Musings about National Day

Two days ago, I had an interesting conversation with a taxi driver. I had asked that he take a route through Nicoll Highway. He told me that he wasn’t sure if the road was open because of the national day rehearsals. I was lucky and we drove through the highway. We then talked about celebrating national day.

I began by saying that we spend a lot of money for the day. He corrected me saying that it is more than a lot. He went on to say that it would be all right if we spend the money once every five or ten years rather than every year. And he wondered if the celebrations are for Singaporeans!

To his suggestion that we celebrate once in five or ten years, I fully agreed. I said it would have been more meaningful if the government distributes the annual celebration money to us. He enthusiastically agreed. He said he needed to work to earn money and a gift would be helpful.

Shortly after I reached my destination and met my friend who was on a two day transit to Thailand. We had lunch and decided to see the art exhibition at the National Gallery. We took a bus, dropped off at Hill Street and walked towards the gallery. On the way, we passed the North Bridge Road side of the Supreme Court which has encased marble. My friend asked if it was really marble and if so why was it encased! I laughed. I told him that we used to joke about it. A friend told me that it was actually wall paper!

Reaching High Street corner, we were prevented from proceeding to the gallery by national servicemen. We told them that we were going to the National Gallery. They said the gallery closed at 12 noon and will be closed for the weekend because of the National Day rehearsals. We were disappointed. The nice guys then told us that we could see the museum by the river. Since we were already in the city, we proceeded to the Singapore River. Along the bank we reminisced about the Bank of China Building and its vicinity in the past. A costume exhibition at the museum did not attract us. And so we took a train to Orchard Road.

The crowd at Orchard Road MRT station drove us crazy. It took me some time and not before asking several young strangers to get to Takashimaya. They were exceedingly helpful and polite.

Reaching Takashimaya through an underground passage filled with shops, we located Kinokuniya. I was very happy to be in the bookshop and so was my friend. While I browsed impressive books, he found The New Yorker and bought two old copies costing S$16 each! We were both tempted to buy some books but we refrained!

Orchard Road was a bit much for us. And so we went back to the Jalan Sultan area and had a nice dinner at one of the restaurants. As we sat to eat outside the restaurant in one of the cleaned up back lanes with graffitti art on its wall, airplanes roared past above our heads. “What’s that?” my friend asked. “National Day rehearsals” I said. “A few millions burnt!” “Ah, fly past!” Another few planes roared by.

National Day celebrations these days are very grand affairs. In the 1960s, I participated in the celebrations as a secondary school kid. The celebrations were held at the old Kallang Stadium. I was in the gymnastics team and I don’t recall having too many practices before the great day.

Today however, National Day celebrations are grand affairs. I am told that school children spend a few months at rehearsals. Like North Korea, it is also a day for Singapore to showcase her defence capabilities, her army, weapons and air crafts. Correct me if I am wrong.

 

Teo Soh Lung

 

 

yyy
Sponsored Content
Loading...

22 Responses to “Musings about National Day”

  • No Bg Deal:

    Spend millions like there is no tomorrow and at the same time squeeze its citizens dry.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Dr Tan Tai Wei:

    Used to be a “Parade”. Maximal citizens’ participation. The show part was only some lion dances for those left behind, whilst contingents after contingents kept on marching across the city away from the Padang after the march past. And so, the presently ongoing presentation at Fort Canning gets the audience under umbrellas for experiencing that Parade where Singaporeans got drenched in that downpour over one past National Day Parade. What we have today isn’t a parade but showtime. They paid some American showman consultant some millions to get us started on that path, like the millions they pay Ministers now.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • patriot of TUMASIK:

    You are NOT WRONG, SohLung…I too was in the National Day excesise so to speak 2 years 1959/60 in a row at Jalan Besar Stadium it was then known as The Grand Tattoo…

    We have come a long way and it is sad when you remember how the Founding Generation and their leaders were sacrificing their lives for the Nation and Frugal in their ways…

    Today the Millions spend is to show the WORLD, not the People we have ARRIVED!!!

