Sunday, August 09, 2015
National Day Message: The Tears of a Patriot
The Tears of a Patriot
Singapore’s National Day is always remembered by the teary Proclamation of Independence and Declaration of Separation from Malaysia by the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.
Fifty years from that teary declaration of Independence, I have seen another Teary expression of patriotism on the morning of our 50th National Day. I saw my comrade and Chairman of our party, in tears uncontrollably when he walked out of Chua Chu Kang MRT station. I asked him whether something terrible has happened? He said this is not about him. After recomposing himself, he said that when he took the MRT, it was packed with people whom he doesn’t understand. There were people speaking loudly in foreign language. There was hardly any Singaporean around him. He felt terrible that this is not a country which he used to know. Thus, he was shedding tears for Singapore on this very National Day.
We started off 50 years ago to build a nation for a multi-ethnic population which aimed to create a strong National Pride and Identity. But 50 years later, we are crying for a country which we no longer recognize nor understand as One People.
We have served National Service with great pride and commitment to protect a country which we pledged to defend and die for. But in the end, we were subtly discriminated by employers who preferred to employ cheaper foreign labour substitutes because our yearly National Service call ups have become our liability instead of strength for the Nation.
On this 50th National Day, we ponder on what makes us a Nation, A United People.
This is also the first National Day we are celebrating without Lee Kuan Yew around. We also ponder on whether the current system of governance is sustainable without Mr Lee Kuan Yew around. Can this system of high concentration of powers in the hands of the few ruling elites survive well beyond Lee Kuan Yew’s death? Can Singapore prosper for another 50 or 100 years with minimum corruptions in post-LKY era?
We in PPP believe that there must be a drastic change in the system of governance whereby the separation of powers should be institutionalized in order for Singapore to ensure that we could avoid the massive abuse of power and corruptions which have destroyed many states and empires in history.
While every patriotic Singaporean is celebrating our National Day today, we also hope that we as a Nation and people could reflect on what we really want our future to look like. Do we really want 6.9 million or even 10 million population whereby some or most of us will live in underground towns? Do we really want to continue with a system of governance that allows high concentration of power? Do we want to continue with the strategy of GDP growth at all cost?
These are just some solemn points which we hope Singaporeans will ponder and reflect while we celebrate our 50th National Day.
Goh Meng Seng
Pro-tem Secretary General