Home > Singapore Scene, This is MY flag > This is MY country, this is MY flag

This is MY country, this is MY flag

We had friends over for dinner. The conversation very quickly turned to political and social issues. Pat, (not his real name), in an emotional outburst that is quite unlike him, said, “This year, we must all fly the national flag to celebrate National Day.”

I was a little surprised. Huh? The Singapore flag? Err…what’s the connection? Pat continued adamantly, “It is OUR flag, it does not represent any party, ruling party included. It represents Singapore and Singaporeans.”

Pat is absolutely right. In all our angst we must not lose sight of this fact. We are making “noise” not because we love to hear the sound of our own voice, but because we love our country. We feel for our countrymen.

There is no better time than this to remind ourselves of this. We are surrounded by foreigners. At any shopping mall, I feel outnumbered. At the hawker centres, I feel the food has lost its local flavour. In any office, I hear tagalog or heavily accented mandarin. Sue, Pat’s wife remarked that during lunch hour, the aroma of Indian curry fills the office because that’s the main nationality of the staff in that department, and they eat home packed lunches. When I pick up the call centre numbers, the voices on the other end often do not sound local.

I, we, need something to remind ourselves we are still in Singapore.

To add insult to injury, I see policies that disadvantage Singaporeans. I feel as if, we are children whose parents find lacking, and they are adopting many others to replace us.

I have seen more poor and needy, I hear of more people becoming homeless than ever. They are Singaporeans too.

To all our Ministers, MPs, NMPs, it is not which party you belong to that is of primary importance to us. It is whose interests you serve. You are Singaporeans before you are PAP members, WP members or whichever party you pledge allegiance to.

Never have the lyrics of this song meant so much to me.

 This is my country, this is my flag

This is my future, this is my life

This is my family, these are my friends

WE are Singapore, Singaporeans.

Fellow Singaporeans, will you fly the flag too? To remind those in power Singapore belongs to Singaporeans, and not to political parties or economic institutions.

If you are in agreement, spread the word to your friends. Let’s make a meaningful statement with our actions.

I have decided to add a few more words to my original post. I understand why many will choose not to fly the flag – and I hope our leaders can see the reasons. This way, they need not have to apologise as they did during GE 2011 about how they did not realise the anger on the ground. Go with your heart, and do not condemn each other for differing decisions.

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  1. AK
    July 27, 2011 at 5:11 am

    Yeah..all your foreigner friends waiting in long queue to get their free and easy pass to SG citizenships and PRs are also flying the same flag..While the idea is noble and right, you’re not addressing the root cause of the problem..people’s unwillingness to fly their flag this time round because they don’t want to do it for show anymore. They’re truly threatened by the these immigrants (or call it whatever fancy talented name you want to give) and they are being swept under the carpet by the weak and ineffectual govt who are unwilling to confront and have a decent open debate with its people. Cowards

    • SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
      July 27, 2011 at 5:20 am

      No by no means am i addressing the root cause of the problems. I too feel the same way. Hence i was taken aback at his statement.
      To fly the flag this year is symbolic of us staking our claim, to show that we are fighting unfair policies, not our country. Perhaps i just cannot find the words to express what i really mean – but when my friend spoke, i understood what he meant. I will not add any more here.
      Just go with your heart.

  2. Lesser Mortal
    July 27, 2011 at 6:14 am

    TC,RC…where’s my flag???
    Still waiting for your Bangala staff…sigh

    • SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
      July 27, 2011 at 7:01 am

      Bangla talent? have a great afternoon

  3. Lesser Mortal
    July 27, 2011 at 6:16 am

    Uniquely Stinkapore….
    citizen encouraged to wear “national” colour BUT government all wear WHITE!!!

  4. AK
    July 27, 2011 at 6:56 am

    Think I understand where you are coming from. We are singaporeans first and we should fly our flag. I’ll do so in my own private home.

    Remember, when you embrace and fly the flag and be a participant to put up the spectacle, amongst all the spectators that are watching, I’ll say maybe 1/3 are Foreigners (talents/tourists/friends/PRs etc). Your leaders (ie. PAP) will interpret it as “singaporeans are still proud to be singaporeans, eager to be part of the wayang we organized, and welcome new singaporeans (because we demonstrated so profusely at the stadium & they are touched) and our MIW said we’ve given them our love, our mandate to run the place and policies as it is. They are very good at interpreting things the way they want it especially when you show it to them.

    I applaud your reason, but the action that accompanies it will give you the reverse results that is unintended for. Just saying.

    • SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
      July 27, 2011 at 7:00 am

      Yes … haha – tats y what i did not add was that my friend wanted to put a label underneath that says it is a Singapore flag, not a PAP flag as emphasis. I am also putting up in my residence only. I also know how u feel re the interpretation. Thanks for popping by.

  5. July 27, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Honestly i’ll find it hard to fly the flag. I totally agree with your blog entry. However, PAP has been so synonymous with Singapore and Singapore = PAP, its so hard to do that.

    The absence of flags do raise angst at the party or its grassroots. I’d rather not fly and show them how unhappy we are in our own home, own country.

    Few years back the same thing happened and PAP had to come out to say something. I guess they still don’t get it, after 3 months since elections, things are back to normal.

  6. Singapore is Not Spelt $ingapore
    July 27, 2011 at 10:16 am

    @ Jeffrey Tan
    You capture my sentiments exactly.

    As long as PAP is in power, I will refuse to fly the flag.