    Who Pays??? and who Benefit??? when the Founding Generation are a forgotten lot cleaning hawker centres and washing toilets and cleaning @ Airports to welcome the Tourists

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NotMyProblem:

    Military spending is unaccountable and unauditable. And National Day Parades are organised by MINDEF, so you know the reason. MINDEF wishes it could has NDP twice a year.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Selfish Sinkie Syndrome:

    No Bg Deal:
    Spend millions like there is no tomorrow and at the same time squeeze its citizens dry.

    Well, 70% Sinkies lacking love and are dry like old fruits, but still like to be “squeezed” harder and harder by “Pay and Pay”, because they like to put on false appearances to show-off that they still got some money to be squeezed.

    I have heard many Sinkies tell me they know “Pay and Pay” is profiteering but yet say to me boldfacedly, that HDB or COE or ERP is “cheap” and loudly announce (so as to make sure everyone can hear it) that he can easily afford it or that high prices for everything is necessary just because we are like Monaco or Hong Kong or New York or other expensive cities. Ha!

    The other 30% either no more money left to be squeezed or they realize the whole sham of the “Pay and Pay” and hiding their money in very secure places.

    Singapore is now like the majority 70%, always wanting to “show-off” to the world with all sorts of grand shows, expensive exhibitions, fireworks, fakery, flattery and falsehoods to keep up appearances.

    Even if you reduce all the unnecessary yearly spending on NDP “charades”…(I mean parades ;) Do you really think or feel NDP “celebrations” now has any worthwhile meaning left for the citizens?

    The 30% knows the end is nigh for our struggling economy (just look at the real GDP growth numbers for the past decade) and are keeping a tight lid on their hard-earned money or moving it to safer places, far far away from the blood-thirsty Vampires in white.

    So, you tell me who is really “wiser”?

    But I guess it is inevitable. Singapore has to fall down really hard before the 70% finally wake-up. It is like the rich man’s son, who never know hardship or want, born with a silver spoon all his life, until one day his Papa’s business collapses and the profligate, party-loving son finally wakes-up when he sees his bank account is now completely empty, and all his previous “showing-off” is all just a false parade, because all his party “friends” no longer picks up his calls for help. Ha!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Flabbergasted:

    ah kong money, no problem. let them si-kui-kia spend, the end is near.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rabble-rouser:

    S’pore’s National Day celebrations were past annual events which once upon a time, had held significant meaning to their Citizens & for foreigners looking in to see our social cohesion & our willingness to defend our space ie. “Red Dot”.
    Yes! We’re then very proud of being S’poreans to the world beaming with pride & passion. S’porean guys whom were willing to serve out National Service without complaint inspite of the slower career progression & disruption in studies while serving our nation. Despite our grumblings, we all felt in our heart’s that NS was for a greater good as we had experienced the communist threat & union strikes, the Indonesian Confrontation & the M’sian racial riots in our early years of S’pore’s Independence.
    BUT IT HAD COME TO PASS! The bulk of the S’poreans who experienced this were the MERDEKA GENERATION. But they have become a LOST GENERATION! Yet it were the MERDEKA GENERATION who had parallel S’pore’s Economic Ascension with hard work, sacrifice & diligence.
    The Pioneer Generation, on the other hand, were a thoroughly different breed: many didn’t serve National Service which only started in the late 1960s; a number were overseas migrants from Godforsaken lands who came here seeking their fortunes, & a great number were poorly educated, uneducated & unskilled. But they were the major beneficiaries of Dr Albert Winsemius Dutch Post-War Economic Recovery Plan. Those plans called for mass systemic education opportunities which later became compulsory education; it had also called for building of Public Housing units [SIT, HDB] to alleviate massive housing shortages [S'pore Lands were then hoarded by the wealthy traders & early industrialists]; created rudimentary jobs, allow economic opportunities with a few basic rules, regulations & invited foreign capitalists, investors to come in to build factories giving them pioneer tax-free status. The Pioneer Generation were, for their part, eternally grateful. The 2015 GE were an anomaly in part due to the outpouring of grief for LKY mixed in with the Pioneer Generation handouts.
    But eversince 2004, the reconstitution of the S’pore electorate had become very evident. S’pore’s electorate has always been subjected to PAP’s social re-engineering process & votebanking mqchinations. The mid 1970s to 1980s had seen a stealth integration of M’sian minorities escaping the Bumiputera Policies. A number converted to S’porean citizenship though a significant number hedged their bets hoping to “profit” from either side. M’sian’s assimilation into S’pore wasn’t as evident as the 2004 influx because we have similar culture leanings & similar racial profiles.
    - Cont’d -

