Welcome Home.

by Patrick Liew on October 16, 2013

On Sunday, 13 October 2013, I was on board SQ 001 and it was returning to Changi Airport, the most beautiful airport in the world.

The Captain came on the air and made the usual announcement. Towards the end, he said something that put a smile on my face.

“To all fellow Singaporeans and permanent residents, welcome home.”

I was not sure if that was part of the standard script. That was the first time I heard such a statement.

“Welcome Home,” these two words brought sunshine to my heart.

For the past few months, I’ve traveled to many countries. While I enjoyed their sights and sounds, it was nothing like home.

Singapore is a country where I can pursue my dreams. A country where I can do whatever I want to do and enjoy whatever I want to enjoy.

A country where I can leave my family and loved ones and know they are safe. Truly, my home.

In the past few months, I was engaged in a free-for-all, no holds barred discourse with some of the smartest people I’ve ever met. They were from different countries, background and culture.

We had been discussing and debating about the merits of different systems in the world. Singapore might not be everybody’s favourite place but there was no denial it was widely admired and respected for its achievements.

During the flight, I happened to sit besides a well-educated and articulate man. He has been staying in Singapore for many years and was probably influenced by our expectation of high standards or some might call it, hard-to-satisfy demands.

He was rattling the usual complaints that have been repeated again and again on some online sites. As I was sitting on the centre seat, There was no way I could escape and therefore, I had to listen to his grousing for the initial part of the trip.

Many of his oft-repeated arguments have never been questioned. They have never been thought through deeply enough, and supported by solid evidence.

Some of the lies, half truths, and misinformation have unfortunately been accepted as facts. Perception in this case has become a dominant and domineering influence and a reality.

Long ago, I had decided not to engage in a meaningless argument. I had hung up my debater’s hat.

I realised even if I won an argument, it was not the best way to change mindset. Worst, I might even lose a friend.

After awhile of listening to him, I started to ask him questions. For example,

“How do you know it’s true?” “Do you have a better policy or option?” “Which multicultural country with almost no natural resources has achieved better results than us?”

At one point, he mentioned about the Finnish educational system. Fortunately, I had done some research about it and was able to show why we had a better system. At the least, it was a better system for Singapore.

At one point, I could tell he became doubtful about his belief and arguments. When his mind was open, I could share with him the virtues and strengths of our country.

As I was sharing with him, I became more grateful for our bright little red dot. I’m proud of what we have done and achieved in less than one generation.

If the clarion call to defend our country should ever be made and I pray it will never happen, I will put on my greens. I will defend our country and way of life.

It’s worth putting my life on the line for my home.

I have always loved Singapore. On that flight, I fell in love with her again.

To all fellow Singaporeans and permanent residents, I’m happy to be home.


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

By the way, I have also recorded other reflections.

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

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

Please visit my website, www.patrickliew.net

Please read my reflections and continue to teach me.

Life is FUNtastic!


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