By Kortia Kang Siew Lan
National identity, local heritage and cultures are what I think we should continue to navigate into and must be strengthened.
To me, Casinos at the Integrated Resorts, enjoying the affluence of life and moving around in fast pace, hearing praises about our country’s outstanding GDP don’t make this island my home.
How I wish our nation can embrace wider humanistic values and we can speak our dialects proudly, simultaneously, encourage our young generations to communicate in dialects like Teochew, Hokkien, Cantonese, etc.
We can watch Hokkien, Cantonese dramas on our television. Speaking dialects will not alienate people. So, an inclusive society has to be able to accommodate different dialects.
Our government should be lenient in granting license to the media so that we, as audiences have more alternative voices and more choices.
We should not demolish special landmarks or buildings, on the other hand, conserve them to remind our descendants the paths our pioneers and forefathers had gone through and built for us.
For instance, Nantah, Red Brick National Library, Lim Chu Kang and Chua Chu Kang villages and attap houses had all been done away with as we advance on modernisation and urbanization.
Very demoralising. We should not do this further. Pre-war buildings should be kept.
To pursue prosperity and high GDP, I do not oppose allowing our economies to stay competitive. However, we should not neglect our hearts and “software” such us our giving spirits and altruism of the people, kampong love, arts and cultures.
Support our local artists, artistes, writers and playwrights and share with the world our homegrown stories.
Education is the basic foundation for each individual, however we should work hard to make all people read and appreciate local literature pieces.
Our life isn’t about making money or keeping up to the reputations which others had given us or honoured us with.
It is the warmth of each individual, all people living together with care and concern. People reading our local writers’ books, speaking our dialects and admiring our local plays at the Esplanade or Substation.
This essay was submitted for the “My Singapore, My Future” essay contest organised by The Opinion Collaborative Ltd, in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of Singapore’s nationhood.
Comments from the judges –
“The most spiritual. I really liked the call to embrace our wider humanity.”
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