Saturday, July 29, 2006

I'm a Singaporean!

The sonic boom from 3 F16s woke me from my siesta today and reminded that National Day is just around the corner. I went to the store room to look for the Singapore flag that was given to me 20 years ago. I hang the same flag every year outside my flat for the National Day celebrations.

The flag brings back many memories. Our young nation was born because we seek independence. The whole idea was simple - for ordinary Singaporeans to have a say in our own destiny. Nobody expected in those days that we will be so successful economically and that wasn't the reason why we fought so hard for independence.

I'm sure you have seen the images of Labanon being bombed in recent days on BBC and CNN. This country has been ravaged over and over again by various powers in that region. As the people were fleeing for safety from the southern Labanon, a young man with his family (wife and child) was asked if he will ever return, "He said of course". The reporter then asked him "Why? Everything has been destroyed.". "I will return because Labanon is my country", he replied.

This afternoon I took out my flag from the storeroom to hang outside. The flag was given to me by my father who saw our island progress from colony to nationhood, he reminded me to hang the flag every year. As I took the flag out from the storeroom and unfurled it, I noticed that the once pristine flag has somewhat faded.....especially the stars on the flag. I was just a toddler when my father ran my little fingers over those stars and told me each one represented an ideal that made this country worth dying for : democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. My father told me each specific star that represented the ideals. The star that represented democracy seems most faded along with the one that represented equality and justice.

I decided not to hang my flag this year. I will honour Singapore with a better flag not one that is already faded.


Seraphim said...

After reading your entry, I went to my storeroom and unfurl my flag. I found that exactly the same three stars you mentioned are faded on my flag too!!!

How come har??? Got so coincidental one meh?

Other readers here got time please go check your flags and let us know if the same thing happen to yours!

James said...

Excuse me, but pertaining to your suggestion that "justice" might be "absent" with reference to the "Oakwell" case I have some comments to make.

Firstly, based on the facts of this case, it seems that EnerNorth (the Canadian Firm) is indeed obliged to pay Oakwell $2.79 million and royalties.Moreover, the Ontario Superior Court judge, agreed to uphold the award made in Singapore against EnerNorth.

Secondly, it is utterly absurd to base an appeal in a commercial case on the record of prosecutions of political critics of the People's Action Party, and this is clearly a silly attempt to throw the Singapore judiciary into disrepute. I feel that these are two separate issues, and what matters most are the facts of the case per se, rather than hinting on the fact that Singapore's judiciary is corrupt. This is like saying that a man guilty of murder, should not be hanged because our courts' integrity is suspicious with regards to the handling of Jeyaretnam's case back in the 1980s.

Since the Ontario Superior Court had upheld the decision of a Singapore court, does it make the Canadian court a farcical show like what you're suggesting about the Singapore Court?

LuckySingaporean said...


I think you're right. I've replaced the link with one that shows a more objective study of our excellent justice system.

Capt_Canuck said...

Read your post and found it very different from your other posts. I like your words. Very meaningful and deep.

Definitly symbolic and moving.

Whispers from the heart said...

Worse has happened to my flag!!!!

There is this huge big hole where all the stars used to be. I think something called A-STAR had burnt a big hole there!

Must be due to the hot air from this thingy.

Then, I noticed there were many other holes of varying sizes, here and there, all over the flag.....

No more fabric left soon !!!!!

Timothy said...

Hey for lucky tan and the rest of you worrying souls, don't worry. I just watch the Channel 5 news a few days ago and it says that the scouts from schools are going to go door to door to sell the National flags so that proud Singaporeans like ourselves can hang it outside our house.

So if your stars are fading away, you can easily buy a BRAND new one now!

Anonymous said...

This new flag has been re-branded to become very 'hip and happening'.

So, you must not hide them in the storeroom anymore.

You are encouraged to wear it around your hips and see how things happen before your eyes ... you are either invited to check in at Changi hotel or offered a guaranteed risk-free career depending on how non-partisan you have been wearing the flag.

Anonymous said...

Dun know why my flag is diff from yours. Mine has a red lightning and blue circle. That is why Hougang and Potong pasir don't deserve upgrading as they are not flying the correct country flag. They might be considered foreigners

wert said...

You have outdone yourself this time. A little different from your usual style but definately more impactful.

Anonymous said...

Have you seen the flags on our taxis and buses recently? It's terrific what a small increase in fares can do for the budget! Imagine if we didn't increase the fares! We'd not have these extra flags flying proudly this year. We're $o lucky indeed! Happy Birthday $ingapore!

Anonymous said...

That was just a copy-cat idea we got from Malaysia.

The gahmen scholars are really quite empty-headed when it comes to ideas.

Why stick flags on taxis and buses? We are world-class and technologically more advanced. They should enforce anyone owning a handphone to stick a flag in it, like an antenna (macam those good old first generation handphones).

The effect is even more spectacular since Singaporeans are always seen talking on their handphones, in MRTs, on buses and even in toilets. So you'll see thousands of mini-flags everywhere, even in the loos.

Better still, to complement the smile on their faces, make them wear a hat with the flag sticking out from on top. Hats are good for Singapore's hot and sunny weather, wat?!

It would be even nicer if we get progress package for doing the above ...

DD said...

Call me shallow but I'm just fascinated by how the white stars can fade ;-)

At least your stars of peace and progress was in tact.

Anonymous said...

Did you guys catch the fireworks festival? Brilliant show!! Our income tax revenue is well spent.

YS said...

Dear readers, do note that this post had a symbolic note to it, and not the literal thing per se.

Tan, I'm awfully sorry, but I beg to differ.
You see, I heard the following conversation between two gentlemen on the MRT:

“You know why I don’t like the PAP?”
“Because I think they rule with too much an iron hand. They always want to control this, control that.”
“Yeah (lor). Also they made Singapore a very stressed and kiasu country. They provide us with such a safe, (therefore) boring life.”

I almost choked (I am not kidding, I really heard this on 4 Aug. I should have had a recording mp3). I was so embarrassed for having such Singaporeans in my homeland, because these two guys were quite obviously Singaporeans.
And then on to my question, why doesn't PAP rule with an iron hand?

Answer: Because I say so, and also because younger talents are constantly sprouting to become MPs (Ministers-for-Parliament) and holding important political posts, and these people are globally noted for their acceptance to new and innovative ideas, and therefore PAP does allow for freedom and justice. Please don’t deny Singapore not being a better-off country than many others. I appeal humbly to your intellectual reasoning faculties, that you may think carefully and digest these facts.

So that's for democracy.

And on to equality and justice - it is totally pointless, as james as pointed out, to even bother questioning Singapore's judicial standard. It's world class level is recognised, yes, recognised globally.
What's the problem with equality? Are you so met with prejudice that Singaporeans have so "unkindly" met upon you?

And again, I'd like to request something real simple. Instead of merely commenting or giving your thoughts (nor does the PAP nor am I restricting you to do so), perhaps you'd prefer to talk to the Singapore PAP govt and give some of your opinions?

How should we boost democracy?
Why should we create even more equality?
What's the best way to improve "justice" in the Singapore State?
You'll have to answer these vital questions before merely commenting on these issues which an individual of normal status (just like me and you) should not blare out for blaring's sake.

That'll be really great.