Happy Birthday, Singapore!

Singapore turned 44 today and watching the vibrant National Day Parade, I must say that this feels like the funkiest celebration yet *grin* I could see the fireworks from my livingroom and an added incentive to actually catch NDP was because my little sister was performing in it 🙂

I’d been giggling at Jia’s reflective space-age silver/ bilious green costume (they were groaning that it seemed a tragic hybrid of Star Trek meets Power Rangers) when I saw it some months ago but the truth is, I’m really proud of her being a part of this amazing event *beams with big sisterly pride*

Rehearsals which eventually led up to the actual day…

As you’d been aware, the Singapore national pledge was recited islandwide at 8:22pm and I joined in as well… it only felt right and what better day to do it really? After all, how often do you say it (and mean it) 😉

Having left school for awhile, I actually went to look up the words online prior in the early morning *sheepish* It’s strange but I surprised myself by being able to rattle off the Chinese version more fluently than the English one, just by memory!

I’m not sure about now but when I was studying in Methodist Girls School, after singing our national anthem (which is in Malay, fyi for our non-Singaporean blog readers), everyone had to recite the pledge in both English then Mandarin…

We, the citizens of Singapore pledge ourselves as one united people, regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society, based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.

我们是新加坡公民,     誓愿不分种族、言语、宗教,     团结一致,     建设公正平等     的民主社会,     并为实现国家之幸福、繁荣与进步,     共同努力。

This all happened every morning at assembly, prior to singing our school song and our school principal/vice-principal providing the various reports, announcements, long Daily Bread devotions and prayer after, in the hot hot sun 🙂

In the afternoon after getting back home from lunch, I watched the DVD above. Success Stories: Lee Kuan Yew was made in 2001 and the the 2 disc set can be purchased here.

The team of filmmakers came from Hong Kong and gave this well-made documentary an objective slant. Left-wing political folks like the late Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, Tang Liang Hong, Chee Soon Juan, Francis Seow, Fang Chuan Pi of the Plen (as in Plenipotentiary) and more also made an appearance in the film about our Minister Mentor 李光耀.

Watching the film, I couldn’t help but recall a line from Machiavelli: The Prince, an intriguing book on politics and governing, which I read many years ago… That its far better for a leader to be feared if he cannot be loved. Hmmmm.

One has to deeply respect our shrewd MM Lee for all his amazing achievements really, despite what outsiders have to say about his ways. He governs the country like how an Asian father would. Disciplinary, tough love, but all for the greater good.

I felt so many things watching that emotional clip where MM Lee was so close to tears during the 1965 television interview where he announced Singapore’s split with Malaysia. It was a huge turnaround for him and the man truly rose to the challenge, making our little red dot (which used to be a port of a fishing village) the cosmopolitan city it is today.

I definitely feel proud to be a Singaporean, and “this is home truly” 😉 Happy birthday Singapore!


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