My Contrarian View On Singapore’s Grumbling Spirit

by Patrick Liew on April 3, 2017

Singaporeans are known for grumbling.

The late Mr LKY was once quoted for saying that we are the “grumblingest” nation in the world.

To be fair, when we are in SG, we grumble about SG. But when we go overseas, we will still grumble.

We grumble why their country is not like ours.

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. That’s the basis for having something to grumble about.

More importantly, we grumble because we know that we can change and make things happen. 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.

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 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 the drought, it’s probably Singapore.

If you look around you, you may know that 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.

Perhaps, because of the positive aspects of our grumbling spirit, it drove up upwards on the path of progress.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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