Last week, everyone in class had to write a 1000 word essay on political apathy for our IS module- which (bet you’ve guessed it) nearly made us ‘die’. Upon doing my research, I thought that while the Singapore government made a lot of effort to encourage young people to be involved in the nation’s politics, many still remains nonchalant.
So, for this week’s reflection, I’ve decided to write a little short essay or so called speech to arouse young Singaporeans to salute our nations past achievements. But, I’ve got to first state that an essay I wrote last year inspired this weeks reflection.
“Singapore is moving on to her 41st birthday this year! Singaporeans of different generations have gone through thick and thin together in the forty years of independence. We shared the same tears; the same smiles, laughter and pride, and picked each other up when we fall. Even as we make a step further to the 41st year of the birth of our nation, let us not forget the trails and difficulties our dear forefathers faced in making what Singapore is today.
In the years before Singapore celebrated her first birthday, the British who colonized Singapore was defeated. Japanese troops entered from Malaysia (then known as Malaya) and conquered our country. They performed barbaric practices on loyal countrymen, like forcing water into a prisoner’s mouth and tossed infants through midair and pierced a sword through them. Chinese men were selected from villages, and family heard no more of them. Wives lost their husbands, children lost their fathers and sisters lost their brothers. Instead of enjoying lessons like we do in school now, students in the past were forced to learn Japanese (not willingly like in Ben’s case) and had to salute to Japanese soldiers. Everyone was made to adopt and practice the Japanese culture and pay respect to the Japanese king. Lives under the Japanese were tough and torturous, but if there was one thing our forefathers did, that was not to give up on Singapore.
Through suffering, people built goals and dreams for the nation, held on to hopes and strived onward. Alas, the long awaited day finally arrived. 9th August 1965, Singapore blew her first candle on the birthday cake. Flags were raised, songs were sung and people worked hard, hand in hand to build our Singapore.
Now, in the 41st Anniversary Celebrations, Singaporeans will sing National Songs that symbolize economic success and tolerance among different races and religion. Welcome, my fellow classmates, to the 21st century Singapore, a country of hope, peace and a future.
Singapore was once just a vision of our ancestors. With their blood and sweat, they made their dream come true and built our present home. As Singaporeans, we must never forget our past. Even with obstacles placed before us, we must work together to overcome it and reach the place where we belong. We live in the reality of our forefathers’ dreams, but lets not put an end to these. Continue to strive, children of Singapore, and colour our dreams with vibrant colours. Live the lives of our ancestors learn our history. Together, let us not allow our age, religion or race affect our decision to make Singapore a better place. Every youth plays a part; everyone makes up the 4 million strong Singapore.”
I hope that by reading my short ‘speech’, people will be interested in my nations past and future! While I must confess that the political situation in Singapore don’t affect or interest me much, I do hope that I, together with many other young Singaporeans, will nurture the interest of our country’s politics.
So, fellow classmates, lets flip open to the Straits Times today and read all about Lee Kuan Yew!!