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Amen:

    I won’t be surprise that they exploit the Event for more Party Propaganda shits like bringing up the old man, remind you the “MarkanYou Sick and Die” bonus and of how you need to vote for them or otherwise the whole country will topple. To muscle in this point for them and as Election time is around the corner, I wonder what scaremongering tactic this time around as “fake terrorist” scare is rather stale and out of fashion by now. Maybe Oldman Ghost resurface,… you think?

    But I want to remind fellow sinkies that, while watching this event that, it is because of your loyalty to the country and as patriotic to it that “WE NEED TO BRAVE OURSELVES FOR A CHANGE FOR THE BETTER OF OUR OWN CHILDREN”, to correct things like MiloIndianCumMalay, they can lie while its a crime to you [exempted law], Conflict of interests appointments, billion wife salary still a state secret etc…

    May this coming National Day brings courage to my country men. Amen!

    Oh!, btw, as the “Markan You Sick and Die Bonus” sweetener trick has failed, so if the National Day Propaganda and lies are in favor of them, then Election will be straight at the corner otherwise as “NOTHING GOOD TO BRAG ABOUT and COUPLED WITH POOR PERFORMANCE”, then it will be delayed until near end of time as I have predicted.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Rabble-rouser:

    - Cont’d -
    But since 2004, the 2nd population influx had become very different. It started off with Chinamen which were then followed by India Indians (after signing of CECA in 2006); followed with Pinoys, Burmese, Vietnamese, etc. The cohesive mix, assimilation process had began to look complicated & difficult! Yet S’pore National Day celebrations began to look very extravagant & full of pomp! Yet in the twilight of Goh Chok Tong’s time as PM, he actually noticed (in 2002 National Day Rally speech) a significant brain drain – native S’poreans emigrating overseas. He coined the divisive “Stayers vs Quitters”. The “Stayers” came out in full force, given a platform on the MSM voicing out their “Patriotism”, dedication to the system & their emotional staying rationale. The Quitters, on the other hand, melted into the woodwork, kept quiet (refused to join the one-sided public dialogue) until their residential visas were granted & quietly left the country.
    In 17 years since that “Stayers vs Quitters” National Day speech event, I believe that the Stayers have come to regret their rash decision & their “show of force”, “patronizing emotion” because honestly, they had been clearly played out by u-noe-who! Even the late LKY a few years later, let out that ex-PM GCT’s daughter was herself a quitter – the hypocrisy of a Gríma Wormtongue!
    Since the last decade after the huge influx, PAP politicians have been cunningly asking S’poreans to give up their dreams:
    * dream of a comfortable retirement by first withholding CPF @ 55 years old, then extending installments from 65 years old to 70 years if you don’t opt for it;
    * give up the dream of “owning” a car;
    * that S’pore is affordable despite clear evidence showing otherwise;
    * learn to have sex “standing up” or in confine spaces; &
    * telling you that a degree is possibly worthless, that a non-graduate can be a politician & that “you can’t eat your degree”.
    In spite of National Day celebrations, you can’t help feeling that it had become an empty event devoid of passion, emotion & most importantly, a S’porean national identity. Whose a S’porean? He/She can be anybody but beneath the surface, lurks different beings whose inner feelings are unknown:
    * DBS employee whose an Indian who displayed on his social media – tearing of a S’pore Flag to reveal an Indian Flag underneath;
    * Chinese Professor whose S’pore PR was annulled because he had ulterior motive to peddle foreign influences in S’pore;
    This isn’t my country anymore & whatever National Day event is like a pay-per-view Sporting event like a WWE WrestleMania scripted session – lots of thunder-&-lightning actions but no real memories post-event! Just pure entertainment value!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • OUR SG OUR HOME?:

