Sunday, August 12, 2007

What I did on National Day....

For many the fireworks, parades and festivals....for me a walk down memory lane.

The National Museum had an open house on National Day. It has been a long time (10 years) since I visited the National Museum and I was surprised by how much the place has changed and improved. They have this audio aid that provided much a good information as you walk through the exhibits. From Sing Nila Utama, Stamford Raffles to modern Singapore the museum gives a very comprehensive account of our history. There are interesting snippets like Sir Stamford Raffles had a rival called Colonel William Farquhar who contended to be recognised as the founder of Singapore. He was sacked by Sir Raffles for allowing gambling and slave trading in Singapore.

Just before you exit from the history section there is an old black and white video showing an energetic young man giving a speech and it goes something like this (this is off my head, I can't remember it verbatim):

...you know in Egypt they make television sets, 50 thousand sets a year enough for the local population...with RCA of America. Our people are just as industrious as the Egyptians why can't we make our own television sets, aircon...why must we buy and sell goods that are made by others. This boy (points at a boy in the crowd) he is 8-10 years old, he will need a job 10 years from now...you don't want him to grow up to be a taxi driver, we will be a bankrupt nation..you have to think 3 steps ahead 10 years...

Although some might consider this to be a party-political film, I guess it has been approved by Ministry of Information to be displayed in the National Museum .....That young man was LKY. Imagine that, 40 years ago our role model was Egypt...making television sets and aircons was a big deal, the goal was to have children grow up to be something other than taxi drivers. Long after we have stopped making televisions, I still haven't met a taxi driver who is not a Singaporean.

In the fashion section, they featured music from The Quest, Siglap 5, Naomi and the Boys...yes we used to many famous bands in our music scene...bands and songs that every schoolboy would know....

The trip to the museum brought back many memories, memories that make us Singaporeans in our hearts, the shared experience that we have gone through as a people...is what makes us want to stay together in the future.

2 comments:

kin said...

mr tan

sometimes i wonder why you even bothered about our history.

Alexis de Tocqueville said...

You call this a country?
ah ah ah