#164

Singapore is 43 years old on 9th August.

I recall being a member of the choir for our 1st national day celebration. It was a simple affair, but there was so much pride and hope then. However we had to pay for our white costume…all of us dressed in different patterns though…mine was sewn by my late mother. The dress became my favorite for going out on special occasions or church.

Today, the celebration is a lavish event where companies are told to sponsor the event and lots of money poured into it regardless how well we perform in our economy. Naturally some companies reap high profits…or didn’t they? If so, where did the money go?

By contrast to the evening before — the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games — sad to say, our performances and choreography pale. When we compare, we need to be humble to learn from others…and not remain complacent thinking we have arrived! 

Singapore has gone through varied changes…some good but much is not too palletable. Needless to say, this forthcoming grim economy will test the true face of many…especially those who had adopted this island country.

I was sad and somewhat ashame that the flag-bearer for the Olympic Games in Beijing was a girl from China who adopted Singapore citizenship. Was she proud to represent Singapore in the country she was born? Frankly I couldn’t see her pride as a Singaporean then like some other flag-bearers!

Why a woman and not a man? Is this to show the world that in Singapore there was equal standing between the sexes? 

Did Singapore, from the very beginning of her nationhood, not position women in her place in the professional and commercial world? I believe most of our first echelon of leaders’ wives were professionals, gainfully employed in various sector or in teaching vocation.

Was there no true blue Singaporean who could carry that flag? What about those who had clinched gold medals in other meets? Or, was she the only one who actually brought glory to this nation alone today?! Can the sport organiser or committee provide some explanation?

No wonder the brain-drain! Those born in this country are not regarded…so why remain!

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