"It's very meaningful to unite everyone together, especially in this downturn like now....it's more important that everyone stays united as one people, one nation"
-Sheng Siong Supermarket's corporate affairs manager, Tan Ching Fern
8:22pm yesterday hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans recited the pledge and renewed their commitment to Singapore. This is a serious but also a strange moment because it was organised by a govt than has in the last 4 decades turned Singapore from being one of the most democratic societies among east countries to one of the least democratic developed east asian countrie - just compare us with Taiwan, Japan, S. Korea ...even Hong Kong, Indonesia, Phillipines and Malaysia. Many of these countries went from martial law under dictators to full blown democracies with freedom of the media and rights of the people to assert their power restored. What happened to this promise of democracy? Singapore today is known for jailing and bankrupting people who fight for democracy and assert their rights as citizens , running elections based on estate upgrading and a media ranked among the lowest in press freedom. Equality too has taken a beating. While a small number of elites have rewarded themselves with the highest salaries in the world and its network of GLCs, many of which are monopolies, dominate the economy, many Singaporeans now find it hard to make ends meet. At almost every National Day rally they will blame this economic inequality on an ageing population[Link], I just want to remind everyone when they hear it this year that Japan's population is ageing much faster and Taiwan[Link] & S. Korea are also facing an ageing population yet the income inequality is half of ours.
8:22pm yesterday was a very meaningful moment for many Singaporeans because it reminded them how far this nation has strayed from its promise and how Singaporeans must now work together to restore democracy and equality. Many have been busy making money and have forgotten what they have pledged to this nation. The time has come for us to fulfil this pledge rather than just reciting it. To fulfil this pledge we need men and women who believe in it and will lead us towards our promise for Singapore.
The Pledge Moment unites S'poreans in one voice
Time stood still in Singapore at exactly 8.22pm on Sunday when tens of thousands of Singaporeans at home and abroad took time out to recite the national pledge.
The "Pledge Moment" was a symbolic gesture to get the nation thinking about what it truly means to be a Singaporean on the country's 44th birthday.
Singapore's national public warning system sounded its chime signal at 8.22pm islandwide, signalling the start of the Pledge Moment.
With that, thousands of Singaporeans across the island joined the 150,000 people at downtown Marina Bay - where the National Day Parade was taking place - to recite the Pledge.
As the parade was being beamed live on giant screens from two of the newest malls along Orchard Road - Orchard Central and ION Orchard - Singaporeans stood at attention and with one hand on their heart, the words flowed...."We the citizens of Singapore......"
At train stations and heartland supermarkets, pockets of people dropped what they were doing and for 30 seconds renewed their commitment to a country they call home. A supermarket at Bedok North, a suburb in the east, was one of the many retail outlets taking part in the Pledge Moment. The supermarket staff got into the National Day mood by giving out flags to shoppers and encouraging them to stay back to recite the Pledge. Sheng Siong Supermarket also took part in the Pledge Moment. "It's very meaningful to unite everyone together, especially in this downturn like now....it's more important that everyone stays united as one people, one nation," said Sheng Siong Supermarket's corporate affairs manager, Tan Ching Fern. Words flowed easily for some, but for others it took some prompting to recall words that were probably last spoken when they were in school. "To all Singaporeans, since primary school days they have been saying the Pledge. For me, I'm not schooling anymore. So in fact, this brings back some memories," said a member of the public. "This is very good - because everyone celebrates with Singapore," said another. "Singapore's birthday is actually our birthday..." said a third. Truly, the pledge recital was a historic moment when Singaporeans were literally united in one voice. - CNA/ir