3. Happy 53rd National Day – Lest We Forget!

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

3. Happy 53rd National Day – Lest We Forget!

In 1965, I remember standing outside my neighbor’s house.

I was watching a black-and-white TV programme when it was interrupted for an important announcement.

Singapore had just become an independent nation.

After the announcement, there were no major celebrations on the street.

None of the usual jubilation over the birth of a new nation.

On that day, I remember Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew cried when he broke the news to the nation.

There were fears and worries in many corners of island.
Many questions were left hanging in the air.

“Can Singapore survive?”

“What will happen to our future?”

“Will we have to struggle and suffer to make ends meet?”

It was clear in our minds that Singapore was a small country.

We did not have any major natural resources.

Or even have enough water to keep ourselves alive.

Our people were mostly of migrant stock.

Many of them harboured desire to return to their “motherland.”

We were a multicultural society that unfortunately was not in complete harmony.

There were many protests and civil unrests.

Many buses were burned and properties destroyed.

Curfews were enacted every now and then and we were not allowed to go out to play on the streets.

We even had to stock up food in the schools just in case it was not safe to go back home.

I am sharing my personal experience of the past because I hope we will never forget where we came from.

How our leaders and people had to work hard and smart to build this beautiful country.

We came a long way – from being a relatively poor country to being one of the most admired countries in the world.

On Singapore’s 53rd birthday, I do not have a new wish for my country.

I have the same wish that took Singapore from where we were to where we are today.

I wish for the same wish that has been beautifully crafted in the Singaporean Pledge:

“We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity
and progress for our nation.”

In all my company’s major events, we sing the National Anthem.

We do it because we owe a lot to our country.

We want to remind ourselves to continue to serve the country well.

Do everything to protect, love and improve Singapore for our future generations.

Majulah Singapura!


I hope this message will find a place in your heart.

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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