A simple reflection and a wish for Singapore
August 3, 2009, 10:43 pm
Filed under: By Rachel Zeng, Singapore

singapore_flagWhen I was five, the flag, the pledge and the national anthem meant a lot to me. I was proud to be Singaporean and I thought that by hanging up the flag, by being able to recite the pledge perfectly and by singing the national anthem loud and clear with pride was what it takes to be a patriotic Singaporean.

I was that naive.

As I grew older, hanging up the flag gradually meant nothing to me anymore. Reciting the pledge and singing the national anthem became nothing but a mere routine that we had to do every morning in school. What was the significance of the pledge, I thought, if we are not encouraged to honor it with a democratic society? There has never been equality here, not even justice, so why bother reciting the pledge anymore? Truly indeed, for many years, I have refused to utter the pledge. My questions bothered me too much then.

When I came back from Shanghai at the end of 2006, I tried to give this country another chance. And I nearly gave up once again. However things somehow happened and I was suddenly motivated to make the pledge sound true with my actions thanks to the different groups and various individuals I have met when I was about to send my resume overseas again in 2007. Meeting them was important. I no longer recite the pledge for the sake of it, neither do I do it just to feel a false sense of ‘Singaporean – ness’. I will always remember the following:

“… to build a democratic society,

based on justice and equality…”

So for those who may think that I am anti-Singapore just because I am openly unsupportive of the PAP, please take note that PAP is not Singapore. PAP, in my opinion, defies everything that has been stated down on the pledge. Our nation has also not made too much progress in society terms. Racial discrimination is everywhere from public housing policies, national service recruitment and posting, civil servant recruitment to playground jokes. Some of PAP’s most prominent leaders have been openly racist in their speeches but have managed to get away just simply because people here have mostly been taught to listen blindly instead of listening thoughtfully when it comes to the authorities.

I will not spit on the words of the pledge or the national anthem by supporting such a party for I am pro-Singapore and it is high time for Singaporeans to reflect upon why they still bother to recite the pledge or sing the anthem if they cannot be bothered to change the flaws of our society or speak up against political issues that make this country a backward and undemocratic one.

Make this country yours, start thinking and doing instead of waiting for genuine kindness to drop from on top of the ivory tower.

This is my only wish for the country on Singapore’s 44th year of independence, as a Singaporean.


12 Comments so far
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Ditto the part about memorising the national anthem, national pledge and all the national day songs. I can still sing most of them without referring to lyrics.

Comment by Kai Xiong

[…] Day 2009 – TOC: We, the citizens of Singapore – Rachel Zeng’s blog: A simple reflection and a wish for Singapore – BEYOND SG: The DNA Coding That Makes Us Singaporean – AngryAngMo: 5 Perfect Places To Watch The […]

Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Daily SG: 4 Aug 2009

Dear Rachel

If you have to go through full-time and national service, it virtually wiped out all traces of patriotism in me and revealed the true nature of Singapore Inc.

Majullah Singapura.

Comment by Panzer

Hi Panzer,

compulsory national service to me is a violation of human rights and I am totally against the idea of it. Anyway I know what you are saying because my friends and my younger brother are going through it. Then again, I wonder why alot of NS men, after going through all the crap and coming to know the true nature of Singapore Inc, never come to go against the things that they disagree about.

Well, that is just a thought that has always been on my mind.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Good blog. I enjoyed reading it. I especially like your stand on being openly unsupportive of PAP and that PAP is not Singapore.

Brave lady!

Comment by same mind

Glad to hear that you have enjoyed reading what I have written and thanks for your motivating words. 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

Wondering if you are implying that Shanghai is better than Singapore…… if so, please do highlight what is better.

Comment by Lenoxs

I enjoyed 2 years of my life in Shanghai not because I was a foreigner with money to spend, but because of the great freedom to hold conversations about politics and other issues that affects the society.

Anyway, I am talking about Singapore in this blog post in particular. This blog post seeks not to compare Singapore with Shanghai or any other places. Of course, if I honestly am to start comparing Singapore with the places I have been to and lived before, it won’t be the best place on earth especially with regards to political freedom and association as well as other social factors. 🙂

Comment by rachelabsinthe

[…] [Thanks Panzer] [Recommended] – TOC: We, the citizens of Singapore – Rachel Zeng’s blog: A simple reflection and a wish for Singapore – BEYOND SG: The DNA Coding That Makes Us Singaporean – AngryAngMo: 5 Perfect Places To Watch The […]

Pingback by The Singapore Daily » Blog Archive » Weekly Roundup: Week 32

Thank you for the insightful blogpost. The Singapore Democrats have featured your post in our blogs of the week section – http://yoursdp.org/index.php/news/blogs-of-the-week

Comment by Singapore Democrats

I would like to request for permission to use the image of the Singapore Flag for a Photoshop project for our school work. May I know if this image is ‘Creative Common’ or ‘All Rights Reserved’?

Comment by Secondary School Student

Feel free to use it. The image is available all over the internet as well and I think it is originally from a government website. Do double check in case I am wrong about it yea.

Comment by rachelabsinthe

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