WE THE CITIZENS OF SINGAPORE PLEDGE…..
9th of August, and that’s tomorrow. For 47 years, and tomorrow will be the 48th, Singapore celebrates its independence; its becoming of a nation. All that is happening in the country surrounding this day put focus on one theme : “A united people, regardless of race, language or religion”.
When Mr S Rajaratnam penned the Singapore Pledge, foremost on his mind was the extreme diversity, if not differences that reside in the psyche of “fresh citizens”, young and old. There was no nation before that, only inhabitants, and “we” don’t share any common vision, culture, nor way of life.
Each man, each family, and each community toiled and lived for its own regardless of prevailing circumstances. As long as one does intrude into the other, life had been largely conflicts free. Common space are no man’s land. The Singapore Pledge was our first step into nation building.
48 long years of nation building, today many commentators are saying that Singapore is at the crossroad of change. The Singapore pledge rises to the top of our social agenda and is being tested for its tenacity.
- Is it really relevant today?
- Who is a citizen of Singapore?
National symbols have been challenged by some for their validity as to whether these are mere political symbols representing a certain way of thinking and doing things.
48 years forward is a challenging time for the people of Singapore, not just the government. We are called to think hard, where in the past it had been plain idle cruising. We have to thrash out what Singapore is going to be for the balance half of the century. Going forward, it will never be the same.
A two-party parliament could possibly be what Singapore is evolving into, but who could be the other party that can equiliberate the PAP in terms of real intrinsic values? That political party needs to be made up of men and women who are selfless, people with known abilities to govern Singapore. Should such a party arises, it should be seen a one that prevents the nation of Singapore from disintegration rather than one that prolongs the existence of the PAP.
The incontrovertible truth is Singapore cannot do without the PAP, and this is acknowledged by members of the opposition parties, who knows the reality and the perils that follows if PAP falls.
The other incontrivertible truth is many Singaporeans do not want the PAP to hold absolute power and the number is growing. No amount of persuasion nor remedy works to past policies can changed such dissenting mindset. But the real danger Singaporeans and Singapore faces is these dissenting minds have no other avenues to voice and to release their disaffection except going to those that are bent on dividing, disintegration and destroying Singapore’s foundation structures that had been built over half a century.
I too agree that Singapore is at the crossroad of change, but having gone through many crossroads in my own life journey taught me the third incontrivertable truth : Crossroads come and go. Unless you are absolutely sure that the chosen way is safe and that is the best way forward, staying put to wait for the next crossroad may bring you surprisingly better outcomes.
We the citizens of Singapore, let’s pledge once again to be one uinite people. Regardless of race, language, religion or political thinking, To build a democratic society based on justice and equality, so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.
by Anthony Kan