately still often an advantage, but I think we have generally achieved a pretty level playing field for all, with some room for improvement.

Singaporean culture. Who says Singaporeans got no culture? Singlish not part of our culture, meh? How about our unique blend of Malay, Indian, Chinese and Western food? I would even consider the shared experience of NS to be part of our culture (at least for half the population).

Freedom of speech…at least on the Internet. Singapore is by no means a bastion of media freedom. However, the Government’s “light touch” approach to regulating the Internet certainly deserves honourable mention. Since the explosion of popularity of blogs in the past two years, there hasn’t been a single report of political bloggers being hauled in by the police for crossing the proverbial “out-of-bounds (OB)” markers.

Despite the political vitriol against the government published on some local socio-political sites, the only Netizens who have gotten in trouble with the law here are three silly young men who made some deplorable remarks about other races and religions in Singapore. Their punishment was justified in the eyes of most Singaporeans.

National Day is an excellent time to reflect on how much we love and appreciate our country. Our country might have its flaws, but if we take an honest look at the state of our nation, most of us will agree Singapore is still a wonderful place to live in, and little red dot worth fighting for.

Happy National Day to all Singaporeans and Majulah Singapura!

Gerald maintains his personal blog here: Singapore Patriot.

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44 Responses to “A little red dot worth fighting for”

  1. […] celebrates its national day this week. Gerald Giam says “Our country might have its flaws, but if we take an honest look at the state of our nation, […]

  2. Singapore is worth fighting for, but I would not fight on behalf of PAP. If the quarrel with Malaysia and Indonesia get into war, it is their diplomatic problem. It is not worth fighting for.

    Take the water and railway issues with Malaysia. Until now they are not settled.

    A bridge has to replace the Causeway. But PAP government is delaying this and want to tie other issues to it like the air space problem for SAF airforce.

  3. If the government runs the country like in the past 42 years in such a way that the leaders and top civil servants get all the benefits while ordinary people are suffering from losses of jobs, rising costs and dropping wages and they still can say it is not their problem, then it is not worth fighting for the little red dot.

    The government leaders appear to be clinging on to their last vestige of credibility by legalistic wrangling of laws and regulations to stay in power.

    The leaders are not willing to change their past “holier than thou” mindset always justifying their mistakes and shortcomings with media hype.

    So it is my view that this little red dot as explained in the poem with the same name posted in another thread is not worth fighting for.

    Singapore and Singaporeans belong to the people and they are worth fighting for but not the governing elites or the ruling party which are not worth fighting for.

  4. Numb Already said

    This little red dot is still home to the majority of Singaporeans (don’t count the PRs, hor). I think majority will still “fight” for it. However, increasingly, this fight may not be against an external enemy. We need to “fight” to regain our nation, not one party’s dominion. Only then can Singaporeans be proud to fight against any external threat with confidence and without doubt, a home worth fighting for.

  5. sg punk said

    Happy National Day to all Foreign Talent.

    Singaporeans, Maju! Left, left , left, right.

  6. sg punk said

    Warrant Lee : private tan! u unemployed, give u chance to earn money at reservist , y not happy?
    private tan : but i need to look for employment sir. my family needs me
    Warrant Lee : Knock it down, give me 50. tell me why that is wrong.
    private tan : family bad, saf good! family bad, saf good!

    warrant lee : CPL sim! don’t think u successful businessman very big hor.
    i am still bigger than you!! why your hair so long? go get it cut now.
    cpl sim : sir, i need it to meet with clients.
    warrant lee : knock it down, give me 50. tell me why that is wrong!
    cpl sim : businessman bad, warrant good! businessman bad, warrant good!

    warrant lee : private chia. why you give me that look?
    private chia: sir, my patients need me!
    warrant lee : private chia, why you be nurse? nurse is for girls.
    if you are a man then sign on be army medic. now knock it down 50.
    private chia: nurse bad, sign on good! nurse bad, sign on good!!!

