Friday, August 09, 2013

I am 48

Oh no no no, I am actually older than 48 this year. But my country celebrates its 48th year of nationhood. I suppose it is also its independence day. Just the other day, some of my older friends reflected on how, in their lifetimes, they had sung 'God save the Queen' when Singapore was a colony of Great Britain since its founding in 1819, 'Negara Ku' during its short time as part of the Malay federation (also known as Malaysia) from 1963 to 1965, and thereafter 'Majullah Singapura' since separation and independence.

My father was counted among this generation. He probably sang another national anthem of the country of his birth. My mother reminded me how my father loved Singapore. He would always make it a point to have the national flag flying from his house's window come this time of the year. I suppose Singapore gave him the peace and stability to raise a family of 5 boys even though he never earned much.  Then again, we never needed much more. He was a good father, faithful husband, and loyal Singaporean.

Some would say his generation is dying out. Today we have more people lambasting the government at every opportunity, justifiable or not. But this is not necessarily bad. It's just that other things beyond mere survival has taken over. Most of us own our houses, some even have 2 or more. We have jobs, and healthcare is first rate, if only somewhat pricey. We have become more vocal. The good and the bad has come out of this. Those who act irresponsibly get whacked, as they should. Some in power don't deserve their pay, and they have answered for their incompetence. Probably a few more should face this punishment. It is probably only a matter of time.

On the whole, this country just works. Anyone denying this should try staying elsewhere. You never know what you miss until, err, you miss it.

As a person who has grown up all his life singing only one national anthem, I say 'Majullah Singapura', hopefully forever.

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