12 July 2006

Flags and monuments

Unfortunately, flying the Singapore flag around our National Day does not mean what it is supposed to mean. And monuments are made to mean what they may not mean. Full essay.


Jenny said...

History has already been re-written. Just pick up the school text book for the subject "Social Studies".

Anonymous said...

PAP and the Singapore flag?
make every singaporean household buy a flag, it will further add to the PAP treasure chest!
Hey, PAP has come this far, why not charge for Flag sales? There is kaching to be made here...

startears said...

Maybe one day we will end up like Japan, the younger generation will not even told of the things done during WW2.

aliene said...

I used to think the flags were cool, when everyone had them out. Of course, I was just a school kid when it first started.

These days, I look at the faded and washed out flags that people hang and realise, it was probably just the novelty of the idea, and the fact that they gave the flags out at no cost, that made it so common then. The faded and lonely flags of recent years hardly show any pride in the nation really...

Anonymous said...

Copied and Paste from Littlespeck. This question is worth brainstorming. Examine the Pros and Cons



National Day
Let PAP flags fly...
But some Singaporeans say opposition must be allowed to march in the parade, too. SgForums discussion.
Jul 5, 2006

Texcoco II posted,
I can't but think this way. Just look at the performance and contents, PAP party flags, videos of Lee Kuan Yew's and his PAP struggle. It's not a bad idea. LKY did good, it must be agreed that without him and the PAP Singapore will have no today.
But why no opposition parties and members invited? After all, they (also) all represent Singapore. I'm not saying PAP should not raise their standards or whatever, but I believe it can be fairer if opposition parties can display their own content, such as flags...

If you are in power, you rule it in your own way.

It would seem that National Day does not belong to the Alternative (opposition) Parties, as their Members of Parliament cannot even get a permit to conduct an OUTDOOR Constituency National Day Celeberation Dinner - on the same scale as the Ruling Party - even if the budget is available.

The MPs from the Alternative Parties are not allowed to address the schools in their Constituencies nor participate in the National Day celebrations conducted by those schools.

National Day is certainly a Propaganda Day for the Ruling Political Party.
Somehow the emphasis on such a grand occasion seems to have forgotten the sacrifices, pain, sufferings and personal contributions of the various generations of COMMON SINGAPOREANS - who have given their support to the Government - not to the Political Party - despite their personal political preferences.

After the 1959 Election - that allowed the PAP to step into the seat of Government for the first time - and with a 54.1% of the votes, controlling 43 parliamentary seats out of 51 - Singaporeans closed ranks again almost three years later, when Singaporeans gave their support to LKY and his team again in a Referendum to join Malaysia.

Most lowly-educated and uneducated Singaporeans of the early 1960s were swayed by LKY's eloquence, and did not discern the narrow differences in the choices available - without any choice to object - in a shrewdly designed Referendum; and 70% of Singaporeans gave support to LKY's call to merger, despite the alarm bells sounded by the Alternative Political Parties.

Almost two years after merger with Malaysia, and after two racial riots, Singapore was bitterly kicked out of Malaysia on 9 August 1965; the date which Singaporeans again rallied to give support to the PAP despite all their political leanings.

Singaporeans had only one goal, and that was to prove to Malaysia that we will outlast and outperform the racial politics practised in Malaysia.

After almost 40 YEARS, what is the achievements and rewards for those who gave their support to LKY and his PAP?

The generations that saw or participated in the politics of the 1950s till this day are now in their 70s and 80s.

Many are languishing in Old Folks' Homes that are run by PRIVATE Charities, churches, temples and religious councils.

After all those years of loyal support, what has LKY and the PAP done that alleviate the ever increasing medical costs to these elderly generations - most of whom have hardly any CPF, Medisave or Medishield to cover their multiple deteriorating physical and health problems?

LKY and his team will fade away with an accumulation of A MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR, while these elderly generation has to depend on their hard-pressed children to find money to pay for all the medical bills generated by the PRIVATISED government-owned hospitals.

Singapore's National Day should belong to all generations of Singaporeans.

National Day should serve as a reminder to the sacrifices, struggles, pain, and contributions made by the earlier generation, as well as.. ourselves.

National Day should allow us the opportunity to pledge ourselves to do better and more for this country, and remind outselves that this country rightfully belongs to us, and which WE should have a bigger say than the politicians.


teck soon said...

The comment above by startears expresses concern that Singapore will end up like Japan. Singapore is already way past Japan in terms of learning propaganda.

The main difference is that Japan, though it selects information for schooling to the consternation of other countries, does not BAN information about Japanese war atrocities. Indeed, a check of a bookstore in Japan will reveal poignant, first-hand accounts from Japanese WWII soldiers and books just as objective as any in the West. Books in English about WWII are translated into Japanese and openly circulated. Nothing is banned. Foreigners living in Japan are free to criticise the Japanese government.

In Singapore, many books, articles, or newspaper columns even mildly critical of the government are BANNED. Foreigners attempting to criticise the government are sent home and their publications gazetted.

My hope is that some day Singapore will end up like Japan. It would certainly be more open than it is now.

(internet) chatterbox said...

"The over-identification of Singapore with the PAP leaves a hollow where the nation should be. Few know how to demonstrate affection to Singapore -- few even know how to feel affection for Singapore -- when the only kind of (pseudo-)affective demonstration there is is so pro-government."

I agree with everything you said in your article. The above quote in particular describes concisely and incisively my core feelings about Singapore. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to make a difference, put in a little effort and coordinate your block to put up the flags to form either some words or symbols. One particular symbol comes to mind. It's time to bring out the hammer again!

Anonymous said...

Take a look at this http://www.youngpap.org.sg/abtus_history.shtml

'By bringing in people of common mind, we can keep the PAP as the sole, the only main political party in Singapore. So when the people think about the government of Singapore, if they think about the future of Singapore, then they will think about the PAP.' - Lee Hsien Loong

PAP = Govt = Singapore

kentangz said...

Hmm. Catherine Lim makes some similar points in her classic "the great affective divide":

"Concerned Singaporeans must be aware of the emergence of a secondary equation that could bust the major one and create a whole range of unexpected problems. It is the equation of the PAP with Singapore....Hence, dislike of the PAP, even though it does not translate into dislike of Singapore, effectively blocks out any spontaneous outpouring of patriotic emotion. The best evidence is in the attitude towards the national flag. Singaporeans continue to be reluctant to put it up in their homes on National Day for fear of being thought PAP supporters and sycophants."

full text is here: http://singabloodypore.blogspot.com/2006/07/pap-and-people-great-affective-divide.html

StealthEagle said...

Love the country? Yes, we are very fortunate to be surrounded by big countries, plus...not a single volcano.

Love the governement? Er...

we must seperate between politics and country, just like seperating religions and politics.

Too bad young hearts today are being influenced to the fact that country and the government are indifferent.