Wednesday, 4 October 2023

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Political parties call upon citizens to move forward in “solidarity” in celebration of Singapore’s 53rd year of nationhood

Today marks the 53rd anniversary of Singapore’s status as a sovereign state since its separation from the Malaysian Federation on 9 August 1965, and three years since the Republic’s golden jubilee in 2015.

Various political parties have expressed their hopes and aspirations for Singapore’s future, on top of celebrating the progress that has already been achieved as a young nation.

The People’s Action Party (PAP) illustrated the importance of generosity and solidarity amongst Singaporeans from all backgrounds and walks of life through the analogy of a young girl handing out mangoes for free to residents in her neighbourhood, as shown in the video below.

She narrates: “Sometimes you are happy. Sometimes you are angry. And sometimes you feel lonely. But… my mangoes can brighten your day.”

The mangoes were plucked by her Nenek (grandmother) — who taught her that “sharing is caring” — from a tree that was grown by the young girl’s great-grandfather, presumably suggesting that a significant part of the success achieved by Singapore today stemmed from the efforts of the forefathers and foremothers of present-day Singaporeans in building the nation.

Cliff Lee C W commented on the video with his own analogy on inequality in Singapore:

Yes we survived, but now we take the mangoes, while you take the durian.

The Workers’ Party has chosen to let the everyday sounds, and visuals, of Singapore life in the heartlands narrate its core message:

Several netizens have lauded the video’s grounded and down-to-earth message and execution.

Colin Lim said:

A simple and effective concept, which also reminded me of how the WP actually listens to Singapore. ?

Keef Keef wrote:

Listening is more important than bragging. Listening with your heart in the right places is what a responsible politician should do.

A most beautiful and heartfelt National Day video. Well done.

Finn Ckw commented:

[I could] Feel the serenity in a national celebration.

Jonathan Tan wrote:

Gorgeous. Your video made me feel after a long time. Pure class.

Hazellinario Hazellinario said:

Nice. Really comes close to the heart. We don’t have to be number one in everything. Let’s slow down and just be contented.

Stephen Lim commented:

Sometimes not saying anything says a whole lot. Happy National Day, fellow Singaporeans.

In celebration of “53 years of our nation’s independence”, the Singapore People’s Party posted a video portraying the simple everyday life of Singaporeans living in the heartlands, saying that “this is our way of life”, a stark contrast from the cliché glitzy portrayal of Singapore to tourists:

The Singapore Democratic Party has decided to convey its National Day message via a couplet by Bernard Ong, one of SDP’s volunteers. The couplet illustrates the idiosyncrasies that make Singapore the colourful and diverse nation that it is today:

De facto head of the People’s Voice Party, Mr Lim Tean, urged citizens to not “despair” on this National Day, as there is still hope for a better Singapore through persistent action and effort on the part of Singaporeans, citing the tenacity and resilience of “our forebears”, many of who had “great reserves of fortitude and imagination to create a better future for themselves and their descendants”:

Clarence Paul Lim said, in response to Mr Lim Tean’s post:

Well said  – [it should] not [be] the other way around, especially when someone is attempting to introduce aristocracy [in the nation’s governance]. Hope we are not a nation serving a party, and a party serving a couple or a man (?)

Ray Low commented:

I thought of giving up and not looking forward to today, but you just changed that in an instance! Majulah Singapura! Nice words, Mr Honourable Lim Tean!

史帝文 commented:

Country is country. Party is party. Both must be differentiated! I love my country, but I don’t like the PAP government.

James Png commented:

I love my country, but I don’t love our government…

In response to James Png’s comment, Mr Lim Tean said:

It is a shame many people do not realise PAP is not a country. Today we should celebrate our people – nothing to do with government!

Head of the People’s Power Party, Mr Goh Meng Seng, expressed his concern over the rapidly fading patriotism amongst Singaporeans in the present day, highlighting that a significant way in which this “lack of passion” is manifested is in the way “there are really very few flags hung out around HDB estates in heartlands this year, except for those hung by People’s Association or PAP or the respective Town Councils”:

He added that such a display is not only emblematic of Singaporeans’ purported protest against the PAP’s recent policies that have caused a “spike in the cost of living”, but also an overall disillusionment with Singapore politics as a whole, as “even PAP, as the ruling party, is facing the greatest challenge of the lack of passion and love”, despite winning 70% of the total votes in the previous General Election.

Mr Goh reasoned that “most Singaporeans either voted PAP out of fear (civil servants and those who are afraid of losing handouts or HDB upgrading) or just simply to avoid the inconvenience of change”, while noting that many “are treating Singapore as a temporary hotel, a place to make money” before migrating elsewhere at the earliest convenience.

Simon Lam commented on Mr Goh’s post:

Agreed. Observed that many of HDB flats did not hang any flags. (Can see that they are either hardcore PAP supporters, or love Singapore too much.) But what I would like to say, Singaporeans can protest in many ways. However, when comes to voting, the majority [of Singaporeans] are just a bunch of useless cowards. That is why, it is damn true that Singaporeans cannot make it at all. (Heard it straight from the horse’s mouth.)

David Teo said:

For years, my RC put up [flags] very elaborately. This year, only a few flags in my cluster. ???

As I have shared, most Singaporeans are expressionless one. We go about our own business. Only when we are deeply inconvenienced by huge problems we cannot tahan [stand], we protest. Ministers are paid millions. Who cares, as long as we are assured, got food to eat, roof shelter to live in, money to spend? Singaporeans are bo chup [apathetic] one lah.

The National Solidarity Party has also observed the lack of flags hung during its recent visits to HDB estates in the heartlands, and has urged Singaporeans to not equate “loving your country” to “loving your government”, as “they are 2 different things”:

The Reform Party has called upon Singaporeans to take a page out of Malaysia’s book, in light of the neighbouring country’s General Elections (GE) last 9 May, when the majority of Malaysians had successfully overturned the previous Barisan Nasional government that was in power for 61 years since independence in favour of the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition:

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