    And PAP themselves have dis-respected symbols of Singapore.
    Remember a certain Lee Kuan Yew denouncing our National Pledge as nothing more than an aspiration in Parliament?

    • SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
      July 27, 2011 at 10:36 am

      i have not heard that one about the pledge.

      i hope the powers that be hear your opinions too. I fully understand your feelings – for me, i am reclaiming the flag for Singaporeans, it is symbolic for me. For those of you who won’t, my prayer is that our leaders wake up to the reasons why you won’t.

  7. VictorLee
    July 27, 2011 at 11:00 am

    Do u know that china, indian, myanmar and etc ppl change there IC to PINK? And they call themself singaporean? Do u think they celebrite OUR NATIONAL DAY? They dun even bother.. It’s juz another HOLIDAY..

  8. Singapore is Not Spelt $ingapore
    July 27, 2011 at 11:06 am

    http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/449862/1/.html

    Vigorous debate on nation-building tenets
    By Hoe Yeen Nie, Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 19 August 2009 2226 hrs

    SINGAPORE: Parliament has adopted an amended version of the motion on the nation building tenets after much debate.

    The original motion proposed by Nominated MP Viswa Sadasivan on Tuesday was met with much criticism from MPs.

    Many felt that it glossed over Singapore’s achievements and did not reflect the progress the republic had made after attaining self-governance in 1959.

    Mr Zainudin Nordin, Mayor of Central Singapore District, said: “The original motion overlooks the progress and the very exemplary manner in which we have delivered all our policies even-handedly on the basis of justice, equality and meritocracy.

    “I see no reason why we should only emphasize the principles of meritocracy, justice and equality in economic policies. Rather, in the last 50 years, we’ve achieved so much in our nation-building, that we’re often cited as an example of a good government that has brought prosperity and progress for its people through its multiracial policies.”

    To this, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew proposed the addition of the word “aspirations” to the amended motion. He explained that the tenets in the National Pledge are not an ideology as described by Mr Viswa.

    Mr Lee said: “We expressly state in our Constitution, a duty on behalf of the government, not to treat everybody as equal. It’s not reality, it’s not practical. It will lead to grave and irreparable damage if we work on that principle. So this was an aspiration.”

    Mr Lee added that while it may take Singapore decades if not centuries to create a level playing field for the minorities, it is necessary to do so.

    Other members of the House also rose to debate the principles that underpin the National Pledge. It was a vigorous debate that saw 15 MPs speak over two days.

    Some like the MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, Penny Low, agreed that nation-building is a “work in progress”, while others spoke of the need to foster a sense of community rootedness among the youth.

    Education and Second Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen took issue with Mr Viswa’s criticism of Singapore’s political system. He said: “Let me be unequivocal about the government’s signals here. We cannot afford to stand still, rooted complacently but precariously in status quo.

    “We must move with the times, and respond to changing circumstances, needs and challenges. But each time we make a move, we must not do so unthinkingly but consider carefully each step forward, carving our own path towards a better society and a more vigorous economy.

    “Singapore and Singaporeans cannot afford to ape any model, but must choose or create a solution which is best suited to our nation.”

    Dr Ng added that the government had consistently presented a “frank accounting” of the realities facing the republic, and if the PAP government was corrupt or incompetent, it would be voted out.

    Mr Viswa, in reply, said he had been misunderstood on some points. “I’m not saying that the government is stuffing ballot boxes or doing things that are unconstitutional,” he said.

    “I was highlighting a lingering perception that I sensed on the ground that politically it’s not a level playing field, and if you don’t address this, there’ll be growing cynicism, especially among our youth, who choose to express their displeasure through angry postings on the Net, which is not useful,” he added.

    Mr Viswa also clarified that when calling for a repoliticisation of Singaporeans, what he envisaged was not riots on every street corner, but simply getting more people interested in politics. He said he believed this would help Singapore going forward.

  9. macy
    July 27, 2011 at 11:37 am

    If you fly the flag it means you support PAP and its policy ….. which is what they want you to do …and they will say see our policy works.

  10. jypt98
    July 27, 2011 at 11:38 am

    Actually, most of the flags I saw put up up till now (19:30 27th Jul) are either put up by foreigners or by the council. I would actually feel more Singaporean by NOT putting up the flag.

  11. July 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Fly our flag? I rather go fly kites with my childrens…,,wasting my time. The originality of singapore has already been destroyed, distorted, torn apart by those traitors and we have to fly our flag during national day to celebrate with those aliens turned new citizens? C’mon, you must be joking….

  12. christine
    July 28, 2011 at 11:41 am

    I will NOT fly the flag during National Day. Many many years ago, when i was still a proud and happy Singaporean, we were disallowed from flying the flag except on certain designated days around National Day … because the ruling party ruled so. Therefore, I will NEVER fly the flag during the days when the ruling party wants me to. Until the day they give me the RIGHT to fly my country’s flag any damn day I want. Which in the present situation I do not feel like doing anyway.
    Oh yes, I will be celebrating National Day in my own way and in my heart, but I will not do it by watching the Parade or doing any of the other manufactured things that my self-annointed betters prescribe for me.
    And I will be rededicating myself to the promise of Singapore as enshrined in our Pledge. I believed those words all those years when I said it in school and I believe in them even more than ever now.

  13. SpeakSpokeWriteWrote
    July 28, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    I am closing the comments to this post. The above will be the last. We have made our opinions known. Let those who have ears, hear. Thank you all for coming by.

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