  7. scb said

    To fight to protect it(Singapore)? Maybe more will flee and protect themselves. I admit I am cynical and even find this article eulogistic. Comparing the good aspects of Singapore to the bads of other countries(and just a couple out of hundreds of nations) just does’t seem fair.

  8. David said

    Robert Teh Kok Hua say that
    “Singapore and Singaporeans belong to the people and they are worth fighting for but not the governing elites or the ruling party which are not worth fighting for.”

    The very same question I will want to ask people if Singapore is indeed belonging to PAP. Is PAP=Singapore ? My sentiment tell me this is true consider the way thing are run and those show that always repeat and repeat, why even clutch on to own denial ?

    In times of war, even if you died of war for patriotism,thinking that you are fighting for your country and love one, not PAP, the PAP will just thank you and still run as PAP again with their usual self. So why even deluge to think that you can fight for your country without indirectly fighting for PAP ? why even believe that you are protecting Singapore while not protecting Lee’s regime and asset ? Is those gov asset overseas belonging to Singapore without accountability to Singaporean ? Many simply can’t see the difference between reporting to the public and accountability to public.

    PAP and Singapore has been very intertwined since Singapore’s independence and the oldman act as though it is all through own effort since he believe he liberate Singapore (Read the british archives, anyone ?), and never mind of rubbish he talk about ppl helping him, because the way he act show otherwise.

    In other words, either you reject Singapore or you don’t, there is basically no such thing rejecting PAP but not Singapore. Live in reality rather than self-denial.

    Why ? See you in Batam in decades time, when my money for CPF are all used up, and I become useless oldman.

  9. David said

    Of course, I do appreciate Singapore as it is now, but we to move on and not becoming complacent of thinking how fortunate we are to other countries. Singapore of today is not the same of Singapore yesterday, neither is the world.

  10. ex-singie said

    Scb…right on! I agree with what you said about why must always compare all the good things about Singapore with other countries bad. Sounds to me like the powers that be feel good sound bites that Singaporeans are so used to hearing. Why don’t compare all the bad about Singapore with other countries good? Wait, wait per the rationale of the powers that be it would be comparing apples to oranges. I’m just so glad that I do not live in Singapore anymore.

  11. Lai CF said

    I am not concern as to whether SIngapore is “worth fighting for..blah…blah..”.

    It is where I was borned, where I lived; and where I will retire and live out my life.

    Singapore gvies me a sense of belonging – HOME; from Oregon to UK to KL to Macau; there is nothing like coming back to Singapore, to live in SIngapore.

    But that is me, an ageing baby-boomer.
    But my children?
    A different story. Will they stay in Singapore or move on?
    The decision lies with them.

  12. Ace said

    The fact is that PAP is Singapore. Or at least PAP is making Singapore their playground. With the multi-million dollar pay, the judiciary, media and law enforcement at their disposal. The raising of GST, public transport fares which pretty much takes back whatever offset package they so generously and lovingly give to the people.

    It is not hard to see why many people feel nothing for this place where they are born in.

    From the “honest mistakes” in official data releases to the uninvestigated failed business ventures of the people’s money to the blatant disregard of common sense in the civil service. If any opposition had committed even a fraction of the above, the full force of the machinery would have come crashing down on them.

    The foreign talent policy gives away PRs to students graduating from NUS and NTU without the need for NS and gives away citizenship to professionals who pay high income taxes like giving away tissue on Orchard Road.

    The giving away of Uni scholarships which are effectively tax dollars to everyone other than citizens??? While the average Singapore student who has given up his life to NS and many years of reservist has to work hard to service his study loan??? The 2-meal a day public assistance recipent who needs motivation on his work ethtics?????

    Tell me how does one feel love for such a State? Or if the state of affairs is indeed befitting of a country?

    Forget about nation day…. The parade, the fireworks etc means nothing as the Singapore dream for many people is one whereby they can leave this place eventually.

    Happy National Day to all the Foreign talents and rich citizens of Singapore.

  13. Lesile said

    To all FT and elite and rich people.

    National day is actually mean for you to celebrate because this is a country make for you, a nation build especially for you, as long as you able to make rich our cronies !

