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

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Have you seen a whale, one that guided someone to make this year's MTV for NDP Theme Song?

I sent the following letter to the Straits Times Forum. Let's see if they'll publish it.

I was so proud of Singapore when I first read the lyrics to this year's National Day theme song "Shine for Singapore".

"Have you heard a song,
One that moved you, one that made you sing along?
Your dreams and hopes will all come true
If you believe that every vision begins with you.....
Shine for Singapore
This is your song
Deep inside your heart where it belongs
It'll always stay, strive for your goals.
You will achieve with visions so bold..."

The song made me reminisce the rest of the national day songs of past NDPs. All of them, whenever sung or hummed in the head, invoked a sense of pride and a sense of belonging. Our usual complaints of fare hikes and increase in ERP gantries are all overshadowed by the fact that our pragmatic Government has boldly moved forward to be one of the best in the world in many aspects including prosperity, security, technology, etc. We cannot really deny the fact that we've all been part of our nation's progress to what it is today.

"Shine for Singapore. This is your song." And then I saw the MTV for the theme song. It reeked of plagiarism and the total lack of originality and creativity. The MTV is the same as one that was done by the 'Japan Ad Council', one that ironically had a tagline that said "How to encourage your child? Use your imagination."

The uncanny similarities between 'our song' and the 'Imagination Whale' version on youtube lean towards what I see as a lack of respect for intellectual property, much less imagination and creativity. It's even worse when this is meant to be our national song!

What have we become? I'm totally disappointed. I'll still shine for Singapore in other ways, but acknowledging this song as 'my song'? No thanks, I don't need the accolade.