18 January 2014

"Are you proud to be a Singaporean?" - A Reflection

"Are you proud to be a Singapore?" and "Are you proud of Singapore" generated a lot of interests and comments recently. As a Singaporean myself, the consideration for me is, I am firstly a Singaporean and then I will work on making Singapore we all can be proud of. Our nation does not need to earn my loyalty. It is us who need to work on and make our nation proud. "Hey Singapore. are you proud of me?"
"Are you proud to be a Singapore?" and "Are you proud of Singapore" generated a lot of interests and comments recently. If you are a Singaporean, may be your friends will ask you such a question. Do a google search on the questions, and you can find many articles and youtube videos on them. There are the typical for, against and neutral(let them expressed their views) comments.

On a deeper level, may be the question is wrongly worded. Does my nation need to earn my loyalty and respect? Unlike my parents who came from China, I am born and bred in Singapore. My parents have the choice to choose Singapore as their home. I have no choice but just born into it. Whether Singapore does well or bad, I am and will always be a Singaporean. Of course, my life will be affected greatly whether Singapore does well or badly. I am glad and grateful that Singapore did and hopefully will continue to do well in the future. We are all enjoying the leadership, wisdom and hard work of our parent generations and of our own and of our children too. Our main concern will always be, for our present leadership, please don't screw it up.

Chinese has the famous saying that "创业难守业更难" translated, "To start a business is difficult, but to keep it going is more difficult" or, I like this one, "To open a shop is easy, but to keep it opened is difficult".  Not to under-estimate the wisdom and contribution of our first generation government and leaders, the time and situation now a lot tougher than in the 60-70's of our nation building. The present leadership needs greater wisdom, vision and tenacity than the previous generation.

Coming back to my main point, my nation does not need to earn my loyalty. I cannot deny or get away from being a Singaporean no matter what happen in Singapore. Being a Singaporean is my identity. And Singaporean stands for certain values as in our national flag and daily pledges in schools.  For details see Reflections on Our Singapore Conversation and The Kia-Su Kia-X's Uniquely Singaporeans - Mindset.

Then the question of "Are we proud to be a Singaporean?" could be a meaningless one. We are Singaporeans. And to the question, "Are we proud of Singapore?", perhaps have to be reversed as, "Is Singapore proud of us?". The pride of our nation rest solely on our shoulders. It is up to us to make our nation and our fellow Singaporeans proud.

However, I need to make this very clear, that we need not be in Singapore to contribute to Singapore nation building and welfare. The world is our playground. I am glad that Singaporeans is spread everywhere over the globe.  The influence and power comes from the network. Singaporeans who have migrated to other countries like US, Australia, Europe, Africa, South America, China etc are and can still be Singaporeans, because the identity is of the heart and mind, and not of physical location. Will you not be proud of the fact and so-and-so of US won a Nobel prize and who was born and raised up in Singapore? The time will come, and opportunity will arise when they can find ways to help Singapore to become better.

So, whether we be in Singapore or be away in other countries, may be we can ask, "Is Singapore be proud of us?"

Here are some links that will make your proud ....

  1. 20130405 晓说第二季 第一期:"遥远"的新加坡
    From a country without our anything (一穷二白 firstly poor and secondly with nothing) to a developed nation that others envy.
  2. You First Believed (Original) - Thank you Mr Lee #TYMrLee

Lim Liat (c) 18 Jan 2014

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