  14. Dead Poet said

    ” Last year, it was reported that some Singaporeans refused to fly their flag during National Day because they were unhappy with some government-proposed GST hike”

    I do not think the refusal the fly the flag was a form of protest against the GST hike. It is a genuine lack of patriotism as the line between the party and the country has been effectively blurred by the ruling elite. People equate the country to the government. Just take a look at all the national day banners and decorations lining our sreet. The faces of the MPs stand our more prominent than the national flag. What are we celebrating, 42 years of nationhood or 42 years of PAP rule.

    The past few years have shown that less and less people want to fly the flag and this must have really seen as the indicator that something needs to be done. So it typical MIW fashion, flag were distributed free of charge last year and yet many still did not hang them up. So this year they have galvanised their PA/RC/CCC brigade to hang flags in all blocks and have extended the time frame to display them till September. They have even started knocking on doors where they cannot get access to the hooks to tie the flags. So in true MIW style you see the uniformity of the flags in every block, not a single empty space. Its as artificial as excuses given for the pay hike. Try taking the flag outside your flat and it will be replaced the very next day by our efficent voluntary brigade.

    Yes, I love my country but I am sad at what’s happening to it. I am sad because the people who worked hard to built this nation have been marginalised. I am sad because Singapore ruling Singapore has become a inheritance to be handed down from generation to generation of the ruling elite. I am sad the people who help built this nation do no have a voice. I am sad because we are not given a choice, because we are told we not capable of making the right choice. In people were given a choice to fly the flag if they love the country or not to because they cannot identify her, I believe there will not be so many flags hanging outside the HDB flats.

  15. ong teong hoon said

    Quote
    Peace. National and regional peace has eluded many countries. To this day many countries like Myanmar, Sudan, Nigeria, Palestine, Zimbabwe and Pakistan are still in the throes of civil unrest or war
    Unquote

    There is no civil unrest in Myanmar. Please get your facts right.

  16. Lesile said

    For those keep comparing Singapore’s fortune to other countries’ misfortune,
    I urge you to please continue to tell us how good our country is and how fortunate we Singaporean are, and how damn other countries are.

    In the meantime, I urge the gov to implement their PayAndPay scheme on a larger scale. Never mind the people here will suffer, because Singaporean will always be very fortunate and blessed to live in this peaceful and stable country. The people must appreciated how fortunate they are that nothing else really matter.

    I urge the gov to increase the transport price hike because somewhere out there, there is a country who transportation is even worse than Singapore. There is transportation in Israel who may suddenly blow out by terrorist as show and report in Singapore media. There are recent disaster in US where people are killed when highway collapsed when I read ST.

    I urge the gov to increase the tax and COE for cars because the people here is very fortunate to own the cars.

    I urge the gov to increase ERP because people still feel fortunate and safe to stay in Singapore because their life more important than ERP. ERP’s charges is nothing compared to Singaporean’s life.

    Gov, simply do what you want, and we people will support the you because we the Singapore always feel fortunate and blessed to stay in Singapore. Singapore, My nation, country and home.
    We love PAP because we love to PayAndPay, and PAP love us because they get PaidAndPaid.

    PAP, we are so fortunate to live under your regime.

    blah, blah, blah blah black Sheep !!…
    Yeah, PAP we love you and may your regime last a million years because people are always fortunate and blessed under your regime.

    Happy birthday to PAP’s Singapore, (Not my Singapore)

  17. Lesile said

    Dead Poet says,
    ‘People equate the country to the government. Just take a look at all the national day banners and decorations lining our sreet. The faces of the MPs stand our more prominent than the national flag.’

    Look like PAP is even larger than Singapore than we believe !

  18. Dan-Limyp said

    I agree with this post fully! Singapore may not be perfect, but its the best!

    MAJULAH SINGAPURA! Happy National Day!

