It's been forever, hasn't it? Hahahahaha. It's another national day again, and this time, I'm very happy to say that I am done with my national service. Yes, I have that pink IC in my wallet now and it feels bloody fantastic.
Been a helluva year too, with the General Elections and all. I find it quite interesting how Singaporeans are experiencing a political awakening of sorts. Even at the last elections things were nowhere near as frenzied as they were this time round. And now, even with the Presidential Elections, things are heating up. Which brings me to this: I am STAGGERED by how some Singaporeans still love to put down, complain and whine about this fair nation of ours. I know people who openly profess how much they hate this place and would much rather move to a place with "liberties" such as the UK or USA. I mean, really?
I have my moments of frustration with Singapore. I'm sure everyone does. I hate it when the government still seems (to me, at least) to marginalise Polytechnic students in terms of transport fares and chances at university education. I hate it that I hear rumours of the government "desperately" offering and "hard-selling" university places to foreigners, begging them to come because of a perceived lack of talent amongst Singaporeans and allow them to use Singapore as a stepping stone to an education in the US or UK, depriving a deserving local of a place. I hate it that the people who weren't born here receive better benefits than those who have given so much for their nation. I loathe the fact that Singaporeans are not given a chance to shine, our talents dismissed. I loathe the fact that our founding father makes it sound as if we, as a country, lack talent and therefore it is imperative that more foreigners are brought in to make up for it. I hate the fact that Singaporeans are so uptight and hypocritical that they make a GIANT fuss about someone saying "fucking" in her valedictorian speech. I dislike the fact that the offspring of powerful people are given an easier ride in NS. I hate the way the entire SAF is run- how it is every man for himself and one really needs to learn how to play the system to survive. But that's another story.
And yet... I love the weather here when there are clear blue skies and sunny days. I love the fact that we have such diverse cuisines available everywhere and at low prices. I like the fact that our movie tickets are probably among the cheapest IN THE WORLD. I like that all our phones come with data plans with an absurdly high data cap. I like how connected we are to the world. I am thankful that we have so many modern amenities and things here are run more smoothly than in other countries. I enjoy flying SQ. I will not hesitate to speak up if someone disparages Singapore or Singaporeans. I would defend the country should it ever be threatened. I cheer like a maniac when Singapore beats Malaysia in football, you won't find me hesitating when it comes to swearing at/taunting them in a match. And I have fulfilled my obligation as a son of Singapore, even if it did cost me one good right knee in the process. I love this place because it is where my friends and family are, because it is a place which gave me all my happiest memories.
I think people need a bit of perspective here. If you think Singapore is bad... well. Go to your beloved UK or US. Not just anywhere. Go to the worst areas, places with the highest crime/school dropout/unemployment/poverty rate. Look around and ask yourself, is Singapore really so bad? Can we get any worse than that? No? I didn't think so. There will be those who still think that this place sucks, so to each their own.
For me? I have served this land. My friends, my family are all here. Even if I hated this place, I've invested far too much here to let it go. This is the last national day before I head over for my studies. I love this place and I'm pretty sure I'm going to miss it.
Happy 46th, Singapore.
p.s. Singaporeans, show a bit of fucking appreciation, can? ;)