My Singapore, Good, Bad and the Ugly

Overheard :

My Singapore, Good, Bad and the Ugly

Singapore has been known for many achievements. The accolades are thick and there are reasons to have more. We are a success stories every nation big and small would like to emulate.

The word Success is synonymous to Singapore. Then again, we need to understand, Singapore is successful because we are a new nation, then. We have little or no history, there is no precedence. Our Curriculum Vitae is short, we are starting on a relatively clean slate. Then we have a brilliant artist, and his team, Mr Lee Kuan Yew and the first generation of cabinet ministers. They rose to the occasion and made this clean slate a masterpiece.

That doesn’t mean we have no failures. To have that much about of success under our belt, we must have failed even more. Just because we are Singapore, does not mean we are exempted from the cruel statistics, we have our fair share of failures.

The problem is, we let our success get to our head, we gloat over what we have achieved, and are actually resting on our laurels! And being Asian, compounded the problem, when we fail, we fail privately, sweep these embarrassing failures under the proverbial carpet. We celebrate our success, and only if we celebrate our failures just as much!

We don’t.

From young, we are not allowed to fail. From young, we are connecting fail equals to bad. And we keep pushing the future generation to greater heights of success. and if we are not able to, we do not acknowledge the failures of not being able to attain success.

The hindsight is missing, we’ve became a nation so bent on finding the next spark of success, that we failed to acknowledge the past struggles. Every National Day Parade paraded pretty much the same theme, our tumultuous past, our national building heritage, how our island nation was founded, the ever popular ‘Singapura’ theme. People are complaining staid. As staid as it may seem, it is part of national brainwashing, for a good cause. in those stories, lies the our foreparents’ insecurities about their future, their struggles, and their Failures, mistakes, and other errors. never once, was there an attempt to draw lessons from those experiences. Instead, we celebrate, and celebrate like crazy.

As our great, albeit young nation approaches 50, there will be more achievements, granted, much more failures, a lot more humble pies to eat. We need to bring this reality to our new population.

There is a general impression that Singapore have a bright shiny past, our history is magnificent, truth to the matter we have a checkered and dark story, not told, swept under the carpet of success. Many many countless faces and names have perished to make our nation great. Many countless funny, stupid, embarrassing mistakes has been made, where are they? Bringing them out, is not an exercise of exorcising the demons of our past, rather, it is an act of maturity as a nation, we can look at our past, with equanimity, for lessons, for teachings, not for forgiveness, or remembrance, we need to do that reflection, so that we can have a future forward as a greater, more matured nation.

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However too many parents are not telling their kids why the NDP is done as such. Even though every theme every year is quite the same I make a point to tell my kids what we’ve gone through as a nation. And of course enjoy the fire works at the end of it! I love every bit of NDP.

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images ->Singapore50

 

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