  19. Crazy Dog said

    I don’t think many Singaporean will fight for Singapore. Just imagine a situation whereby a enemy state offer not to hurt the common people and that Singaporean will still enjoy the current HDB upgrading etc… and “GST rebates” every year… I believe Singapore can be taken without a fight…

    If Singaporean are quiet and compliant with all the policies ( good and bad ) that the government come up with, it shows that Singaporean has no fighting spirit and easily “brainwashed”….

  20. lesile said

    Crazy Dog,
    Other countries will love to rule the obedient dog ! You see, when a enemy attack Singapore, Singaporean will not even fight back because after decades of oppression make us think that it is natural to be oppressed by even the enemy ! So fight what ?
    Use Nome-Jump-Pass to determine outcome la !

  21. lesile said

    Why fight ? Just PAP (PayAndPay) them la. Just pay them..

    *Edited by moderator to remove vulgarities

  22. teacher said

    “I am not going to sacrifice my life for a worthless piece of land”, cried one reader in response to one of my articles last year about National Service (NS).

    Who can disagree with him? Of course neither will I or for that matter any body, if they dont see the value in doing so thing let alone risking their life for king and country in time of war.

    There is no war so most of the discussion is hypothetical. However recently there was this war between the Brotherhood Press and Singapore Angle. The gripe is not important for the lesson, but I noticed when the former decided to go to war, they all stood in one line and spoke in one voice, but they were all wrong although it looked so right. But the lesson is, why are so united despite overwhelming odds?

    I think one reason is because everyone knows where they stand in relation to the bigger picture so they feel they have a stake to protect it. The lesson here is a country can provide many things, but people themselves have to make sense of where they want to stand in relation to the community. If they dont take a stake. Is it such a wonder then – why they dont even see the need to fight or defend something they never belonged to in the first place.

    Just my view, thanks

  23. Gerald said

    ong teong hoon,

    You said, “There is no civil unrest in Myanmar. Please get your facts right.”

    What do you call 3,000 villages in Eastern Myanmar destroyed by the military dictators? How about the government instigated unrest that resulted in Aung San Suu Kyi’s most recent re-imprisonment? The list goes on and on. Yangon might be peaceful, but many states with minority tribes sure aren’t.

  24. For those who think Myanmar is peaceful, go read up on the Arrakan and Karen separatist movements.

  25. sarek_home said

    “I think one reason is because everyone knows where they stand in relation to the bigger picture so they feel they have a stake to protect it.”

    Dear Teacher,

    Well said. It brings me to realize that some people prefer to take an anti-PAP stance because it is easier and more clear cut to “knows where they stand in relation to the bigger picture” this way. The problem is they may not know where they stand once the enemy is gone and they will have to find another enemy to give them an identity.

    If we really want democracy, we have to establish our identity as the owners of the nation, the flag, the constitution, and the government. We have to change our mindset that since PAP claiming representation of all these, we will just stay away as a form of silent protest. We have to establish that they are ours and it is in our rights to claim them and take ownership – Hold the Flag up because it is my National Flag, not any political party’s.

    Change our mindset to see this bigger picture so we feel we have a stake to protect the nation.

  26. raymondchua said

    sarek_home,
    ‘Hold the Flag up because it is my National Flag, not any political party’s.

    Change our mindset to see this bigger picture so we feel we have a stake to protect the nation.’

    It doesn’t really matter what your perception or people’
    s perception is because the ST will print that Singaporean are supportive of gov because Singaporean hold the flag up !

    Don’t feel, be real with reality. Sure, I see many big picture of LKY, Ministers, gov figures in ST, media everyday. Feel like punching them !

  27. raymondchua said

    “If we really want democracy, we have to establish our identity as the owners of the nation, the flag, the constitution, and the government. We have to change our mindset that since PAP claiming representation of all these, we will just stay away as a form of silent protest. We have to establish that they are ours and it is in our rights to claim them and take ownership – Hold the Flag up because it is my National Flag, not any political party’s.”

    I hope to see that too. But at this stage of economical progress and self-centre-ness due to money-culture kind of thing, I doubt we able to achieve even tiny dot of it. Unless people stop NATO (No Action Talk Only), we would not be achieving that.

