“I publish this unaltered salute for the twentieth consecutive year and reaffirm my salute to Singapore ” by Chew Chong Khay, Frank ( ND 2013)

I’m a Singaporean; my forefathers arrived here in the early days, back in the 1880s. Through the years. my family’s fortunes have ebbed and flowed, just like the tides of our shores. I am a true son of the soil. My past, present and future lies here. My own destiny also rises and falls, sometimes just meandering but that is my fate and, most of the time, my own doing.

I come from a generation in which life was characterised by many fears and uncertainties: just getting an education was a strain on my parents’ limited resources, and there were the dark clouds of Confrontation, the British withdrawal and racial riots hovering over us.

Life was not a bed of roses but I was too young to comprehend the sacrifices my parents were making for me. It was only years later that I could understand why my mother stayed up all night when I had a fever, or why my late father went out to work every day when the sun was high or the rain was hard. Even when he was extremely ill, the tears in his eyes were not so much the result of his pain but because we were young and vulnerable then. Correspondingly, I am certain the leaders of Singapore went through the same trials and tribulations during the formative years of our young nation. 

Today, I am extremely grateful to our leaders, past and present, and especially to the father and architect of modern Singapore, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew.

Through his far-sighted visions for the country, he has brought about a stable and thriving environment for us to live and work in, one in which I am able to care for my parents in the way that I hope to. At the same time, I am able to give my children what my parents had to strive so hard for in the past. 

I now wish all the people of Singapore especially Singapore’s leaders – past and present – the very best of health. May they be able to bring themselves to enjoy the hard-earned fruit of their labour – what they have created and worked so long and hard to achieve.

An afterthought… When I was young. I did not recognise the importance or significance of national service. It was merely a requirement that had to be fulfilled.

If given a chance to live that part of my life again. I would do it wholeheartedly because I am now convinced of the need to defend my country and family.

At the same time, if I could go back to the troubled years of the 50s and cast my vote, I would have voted exactly as my father did.”

Today, I publish this unaltered salute for the twentieth consecutive year and reaffirm my salute to Singapore.

Thank you Singapore! Happy National Day!

Chew Chong Khay, Frank

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Photo: Mr Lee Kuan Yew looks happy!#HappyBirthdaySingapore #NDPeeps #ndp2013 #nationalday #OneSingapore #LKY #LeeKuanYewphoto by Mr. Christopher Tan, PAP Mountbatten branch

photo by Mr. Christopher Tan, 9 Aug 2013, NDP @ Marina Bay Floating Platfrom

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