Singapore’s National Day

BradleyDay Trips, Life in Singapore8 Comments

So, Sunday is August 9th, Singapore’s National Day. The country will be celebrating it’s 44th birthday, it’s 44th year of nationhood, supposedly. I say supposedly because I remember reading recently that the Prime Minister said that Singapore is not yet a nation. I know he was speaking figuratively, but it still can’t be a fun thing to hear if you’re a Singaporean. I’ve seen that same sentiment echoed quite a few times on forums and in blog posts, though. There are plenty of Singaporeans that feel as though Singapore doesn’t belong to the Singaporeans anymore.

Somehow, I can’t blame them. A full third of the population isn’t native. About 68% of the country’s jobs are given to foreigners. The country has been built up quite nicely for just 44 years of self-government, but somehow it has failed to produce people who feel like they belong.

Here are some quotes I pulled from a blog post’s comment section:

This is just a small sampling. You can visit the blog post itself for more, but this is just to show that there’s a lot of dissatisfaction with the current situation in Singapore. There were even comments from Singaporeans stating that they planned to wear black on National Day, rather than the national colors, to represent the fact that they’re mourning rather than celebrating.

Still, not everyone was full of doom and gloom. My wife and I walked through Pasir Ris Park tonight and it was packed full of people barbecuing and camping out for the night. There were tents everywhere! It sort of reminded me of parks and neighborhoods in the US on July 4th, with groups of family and friends getting together to celebrate.

From what I’ve read, and I’ll admit it isn’t too much since I try to steer clear of much involving Singapore politics, people have come to believe that National Day in Singapore is more of a celebration of the PAP (People’s Action Party?) than a celebration of the people, and so a large portion of Singaporeans aren’t as enthusiastic about the day as they used to be. It’s pretty sad that many people in Singapore are opposed to celebrating their own national holiday.

Singapore is a young country. It has a lot of maturing and learning to do yet, and I’m sure that in time it will become a place that all Singaporeans are proud to call home. So, here’s hoping for that day. Happy 44th Singapore.

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8 Comments on "Singapore’s National Day"

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Brad Farless
Good points about the PR application process. I suppose you're right that it is easier now, and maybe that's not a great thing. On the other hand, it was probably necessary. If the government wanted to seriously increase the labor force it had to lower standards. If that isn't what the citizens wanted and has been detrimental to the citizens, then it should be re-examined and re-thought. As for the US, I'm half expecting riots if the national health care bill passes. I imagine there would be a lot of problems if there was a huge influx of foreigners in… Read more »
Brad Farless
Good points about the PR application process. I suppose you're right that it is easier now, and maybe that's not a great thing. On the other hand, it was probably necessary. If the government wanted to seriously increase the labor force it had to lower standards. If that isn't what the citizens wanted and has been detrimental to the citizens, then it should be re-examined and re-thought. As for the US, I'm half expecting riots if the national health care bill passes. I imagine there would be a lot of problems if there was a huge influx of foreigners in… Read more »
TC

I agree totally with what you said about those uppity idiots. As for the crowd problem, just bump them back, and you didn't come this far to be jostled by some idiot shrimp on this island! 😛

Brad Farless
Well, that's true, so maybe what Singapore needs to do is reconsider its citizenship policies, PR policies and work pass policies. Perhaps the answer to keeping people in Singapore is to make getting real citizenship a less daunting process. I'm not really sure why this problem is so severe in Singapore. In the US there are (only guessing) tens of thousands of immigrants every year and it does nothing to lessen American pride. In fact, people are avid about getting to the US and getting citizenship or at the least green cards so they can feel like they belong to… Read more »
TC
Well, the PR policy is a sensitive issue by now in Singapore. THe preception is that its actually gotten ALOT easier to get an employment pass or work permit, and the island is flooded with low and middle level workers, especially those from the PRC, India etc. In the long ago past, the only way you could get to live here was either to have lots of investment cash, have a PhD in something which no one else had, or simply come on the backs of a prestigious MNC, and even being married to a Singaporean didn't gaurantee automatic PR… Read more »
TC

[Singapore is a young country. It has a lot of maturing and learning to do yet, and I'm sure that in time it will become a place that all Singaporeans are proud to call home. So, here's hoping for that day. Happy 44th Singapore. ]
By then, all Singaporeans might only comprise of those born either in the PRC, India and a hotchpotch of other ASEAN nations….:/

MKL
Well, the drama headline is the least problem. Problem is Mediaset, a corporation in hand by the government, the news papers, too. It's easy to control information flow in Singapore. And did you know that satelite dishes are forbidden? I was shocked, because when I thought that if I end up here, I'd like to recieve German TV. No way. Only in some hotels, but you pay a fine if they catch you. Heck, even in Iran they can watch Western TV. So you have to watch whatever the Mediaset corporation feeds you with. And that surely won't be free… Read more »
MKL
Age of countries is relative: Slovenia 18 yearsSingapore 44 yearsUSA 233 yearsFrance 1623 yearsSan Marino 1708 years I think the most important is the current situation. Slovenia 20yrs ago was a communist country, pretty poor. Now, 20 years later, we had 3 presidents, 6 prime ministers, a steady growth and adopted the Euro. We're now one of the more prosperous countries. Things changed for the better. Same can be said for all the other countries in the list… except Singapore. In my view, Singapore's system is too rigid and not open to change. That's because it's the only dictatorship on… Read more »
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