    our once beloved country feels very alien to us trublus these days.
    seems it doesnt belong to us any longer.
    my heart aches that our leaders had sold out our once beautiful clean and orderly city .
    the leaders have made a mockery of our national pledge and national anthem…the meanings of the lyrics somehow doesnt fit as much as before.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • opposition dude:

    What has been really embarrassing for PAP but not mentioned in the papers frequently is the FACT that the National Stadium can’t hold anymore National Day parades! AH HA HA HA HA HA!

    That time talk until so big and nice, simi new National Stadium the parade can move back there and the floating platform dismantled. HA HA HA I’m laughing non stop!

    Stadium entrance too small for the oversized military vehicles is it? HA HA HA HA HA! Big enough for soccer teams with their superstar players’ mega huge egos is it?

    This is easily the most malu for PAP simply because the Nation’s birthday cannot be at the nation’s stadium!

    WA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • TruBlu:

    Does NATIONAL DAY feels the same as years gone by for TruBlu Singaporeans anymore?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • TruBlu:

    I have been a proud sg marching on NDP in the Scout Contingent during my school days.
    I was proud still later years until they treat SGS like aliens and ALIENS like First Class Citizens?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Cheat and Lie Exempted:

    Amen:
    … I wonder what scaremongering tactic this time around as “fake terrorist” scare is rather stale and out of fashion by now. Maybe Oldman Ghost resurface,… you think?

    Its the obvious…… Oppositions slamming and denigrating…. I think when suddenly after so much delays…… the court found WP guilty, of how money, millions and millions have been squandered …… with the MSM loud blasting the case….. not that CC has not done it before….

    Please laugh at it and still surprise them back by “Voting for Change”.

    We don’t need “Cheat and Lie [fake]” Exempted Leaders. What say you?

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • So Much Money Wasted:

    I took part in the National days since I was in Primary School in the 1950s to Reservisdt as a Boy Scout in Primary, Army Cadet in Secondary and SAF in NS and Reservist. We didi not spend like crazy to show off to other countries.

    Now they are doing it to show off. The best part is they are wasting our money and then now they are going to increase GST, introduce ERP By Satellite and few day ago going to increase Parking fines for Cars.

    They should decrease Minister Salaries and use the money for NS celebration. The sacrifice will be very much appreciated by the public and who knows they will win the coming election.

    But know them well, we have to Tan Ku Ku. KNNBCCB to them.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • icu:

    If no x last time parade not hell every year.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • pap lying liar lee kuan yew:

    pap spends S$500 billion on F1 and says businesses get S$250 billion from F1.

    70% sheep believed in the spending S$ getting cents mentality of lying pap.

    truly WTF the kind of fellow citizens we have in 70% sheep.

    worse, the inconvenience of F1 race to 30% OPPO who know BS when it is pap BS.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • something is missing:

    the more they try the more boring the NDP had gotten.
    its just a glory show for the aliens and newly minted citizens.
    somehow its lost that spark n emotional connection for many trublus.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • Haigen-Diaz:

    Nationalism put a country’s values, goals, aspirations, and principle before the goals of self interest. Can anybody say, without laughing, that the government puts its’ own interests and survival first?

