Happy 55th Birthday Singapore!

55 years ago on this day, independent Singapore came into existence. I’m always 2 years ahead of Singapore. As such, throughout my life I’ve witnessed and experienced the vast transformation taking place across the whole of Singapore. From nothing to something so to speak! We not only developed every inch of our tiny Singapore to the maximum from the air to the sea but also dug deeper into the ground to accommodate train and road networks, fuel storage facility etc We have expanded our tiny land area by humongous reclamation and also utilized the empty air space by building higher and higher for living spaces.

The whole Marina South area was reclaimed from the sea. Marina Bay Sands, Marina Bay Financial district, Gardens by the Bay, The Esplanade Durians and all those buildings there were at one time sea. I used to tell foreigners that Beach Road starting from Raffles Hotel used to be very near to the sea line. Many did not know that why Beach Road was situated in the midst of concrete jungle when the sea was so far away.

As a child in the 9th lunar month, my mother used to bring me to Clifford Pier near to Customs House to take a bump boat to Kusu island for the annual pilgrimage. Now you’ll have go all the way to Marina South Pier to do just that. Just imagine how much land we’ve reclaimed from the sea. The same is being done to Changi Point where vast reclamation work is continuing unabated.

Today is our National Day. It is time to reflect and take stock of the vast transformation taking place in this tiny island. Within my lifetime, so much is achieved and accomplished that many foreigners say ours is a miracle. The progress and transformation to great heights of achievements is still forging ahead if not for the cursed Covid 19 which has put a brake on all these.

Nevertheless, at 55 yrs of independence we could draw out nearly $100 billion of past reserves to fight and contain this common pandemic enemy mankind is facing. It reminds me of reaching 55 yrs when one is able to withdraw our CPF provided the minimum sum is met. It also reminds me of The Filipino President telling his people that they could not afford a partial – not to mention complete lockdown to the 2nd or 3rd wave of the Covid 19 pandemic. They had no money to support affected industries and workers if a lockdown’s enforced.

This is a cruel and materialistic world. If you are as poor as a church mouse, everywhere you go people will shun you like a pariah dog. They are afraid of you come begging for charity. But if you have got tons of money to burn and throw, you are always welcomed to the party. They look forward to see you coming often to grace the occasion. Similarly, if your country is one of the richest in the world, the leader of that country and also its citizens are respected wherever they go. That is basic common sense and I’ve lived long enough in this mortal world to realize this undeniable indisputable fact. It applies not only to individuals but also to any country.

Thus, today is the best time to come together as one people irrespective of our political persuasions or beliefs and reflect on our common destiny as a nation. The challenges facing our very own survival and our 55 yrs of existence have never been greater now than before. It is the continual curse of the pandemic virus that is threatening every country in this world leading to the disruptions of supply lines and economic activities. This is the clear and present danger we are all facing. Different countries deal with the same common enemy in different ways. Some are more successful than others. Some have got more resources whilst some are still struggling to get on.

When my fren LH placed an order for a new Brompton with a local distributor, he was told to wait between 6 to 8 months. That also no guarantee that he would get his dreamt bike. So he bought an used 6 month old 2 speed Brompton (without any upgrades or extras) at $3,500 after driving a hard bargain which would have cost him only slightly more than $2,000 one year ago before the onslaught from this cursed pandemic. This simple anecdote clearly illustrates the dire circumstances we are currently facing. I’m sure all other sectors of the industries esp air travel related and across borders trades, movements etc are severely affected.

Look at this year’s National Day parade. No more grand exuberant celebrations when all we see are participants covered with face masks including the President. It’s the new normal to leave home with a face mask and also keep away from each other at one meter distancing. When will it end? Only time will tell.

Despite such gloomy sombre mood, I find solace and inspiration watching our virtual national flag flying vibrantly in the clear blue sky with our national anthem singing in the background. I never fail to get tired even after watching and listening it umpteen times.

Our tiny Singapore National Day celebrations may not be as grand and majestic as China, India or any other country but we are proud of our independent status. We are proud and full of confidence as a people who have come thus far overcoming all kinds of adverse challenges to achieve and accomplish so much within our short 55 years of existence.

Happy Birthday Singapore!

Majulah Singapura!

I’ve seen so many cyclists along Coastal Road displaying our flag on their bicycles when I cycled there this morning.

PS: My Indian friend Manish has lived and worked here for last 17 years but got married 14 years back and since then his wife has been displaying National Flag on the balcony for National Day. He treats Singapore as his 2nd home.

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About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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