    If only I am the X-men, thing might have changed !

  28. raymondchua said

    Singapore every moment is just like someone undergoing a plastic surgery to look gorgeous and sexy ! Every know that all this is just image without substance.

    But then, everyone love to see beautiful thing and blind by them. Who to blame ?

  29. Foreign Talent said

    LKY’s Pragmatism has taught me to be practical.

    LKY’s Meritocracy has taught me to be selfish.

    LKY’s Elitism has taught me to be more selfish.

    LKY’s PAP Govt has taught me to become a foreign talent so that
    I can have favoritism over my own fellow country men.

    Those are the four good lessons that I have learnt from LKY over
    the last 42 years. That is why I am now a Foreign Talent in
    another country. If anyone wants me to come back and fight for Singapore, he must have missed all the lessons that LKY has been teaching over the past 42 years!

    Happy National Day to All Foreign Talents!

  30. LifesLikeThat said

    Sarek,

    “If we really want democracy, we have to establish our identity as the owners of the nation, the flag, the constitution, and the government. We have to change our mindset that since PAP claiming representation of all these, we will just stay away as a form of silent protest. We have to establish that they are ours and it is in our rights to claim them and take ownership – Hold the Flag up because it is my National Flag, not any political party’s.”

    That is very well-put. We admire the Americans. We say they have freedom of this and freedom of that. We admire European countries. We admire and even envy so many others.

    We forget that they did not get to where they are just by “silent protest” – emigrating, throwing up their arms. No, they remained in their country. They fought for what they wanted their countries to be.

    Over here, we hear people encouraging others to migrate, to leave it to others to do the work. So, we hear things like, “The elites must stand up and speak up for singaporeans”, “lets hope this person or that person does this and does that”, “The flag is not ours”, “National Day is PAP Day” and so on.

    We readily point our fingers at every other person except ourselves. And then we quote Martin Luther King: “Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country.” It is almost hypocritical.

    It’s really sad. I say this as someone who wants to see some things changed. The Flag belongs to us. National Day is OUR day – whether we are pro-PAP or anti-PAP. If people cannot see beyond their myopic partisan (and skewed) views, is it any wonder that little has changed?

    So, who’s fault is it?

  31. Lai CF said

    Cultural Freedom

    Colonialism acts as a restraint also on our full cultural development. It is perhaps difficult for the colonial power to sacrifice its own political consideration and preconceptions as to what Malayan culture should be and consider it objectively. The present education policy is based on giving pride of place to English even though Chinese, Malay and Tamil are languages spoken and understood by the overwhelming majority of the people.

    Superficial regards is paid to vernacular education but the Education Ordinance passed in the Federation betrays its colonial genesis by the tacit assumption that “Malayanisation” is to be achieved by the relegation of Chinese and Tamil languages to positions of unimportance and the continuance of Malay language at a slightly higher level of stagnation.

    In short the “Malayanisation” of Malaya is equated with cultural anglicisation.

    Linguistic Diversity

    This education policy is justified on the ground that an independent Malaya must be based on linguistic uniformity. Linguistic diversity, we are repeatedly told, is one of the great obstacles to political unity and independence. We repudiate the proposition that suppression if the mother tongues or their relegation to positions of minor importance is a prerequisite for national unity. Linguistic diversity is in no way incompatible with the interests of a united Malayan nation. The immediate barrier to unity and independence is not linguistic differences but colonial rule and the unequal and unbalanced economic development of the three main Malayan communities which colonial rule has engendered. Having regards to the racial composition of Malaya official recognition should be given to Chinese and Tamil languages together with English and Malay which are now the two official languages of the Government in the Federation.

    Lingua Franca

    A lingua franca is necessary and moral, political and practical considerations make Malay, rather than English, the obvious choice. The alleged inadequacy of the Malay language as a lingua franca is not disinterested propaganda. The Malay language in Indonesia, freed from Dutch colonial restraints, is rapidly becoming a comprehensive means of expression and communication in science and technology, commerce, industry and the humanities. By contrast the Malay language in this colonial country remains static.

