Back in the 80s while studying in the UK, I witnessed how my college friends would almost glue to the TV everyday at pubs, TV room to watch the Iraqi war. They would talk about it, debate about it and pray that lives were safe with the soldiers fighting the war.
When during that time I went back to Singapore for a vacation, I found myself among people who went on with their everyday lives as if nothing happened. No one was interested in discussing the war in the Middle East. “It’s their war” “We are not affected” “Let the government worry” were some of the typical comments I would hear.
I realised then there was something seriously wrong with us, with Singaporeans. We have become less compassionate and more selfish.
Singaporeans have become too spoilt then , much worse today with all the creature comforts we have.
There was no crisis to make us strive as citizens and if there is such as now, we become spoilt brats that only blamed our parents ie PAP, for not looking after us.
- We expect everything to be on our tables just like we expect maids to serve our meals.
- We expect the government to clear up the mess just like we expect the maids to clear our tables.
By not being united and deal with the haze situation, Singaporeans have given our neighbors an idea what they can do to us in times of adversity even before mobilizing their military forces.
Then there is another group of Singaporeans who try to make a quick buck by on selling the masks at marked up prices. I am also sure there are companies who will take this opportunity to sell as many air purifiers as possible to increase their bottom line.
If we call Singapore our home our country our land and proud to call ourselves Singaporean, then why do we have to behave this way?
Everyone knows the value of being a Singaporean when we clear immigration customs at oversea countries holding our distinctive red passports as compared to other citizens holding a Malaysian, Philipino, Indonesian passport. While they face endless questions from the officials we would clear immigration with ease.
But as a test of characters among different citizens, we may be a failure.
- We have become less resilient, less patient, less compassionate and less gracious.
It seems all it matters to us today is all about survival, making money, looking after our own good and when these are threatened, we would turn around and blame someone else, be it our government or neighbouring countries or to a lesser extent, even our maids.
Why did the Indonesian government refused to apologise?
Not because of a sovereign issue or they have done no wrong in their view but really, I suspect they could not stand our arrogance and finger pointing manners. As if we are the high and mighty moralistic people who can only point out faults of others. And if anyone has any Indonesian friends or do business with Indonesians, you will know that when there are issues, you talk. You talk and talk as equal partners until you hug, smile, shake hands and go for a meal to celebrate a good outcome. You simply do not go with a cane and a thick pile of notes telling them what they have done wrong and how they should do right. If you do that, they will still smile, hug, shake hands and then go dinner on their own. They would just ignore you, period. They have enough on their plate to worry what is happening to us, if we behave that way.
What have you got to do then? Go to war?
If that was what we are not prepared to do, then why use this approach where others would just look at us as being spoilt Singaporeans?
Did we see Malaysia complain, jumped up and down at their Indonesian counterparts even when their PSI reached 700? Much higher than ours? Doesn’t that suggest they seem to know something that we don’t.
Perhaps with a country like Indonesia with its sheer size and 200 million people and in its current economic state, there are some things beyond the government control or they need more time?
Really, we as future generations of Singaporeans need to grow up, it’s time to reflect. Don’t wait till other nationalities tower over us in their character strength, geographical advantages and resources abundance then we realize how small we have become. It will be too late then.
by Mr Chong
Some comments :
— To bad… Our govt cannot say “watever!” (-_-)
— Our gov is so gentlemen and so professional that they never once threatened to shut down the Internet. In fact, they tried to react to the high demands of some people whom till now is still not happy with everything n anything..
— Instead of getting together, help one another, look out for one another in time of crisis, one another just keep pointing fingers. So is it going to resolve the haze crisis?