After last weekend, one might associate the Central Provident Fund (CPF) and Hong Lim Park negatively with shouting protesters gatecrashing with the national flag into an otherwise non-partisan charity event.
Let us not forget that the park,the pension scheme and the national flag deserve to be acknowledged more seriously.
At a time of squalid, congested living conditions that coolies in colonial Singapore had to contend with, ethnic Chinese businessman Cheah Hong Lim made donations to open a public park in 1885.
The CPF was introduced in 1955, when life expectancy was below the age of 60, in anticipation of future retirement needs.
The national flag was first adopted in 1959, when the Union Jack still fluttered on public buildings.
Collectively, the park, the scheme and our flag reflect the values of philanthropy, prudence and purpose that have, in many ways, laid the foundation stones for contemporary Singapore.
After hearing from a relative about how her anxieties were lessened by the patient advice of an officer at the CPF building, I was also reminded of the tireless but quiet efforts of those serving in the front line.
Before criticising the National Parks Board for allowing two events at Hong Lim Park, we should be reminded of the spirit of co-existence in Singapore, where mosques, temples and churches can be located side by side.
Despite it being designated as Speakers’ Corner to allow for freer speech, let us remember Cheah’s legacy by giving the park the respect it deserves as a shared space.
Finally, if we do not treat the national flag with dignity, how can we deserve to be Singaporeans?
Article from Today – Voices http://www.todayonline.com/print-edition/am/03-10-2014#page-27
Additional note: Petition to revoke Han Hui Hui’s citizenship surpasses 5000 signatures in less than a week!!!