8. Happy 53rd National Day – Dear Singapore.

by Patrick Liew on August 27, 2018

8. Happy 53rd National Day – Dear Singapore.

I’m grateful and thankful for Singapore, a country that had to go through a difficult birth and was almost stillborn.

Through these challenging but glorious years, it has grown to be widely admired and a model to many developing countries.

I’m especially thankful for three gifts that Singapore has provided to me and many others.

First, Singapore is a land of dreams.

I was born in poverty and grew up under difficult circumstances.

While I was growing up, I did not remember having any toys.

Many of my clothings were hand-me-downs.

I did not even have a proper bed of my own until I was 21.

Every evening, I had to retrieve a 3cm thick woven straw mat from a cupboard, lay it on the floor, and spent the night on it.

At a young age, I had to do part-time work, including helping to run a dinky little stall at Sungei Road to earn extra pocket money, and to stay alive.

Despite all the challenges along the way, I’ve never felt like I was in need.

I have never felt I needed anything more to feel secure and happy.

When I started working, I did not have an academic degree.

Thankfully, Singapore is a land of equal opportunity and endless possibilities.

I was regularly promoted with substantial jumps in my salary and became a manager at a young age.

I concluded my working career as the CEO of the region for a multinational company.

Singapore is a land where anyone can dream of all possibilities.

A land with all the building blocks to turn possibilities into realities.

That’s why I had the courage to launch myself into the world of entrepreneurship and investment, and persevere through a long and arduous journey to find my place under the sun.

Singapore helps to keep the fire of my dream burning within me!

Secondly, Singapore is an oasis for learning and growth.

Throughout my formal education, I did not realize I was given a gift and it was termed as “Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD or ADD)”.

In short, I would be physically going through a lesson in a classroom yet my mind could have drifted into a world of its own.

Over time, many teachers, classmates, and friends had helped me coped with my ADHD.

In fact, they helped me turn the ADHD from being a burden to a blessing.

They worked with me to turn the pitfalls of ADHD into launch pads for a better life.

Through it all, I was given the opportunity and resources to complete a tertiary education, including the coursework for a bachelor degree, two masters and a doctorate degree.

I’m not sure if I could ever have a finer educational journey had I not grown up in Singapore.

Singapore has one of the most highly acclaimed educational systems.

We can learn almost anything at any time, and from many sources such as the internet, skills training programme, and formal education.

We are one of the few, if not the only country, that not only promotes lifelong learning but has our government provides cash and incentives to encourage us to learn, grow, and become more productive citizens.

Thirdly, Singapore has a can-do spirit.

Yes, we grumble a lot.

To be fair, when we are in Singapore, we grumble about Singapore.

But when we go overseas, we continue to grumble.

We grumble why other countries are not like our Singapore.

I once spoke in a global forum and told the audience that our grumbling spirit is both a strength and a weakness.

Think about it.

We grumble because we believe in and take ownership of our country, otherwise why do we care?

We grumble because we set a high standard in this country.

It takes effort to achieve these standards.

That’s the only basis for us to grumble about.

More importantly, we grumble because we know that we can change and make things happen to achieve these standards we set for ourselves.

If we don’t, we will just accept and live with status quo.

That’s why, in Singapore, there are many success stories to inspire you.

If you open your eyes, you can literally see miracles all around you.

In less than one generation, we turned a bright little red dot, mainly made up of migrants, with low fiscal reserves and little natural resources, into one of the most developed and liveable country.

Back then, Singapore did not even have enough water to keep its people alive.

Now, we market cutting-edge water-treatment technologies all over the world.

It has been forecasted that if we don’t do something about climate change, in due time, there may be a global drought.

If there’s one country that can survive such drought, it’s probably Singapore.

Many of the trees and plants were imported and were not supposed to survive on our soil conditions.

Yet, we found ways to make them thrive and beautify our land.

As you travel all over the world, you’ll know that Singapore is widely admired and modelled after.

Leaders from many parts of the world come to Singapore to live, work, learn, and play.

Because of Singapore, I can travel and do businesses all over the world.

Our red passport is welcomed and respected in many countries.

In fact, Singapore’s passport is now ranked number 1 as “the Most Powerful Passport” in the world by Arton Capital’s Global Passport Power Rank 2017.

This means it has the highest global mobility in the world.

Through the entrepreneurial journey, I have helped to list three different companies in three different stock exchanges in their respective countries.

I’m in the process of listing the fourth company in the USA.


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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