Happy Golden Jubilee Singapore! (9 August 2015)

by Patrick Liew on September 19, 2015

Dear Singapore,

As we celebrate our Golden Jubilee as a nation, I’m grateful and thankful for Singapore, a country that had to go through a difficult birth and was almost stillborn.

Through these 50 challenging but glorious years, I’m especially thankful for three gifts that Singapore has provided to me.

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 clothing 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 3-cm thick woven straw mat from the cupboard, lay it on the floor, and spend the night on it.

At a young age, I had to do part-time work, including helping to run a dinghy 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 like I needed anything else to feel secure and happy.

When I started working, I did not have an academic degree. Thankfully, Singapore is a land of equal opportunities.

I was regularly promoted with major jumps in my salary and became a manager at a young age. I ended my working career as the CEO of the region for a multinational company.

Singapore is a land where anyone can dream of any 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 in it.

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 could be going through a lesson in a classroom, my body would be there but my brain could be in a world of its own.

Over time, many teachers, classmates, and friends helped me to cope with the ADHD.

In fact, they helped me turn the ADHD from being a disorder to becoming a blessing. They worked with me to turn the weaknesses of ADHD into strengths.

Through it all, I was given the opportunity and resources to complete a tertiary education, including the coursework for two master and a doctoral degrees. I’m not sure if I could ever have a finer educational journey if I had not grown up in Singapore.

Singapore has one of the most highly acclaimed educational systems. We can learn almost anything important at any time and from so many different sources of information, training, and education.

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

Thirdly, Singapore has a can-do spirit.

Yes, we grumble a lot. We grumble because we set a high standard in this country. We grumble because we believe in and take ownership of our country.

We grumble because we know that we can change and make things happened. If we don’t, we will just accept and live with the 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.

Within less than one generation, we turned a bright little red dot, comprising mainly of migrant stock, and with low fiscal reserves and little natural resources into one of the most developed and livable countries.

Singapore did not even have enough water to keep the people alive and yet today, we market water-treatment technology all over the world.

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

Because of Singapore, I can travel and do business all over the world. Our red passport is welcomed and respected in many countries.

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

At one point, my real estate company became the first company of its kind to be publicly-listed on SGX. Another company that I co-founded became arguably the largest personal development seminar company in the world.

Growing up as a kampung boy, I could never imagine that some day I would share the speaking platform with world class gurus, prime ministers, presidents, and prominent leaders. I could advice and consult with individuals, enterprises, and other organizations.

I would never have accomplished any of these achievements if not for the fact that I’m a Singaporean.

In the Lion City, you can tap on world class infrastructure, system, and other resources to be the best that you can be and to fulfill your dream.

Singapore is one nation that can give you the courage to dream, platform to learn, and possibilities to things happened.

Thank you Singapore.

Happy 50th Birthday Singapore. May we have an even better 50 years ahead of us.

Majulah Singapura!

Patrick Liew
a proud son of the soil


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

Please ‘Like’ me on https://m.facebook.com/patrickliewsg

Visit my Inspiration blog at https://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/

For my opinions on social affairs, please visit my Transformation blog at http://hsrpatrickliew.wordpress.com/

Please visit my website, http://www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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