    PAP Manifesto 1954

    ———————————————————————
    “Unity in diversity. Our ethnic and cultural diversity is a tremendous asset. It has undoubtedly contributed to the vibrancy of our local culture, which has in turn placed Singaporeans in good standing to thrive in a globalised world.

    Ethnic diversity has been a source of great conflict in many countries. Fortunately this is not so in Singapore, where our inter-ethnic peace can be considered one of the greatest achievements of our people.”

    ———————————————————————
    Any difference between 2007 and 1954?

    The question should be:
    Do we consider SINGAPORE HOME?

    Is our HOME worth fighting for?
    Never mind “…PAP is Government, Government is PAP…”?

  32. Eddie said

    “The problem is they may not know where they stand once the enemy is gone and they will have to find another enemy to give them an identity.”

    Sarek & Teacher,

    Interesting take on the theme written by Gerald. Just to add. Teacher as much as I like to read the brotherhood press. I dont think very much of the online persona of the personalities. I dont want to get personal. But I agree somewhat with Sarek. Much of the brotherhood psyche has been the direct result of their online gaming culture where they have always had to fight for survival. The result is a very proficient hierarchy that is very adept at repelling threats etc. They are certainly very successful in the online gaming scene. The problem is when this sort of culture is transplant into the blog scene it produces all sorts of anti-social aspects.

    As much as I would like to read further into why they are so loyal to each other, united and why every time they get kicked, they come back twice as strong etc.

    I cant help feel we may be using the wrong model to draw the correct analogies with Gerald’s main theme.

  33. Ah Tan said

    you people dont get it right. we had a very good start as a nation and we cant deny the fact that PAP is a huge part of it. we are blessed to have leaders that though are not perfect, they care for the country.

    yes, singapore nowadays are all image but no substance and we are all tired of all these crap. lets do our part to change it. its one thing to complain and complain and its another thing to take part in changing it. and if you think turning your back to this country will make life better, think again. whereever you’ll be, you’ll always be that someone from this little red dot. so do something. talk is cheap. lets be people with substance. let singapore and singaporeans stand on its worth.

  34. galoisien said

    Are you sure we don’t have caste system meh? Then how come got all this racial discrimination by the gahmen one?

  35. BoneHead said

    I am not fighting nor will I die for Singapore. To fight and die for what and what for?

    We don’t own anything here. Your car is not yours after 10 years even if you fully paid for it initially. So is your HDB flat. 20 years later, en-bloc or should I say another 20 years of econmic slavery? By that time you are probably in your 60s. Loan for another 20 years? Work till 80? Until you die?

    Even if you have fully paid for it. Your title deed is a photocopy not the original.

    Even if you buy freehold, the final clause is that the gov can take it away from you for “redevelopment”

    Your CPF from your own sweat and tears are not yours. If it is then you can witdraw it anytime. At 62 you can only a bit of your Special Account (your own money). Forget about your medisave. Your OA? Do you really think you have enough after servicing that 20 year loan on your HDB flat?

    Singapore is not worth it.

  36. Alan Wong said

    Why should I become patriotic since the Gahmen is not paying me any “peanuts” to sacrifice myself for my country. Therefore I have NEVER bothered to hang out our national flag year in year out.

    What surprises me is that our neighbour, a FT staying in a HDB housing flat rented/provided by JTC, hangs the national flag in its full glory. I just wondered whether the flag was furnished and hung out by JTC themselves.

    So much for Singapore patriotism.

  37. lesile said

    Indeed the strange thing is that most foreigners find themselves very fortunate in Singapore because those thing they find (security, non-corruption, etc) in Singapore is not something they find in their own country.

    Singaporean tend to be more critical afterall Singaporean grow up in this society could not accept that the society and gov has degenerated into money-loving entities to much of their frustration. The emptiness and void of living in such society is just unbearable.

    Foreigner somehow lack the interest to engage such thought afterall it is not their country, and even though they contributed to Singapore growth, they rather be bystander than go risk losing their PR status. Well, talk to those AngMoh PR here, and you know if it is true.

