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New Year Resolution for 2008: Swim faster, Run longer, maybe return to cycling.

Monday, December 31, 2007

WhatAreYouTryingToSay and Other Thoughts of Singapore for the New Year

String up the following sentences:




Yes, say it a few times. Does it sound familiar? No? How about if I were to hint 'Japanese Restaurant'? Rings a bell? Okay, how about if the phrases sound like those coming out from the mouths of the non-japanese greeting staff at Japanese Restaurants? They just blabber japanese phrases as if they were robots spewing out excess lubricating oil. I honestly have no idea what they are trying to say. With that, I question the sincerity of such greetings. Mere formality or true courtesy from the heart? I choose to believe it's the former, as I've never seen any such staff smile with the right kind of enthusiasm. It's utterly rude, if I must say.

Say say say, and that's exactly the point I'm trying to drive at - the social corruption of a beautiful culture due to the inept nature of a restless and young mixture of youths. DOn't get my point?

Look around you (in Singapore). There are so many foreigners residing in Singapore. Globalisation works both ways - we bring in the people, we also bring in the cultures from overseas. In recent years, a plethora of restaurants from different cultures/countries/ethnicity have sprung up. Yes, it is undeniable proof that Singapore is becoming more and more globalised. In fact, it has become so globalised that I think we have somehow lost focus on who and what we, Singaporeans, really are.

Are we - because of the rapid rise in 'culture exposure' - too overwhelmed by external media-induced globalisation?

Does the proverbial 'When in Rome, do what the Romans do' apply in today's Singapore context? Or is it conversely true that 'When in Singapore, do what the Others do'?

Where is the 'Singapore' flavour? What is so unique about 'Uniquely Singapore'?

Our museums such as Images of Singapore (in Sentosa) and the Discovery Centre celebrate the multi-racial 'uniqueness' of Singapore. They present to us that our forefathers have come from the four corners of the world to set up shop here to make Singapore what it is today. They came when Singapore was still establishing itself. Some may say that the current throngs of peoples from all over the world is analogous to what our forefathers did, but somehow it is different.

We are Singaporeans. We grew up on government campaigns that encourage us to be courteous, to stop at 2 babies, to keep our hair short, to drink our milk everyday. Growing up in the late 70's and 80's, we've always been exposed to the ubiquitous posters from the People's Association and other government agencies. We've always seen 'the 4 races' depicted ever so commonly in our national holidays and festivities. What do we see on our posters now? Your MP's face? Is that it?

Perhaps it may not apply in today's context because we have moved on and we have moved up the social ladder of developing nations. But we have a different set of issues today and we cannot expect the government to constantly remind us to stop littering or stop spitting on the streets.

And yet we have educated idiots who cannot read signs, and they think that amusing kids by shamelessly feeding wild monkeys is a form of 'education'. To think that such idiots come out with the stupidest of excuses!

A melting pot for migrants. The Land of Opportunity. Is that what Singapore has become? With that, have we lost our sense of direction such that we become selfish with no commonsense. Is the true Singaporean a dying breed?

What's a true Singaporean? Simply put, he's one with the zest for challenge and community spirit, serving the country without complain and with pride and honour. He shall not succumb to external pressures that compromise his patriotism for Singapore.

You laugh. Sure, coz he's a dying breed. After all, such examples in public service are a rarity.

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