Today Singapore celebrates 50 years of being independent. The festivities are all over the country and the Straits Times headlines yesterday was “The Celebrations Begin”!
In 1965, when Singapore was kicked out of the Federation of Malaya, mostly over political and economic differences, many wondered how Singapore would make it alone – a land with almost no natural resources, facing problems of severe unemployment, sanitation and housing, among others.
But Singapore has overcome all this and achieved so much in the last 50 years, it’s zoomed from first world to third world. We in Singapore, take this affluence for granted, sometimes being accused of being arrogant by our neighbours!
Singapore wanted to avoid the racial tensions of it’s neighbours and so racial harmony is something that’s pretty much enshrined in the way of life – so much that we take racial harmony for granted. Everything in Singapore is done in the four official languages of English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The national anthem is in Malay though as the Malays were the original inhabitants of the land.
To a lot of people, Singapore is seen as a part of China, and while3 it irritates residents, you can’t blame them, as the government policies seem to me to be a tad pro-China!
Also the Michael Fay caning incident makes a lot of Westerners think Singapore’s laws are draconian, but as a parent with young children, I guess I am happy to live in such a country where I don’t have to worry that my children will return home safe from school. Crime rates are low here and I can walk home late at night, using public transport, which is kind of impossible in many countries, both in the region and beyond!
Ok, enough of talking, I am going to spam some more pictures which I took last week when we saw the National Day Preview.
Leaving you with the national anthem of Singapore called Majulah Singapura or Onward Singapore. Singing it with everyone was electrifying!!
Happy Birthday Singapore! May you have many more like this….