    Putting aside the disgrace and shame, history has repeatedly shown that nationalistic fervor and its stepchild patriotism are more often than not forces for evil than good. Patriotism, as we have seen, is often cited by those in power as a fault-free basis for curtailing freedom – individual and political rights and liberties. The banner waved by them if not oppressed, challenged the existing power structure that has wrapped itself in our flag.

    Autocrats got where they are because they perceive the world through the ancient calculus of power and force.” To stay on top, they have to whip up nationalistic furies. Can anything happen in the National Day without some incongruous participation by the military – flags waving, bands marching, F-16C/D‎, F-15SG‎, ‎F-35 flying overhead?

    Singaporeans love the fake, the ersatz, the bogus. They love illusion, delusion and grandeur. Reality is unpredictable. With fake there is always a happy ending-or at least the temporary illusion of one.

    If I were a cursing man, ah, check that. If I were a publicly cursing man, I would have run plum out of expletives by now trying to describe the insult to our country. I would have gone through all of the Chief-founding-father’s recorded cursing, thrown in some of the pig farm expressions and then used up all the mean words in the rap music hall of fame. We should never have seen the likes of this self-regarding, self-celebrating egotism on our national stage. Cynical, manipulative, and very definitely the antithesis of patriotism.

    A better title for the essay should be “Rethinking Our Freedom” and a “rancorous struggle for the soul of Singaporeans”

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • NotMyProblem:

    something is missing:
    the more they try the more boring the NDP had gotten.
    its just a glory show for the aliens and newly minted citizens.
    somehow its lost that spark n emotional connection for many trublus.

    Hi people, if no NDP, what’s the Indian masquerading as Malay President going to do.

    She is not interested to guard the National Reserve, she has no say in the appointment of senior civil servant, what else she can to do?

    She is now so free that she has to be a spokesperson for MILO.

    With NDP, at least she can wave at the crowd and hear the cheer. Shaking hands with people, other wise so boring inside the Istana.

    At the NDP, she could boost up her ego hearing the MC of the event saying she is “the people-loving President”. With so many foreigners in the event, not many knew her.

    So NDP is for the PAP and its President, paid by the taxpayers.

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • C wong:

    Worst of all are the national day songs blaring away for a month from July at shopping malls. Sickening

    GD Star Rating
    loading...
  • C wong:

    We are spore we are spore. Kai pei kao bu

    GD Star Rating
    loading...

Leave a Reply

 characters available


Scroll Down For More Interesting Stuff


Loading...
Member Services
Self-SupportMembers Login
Sponsored Advertisement

Search On TR Emeritus
Sponsored Advertisement

Most Recent Comments
  • Stupid TKL & Simon Lim: Actually these two buggers are putting the OPPO in very bad light by their shallow...
  • All PAP bullshits!: All these are PAP bullshits just to their benefits. CPF monies belong to members and not PAP. All...
  • the ones with the mojo: //We have policies and protocols. sound impressive right. but sometime, the top people must...
  • Rabble-rouser: But S’pore export values (which is more than 3 times that of our domestic economy) were destined...
  • Darth Vader: tkl, WHO suggested this manifesto, YOU? Because some of them sound like your repeatedly slammed crackpot...
  • I luv recessions !: I love economic recessions! Finally its here! Delicious.
  • Demoncratic: Look at all your nice billions of dollars of showpiece constructions and buildings your economy brought...
  • Bobo: Quote: The most important question that the PAP government has to answer is why did they not save Hyflux, an...
  • Bobo: Foremost task is to vote in more oppositions to debate in parliament. Preferably 90% of oppos. With 10% of JLB...
  • prices of supermarket stuff: //I upgraded my computer ram from 2gb to 4gb in the Phils for just $16. 6gb to 12gb for...
  • the slow cooker: aiyoh one point at a time lar straight away 29 points. these 29 points may shock the 70% into...
Announcements
Advertisements
Advertisements
Visitors Statistic
Latest Statistic