  38. shoestring said

    sarek_home,

    Any idea how we common folks can change the constitution? I am serious.

    National Day happens in my heart, every day of the year, but only if I feel I belong. It’s not a piece of cloth hung on the parapet of the corridor. And to echo the sentiment of some, I was just wondering why there are so many banners with faces of PAP MPs in all their glory when it’s our National Day. Who’s day are we really celebrating?

  39. sarek_home said

    Any idea how we common folks can change the constitution? I am serious.

    Dear Shoestring,

    By the existing laws, the people can vote in an absolute majority of MPs who agree to change the constitution or amend it to give people’s the referendum power to change the constitution.

    However, I suspect you are actually talking about democratic reform with changing the constitution as a landmark sign of the reform. Am I correct?

  40. lesile said

    In Singapore politics, law can be broken by the people who make them !

    Isn’t our junior Lee says that he don’t have time to fix opp party and buy support vote ? Isn’t our law forbid that ? Why is the law exception for own gov people or clown ?

    Don’t simply push eveything to law to change a thing. If you have money, you can talk law. When you have no money, you can talk shit !

    The case Of JB has taught us that law can be change to fit certain’s party agenda. So why continue to trust in empty Law ?

  41. shoestring said

    Hi sarek_home,

    Thanks for responding. I am trying to understand what it means to “establish our identity as the owners of the nation, the flag, the constitution, and the government.”

    We cannot own something we are prevented from owning. In fact, sometimes, it feels like we are being owned. Why? Because of the myriad laws/ policies/ system and whatnots that are firmly in place that ensure we cannot change things just by voting, but instead often enslave us to the system. Technically, we can vote for MPs who could hopefully speak on our behalf, but even then, some of us do not even have a chance to vote.

    Changing the constitution to limit the powers of a certain few people seems to be the most promising option that would allow us to take ownership, but almost impossible.

    So, my point is, how can we establish our identity as owners?

  42. mpn said

    “Foreigner somehow lack the interest to engage such thought afterall it is not their country, and even though they contributed to Singapore growth, they rather be bystander than go risk losing their PR status.”

    Go ahead. Make it sound as if Singapore PR is Roman citizenship or something, go ahead ask the dirty tricks dept to go ahead and do it.

    See who will lose out in the long run, worse still what if they take an interest in your country outside your country, then what are you going to cancel then?

    People pay tax, they have a right to speak, its as simple as that, dont want them to think and speak, then please dont touch my money. But if it goes, it comes around. Where I come from, we call it accountability.

  43. sarek_home said

    So, my point is, how can we establish our identity as owners?

    Dear Shoestring,

    I can’t say I have the right answer, but we can explore this question and come up with the answer together.

    It is the birthright of citizens to own all these. Before we can do anything else, we have to assert this right in our hearts. It is a universal truth we have to uphold in our mind regardless of the social political situation and regardless of how we feel. It is like if someone says you did something wrong. If you can’t be sure you had done it right and assert that truth, you will not be able to stand your ground and do anything. Our mind overcome the circumstance and assert our identity as owners. This is the first step I will suggest.

    Democracy works on the collective power of the individuals who assert their identity as owners of the nation and exercise their rights accordingly. We have to help others to see and assert their identity as owners of the nation. This is the second step I will suggest. Bring up social political topics with friends and relatives where appropriate, forward good articles to them to raise their civil awareness and assert their birthrights. It is only when we have many, many citizens with strong civil mind and concerns, then we have the collective power to execute the kind of changes you seek.

    Mind you that it will take times, 10 years minimum.

    I would like to share this Martin Luther King Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech with you:

    Short version:

    Long version:

    it feels like we are being owned and we are not alone as we can see that the Civil Right Movement was another example of how a group of people finally asserted their rights and made that a reality for themselves and their children.

  44. shoestring said

    Hi sarek_home,

    I have a dream alright. It’s the how-to that’s tricky.

    Thanks for the inspirational videos. The long version deserves the space of a blog post by itself.

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