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10 August 2010

The Singapore I No Longer Remember

An epiphany just struck me as I realised that each theme song of each National Day is a sign of the times.

I remember when I was in Secondary School when we sang National Day songs like "Count On Me, Singapore", "We Are Singapore", "One People, One Nation, One Singapore" and "Stand Up For Singapore" with great heart and gusto simply because we believed and felt every word of it.

It was a great era where we were really proud to be Singaporeans.

I even remember how we rewrote the lyrics specially dedicated to the only Malay boy (AJ) in our ACS St John fraternity.

"We, the citizens of Singapore. Pledge ourselves as one united people. Regardless of race, except for one Malay....."

With no disrespect to AJ, it was purely for comedic effect as we all had a good laugh which bonded us together till this very day. 25 years later.

About a decade later, the theme of the songs like "Home", "Where I Belong" and "There's No Place I'd Rather Be", on hindsight were songs calling back fellow citizens who slowly and quietly leaving the country for other pastures?

You tell me because I really don't know.

This year the song is "Sing A Song For Singapore" where we "...fly the flag and share our story. Live our wildest dreams...".

Is it me or it there a hint that the silent exodus for the past decade has reached a point of no return and that we need to quickly, with the lowest of barriers, lelong our citizenships?

You tell me because I really don't know.

My father waited for 20 years to get his citizenship and I, 15 years and dutifully served National Service thereafter. These days, it's pay money and the bouncer lowers the velvet rope and let you cut the queue instantly, ahead of the rest. Has the value of our citizenship cheapen to such a pitiful state?

You tell me because I really don't know.

Perhaps there is a need as more and more people are getting dissatisfied with the incumbent Gahmen, that opening the floodgates of immigration quickly would straightaway dilute the negative votes, so as to ensure another round of safe passage in the next General Elections?

You tell me because I really don't know.

Thinking back, I was pro-Gahmen in the early days until a number of events that turned me off completely. I won't go to the extreme to say that I am anti-Gahmen but I would say that whatever they dish out these days, I am the same skeptical cynic (or cynical skeptic?) as the next person.

Here's a list of things that has pissed me off over the years.
  • Tying of policies like HDB upgrade to that of the elections. - Are you telling me that the flats in the opposition constituencies are not under HDB? Are you telling me the constituents of opposition wards are not Singaporeans or perhaps they do not has equal rights as fellow citizens who resides under the blue-eyed party? If no, then why are the upgrade projects of opposition wards being withheld? Yes, I understand that we can't upgrade every constituency concurrently and that one has to be after another. But a waiting list of two decades (maybe more)?

    I wonder if the folks in the opposition constituencies are being "punished" for their allegiance to the opposition parties? If so, I salute them for having the backbone not to yield against selling out. If you were to tell me that there was no conspiracy to withhold upgrading and that it is the natural process of the queue, then perhaps I should tell you that our HDB sucks and that the entire HDB top brass should be dragged out and flogged for such inefficiency and ineffectiveness?

    Incompetency of the HDB or petty conspiracy of the Gahmen?

    You tell me because I really don't know.

  • Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). - Every General Election, they redraw and redraw the electoral boundaries until it is beyond recognition. Lorong Lew Lian, Bartley, Serangoon Central and Braddell Heights are part of Marine Parade? Have you seen the Singapore map lately? Can you spell a-b-s-u-r-d ?
  • Group Representation Constituencies (GRCs). - The system of GRCs paves the way for backdoor entry into Parliament. All you need is to ride on the ticket of a strong incumbent and you are guaranteed a place in Parliament House (new one, of course). So in theory, even if you are brain-damaged monkey, you will represent fellow Singaporeans in your elected constituency?

    You tell me because I really don't know.
  • Million Dollar Salaries. Seriously, do you really need so much money and that your whole family will fall into financial hardships and god-forbid, starved to death if you were paid a dollar less?

    You tell me because I really don't know.

    Ah yes, high pay will counter corruption. That I concede. If you pass the law to allow you to stuff massive amounts of money into your pockets. It is not corruption. It is 100% chop-stamp legal. That one I ish lan lan and suck thumb.

    Really. I'm serious. What is it that you need so much money that you can't forgo a dime (or a few million) for the less fortunate? Perhaps the dishonest hawkers at Newton Circus are charging you $8,000 for a plate of mee siam? And perhaps another $150 for removing the extra hums?

    You tell me because I really don't know.

Image Credit - Flickr: fairycakes
- Voxeros

1. Ah Fry left...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 1:06 pm :: http://talesofasmallfry.blogspot.com/
i love s'pore yet i agree wat u said too. every dynasty/country will fall from its glory 1 day because it's run by humans.......the sad fact is tat human fails to learn beyond the 3rd generation. i'm not sure if it's our innate nature to want pain + failure.
2. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 3:26 pm :: 
Ah Fry: 所谓财富不过三代. But then again who knows maybe we will have Brain-damaged Monkeys standing in the next General Elections?
3. Ah Fry left...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 4:47 pm :: http://talesofasmallfry.blogspot.com/
and get a nuke plant going? yes, i'll vote them down. if i get to vote, tat is. LOL
4. JayWalk left...
Tuesday, 10 August 2010 5:49 pm :: 
Ah Fry: And I would like to see the Gahmen introduce the referendum where the people get to decide on national issues like whether to build casinos or not. In this case, a Nuke plant.

Voting need not be restricted to elections only.

Only then would we see a truly democratic society.
5. Everton left...
Thursday, 12 August 2010 10:05 pm
I became a secret supporter of the opposition parties when I was in Sec 4. I guess it was poverty and discriminatory treatment of non-Chinese Singaporean citizens that changed my political views. I also felt very bad for the EL2 (i.e. Chinese stream, Malay stream) students who were treated as useless garbage by the PAP.
6. JayWalk left...
Friday, 13 August 2010 2:14 pm :: http://jaywalk.blog-city.com/
Everton: For me back then, there weren't enough good Opposition candidates to support. Still in other areas, I felt that the Gahmen, when Goh Chok Tong, was in charge, actually did a pretty splendid job. Not perfect but still pretty good nevertheless.

Can't say the same for the current one though.
7. barffie left...
Friday, 13 August 2010 5:18 pm
Things I wish that can be improved by the gahmen:

1. Flooding issues - be more serious about it can!!! 2. HDB prices - Control it dammit! They are meant to be homes, not stocks to be speculated with! There are so many families who have to pay through their noses for so-called public housing - and why? 3. Public transport - It is not serving the public if profits are meant for shareholders and not by improving the peak hour crunch issues and incessant price increases.

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