Happy Birthday Singapore

Living abroad didn’t weaken my identity and love being a Singaporean.
On the opposite, it strengthened my love for my country. Afterall, I am reminded by almost everyone (on a daily basis) that I am a Singaporean. On my way to work, the taxi driver would recognise my accent and he would ask “Hong Kong or Taiwan?”. I would answered, “No, I am a Singaporean.”
At work, we Singaporeans would flock together…having lunch, dinner together. And when I travel outside China, I would always stand in the line with the “Ang Moh”. By the time it is my turn, the custom officer would ask “Singaporean?” I love my identity and I am proud to carry one too. If you think in terms of “being a limited Chinese edition”…being a Singaporean Chinese means as much as a ABC. We have our own limited serial number (which is our IC) and our birth rates are falling… It only means that we are collector’s item! (Wow..Echo just got one collector’s item!)
Funny it may seems… It is not about how good Singapore is (which makes me love my nation so much)…to be honest, I say, we are losing steam compared with developing cities like Shanghai. Let us not look into our ever-so-crazy addiction in achieving global rankings and status. These ranking means nothing for a citizen. Perhaps, it may means a lot for a cash-rich foreign investing enterprise. Afterall, you must have one of the world’s best workforces in order to achieve status like this. And I do agree.. Singapore talents are creative, hardworking, honest and dynamic. (Maybe we should polish our manners a little, that is all.)
However, the reality is here. It comes a day when we can no longer claim to have the world’s busiest port or tallest hotel or best airport… The Esplanade and the casino cannot save us at all. In one of my business trip to Macau last week, I was dining with my client when the boss of the outlet sat with us. Knowing I am a Singaporean, he started to tell me about his trip to Singapore.
He said “I have no idea what is so great about Singapore.. There is nothing to see, nothing to play and nothing good to eat. If you want to talk about playing, we have Disneyland in HK, casino in Macau and XXX joints every cities. Your Sentosa is so disappointing!”
“Shopping? Our shopping district is far bigger and better than your Orchard Road. If you want to talk about sight-seeing, we have mountains, rivers and anicent ruins. Your Chinatown and Little India are just gimmicks. And if you talk about the good food, it can’t be compared to China too.”
While this was just a casual talk, I can’t help but to defend my identity. His words, so frank and sharp. I felt like a stupid fool, sitting there, being insulted at blank point. Just before I wanted to defend our national brand, the boss said..
It is the good quality (人的素质)  within the people of Singapore that impress me. Not the tallest building or the tangible things you see.”
Er..what you mean by that?” I asked him in my broken chinese.
Your Singapore Identity  – ever so polite, so gracious and the world class professionalism.” He said. “These are the things we cannot build overnight.”
I understood what he meant. For the next 30 minutes, we chatted like old friends.. chatting about my days in Shanghai and how he started his business.
Today is 9th August – our National Day. I clearly remember those days when I would hang out my flag outside the window. Year after year, the red and white would just hanged out for 1 month outside my window.. I have never give so much thought about my identity and origin. Now, I can fully understand why Martin was so crazy creating that “Stickapura” campaign. It is an identity we take for granted back home. Like the American, we do have a dream worth chasing for.
We just need to remember who we are. Our roots, our values and our dream.
Happy Birthday, Singapore!



6 Responses to Happy Birthday Singapore

  1. Big says:

    Sam.. you are just so Sam-Seng…

  2. Sam says:

    I AM SAM TAN!!

  3. Sam says:

    Just to remind you that we Shin ga puru jin has more trees and fresh air than polluted and simply smeelly smoggy HK. At least we dun need to turn off our lights for 3 minutes to make this point…….. wahahaha . Tell that to your HK client??? Or is he reading this now??? wahahahaha

  4. Sam says:

    Singapore identity – Speaking in English and Swearing in Hokkien – KNNBCCB -Wat the F you talking about????   Where else in this part if the world uses languages like this?? Simi LJ??I’m proud to be a Shin ga po ru Jin!!

  5. Stella says:

    opps its me, lah! this LIVE Messenger thingy just didnt allow me to type in my name!!!
    God Bless, Joe
    Greetings in Singapore,
    Stella Tam

  6. Stella says:

    Happy Birthday Singapore You Are 41st years old today!
    great fireworks displays! Not forgetting the parade & march pass! i just love to see all of the proud officers in their nice ironed uniform standing out there so smart <Standing In The Gaps> for Singapore!
    Singapore i’m so proud of you! Thank You Jesus for protecting this island of Singapore, continue to bless Singapore as we Breakthrough into the promise land!! Amen!
    God Bless, Joe!

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