by Jack Sim
My National Day message for 9 August.
I’m proud of my country Singapore for good reasons.
Born 1957, I grew up in a slum living in an attap house . Most citizens were poor and our GDP per capita was USD 500 a year same as Mexico and South Africa on our first National Day in 1965. Today we have one of the richest per capita GDP in the world.
We’ve no natural resources, a small island, and vulnerable to large potentially hostile neighbors. Yet we are a prosperous nation. We’ve lots of potential for the future because we continue to reinvent ourselves.
Complaining is our national culture because we want to improve. It looks negative but it’s impact is positive as it drives changes within us. Maybe one day, we can enshrine our complaining culture as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage. (Portugal’s Fado is about lamenting and it is an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.)
Our people are Workaholics and our streets are safe. Secret societies and gangsters were long eliminated from our society since the late 1970s.
Our homeownership is among the highest in the world. Singapore punches above its weight in most aspects except voices of people and we’re working on that too.
Singapore is one of the Best Managed Country in the World and I want to share our 3rd world to first World development model to end all poverty in the world. China copied our model and got 700 million people out of poverty in the last thirty years. Rwanda did the same and became the fastest-growing Africa nation.
We can create a new economic pillar of global trade for 4 billion poor and convert them to new customers with dignity, and a productive happy and healthy workforce like us. This new marketplace is worth USD Trillions and is also the solution for attaining the 17 SDGs.
That’s why I’m building a BOP Design Center at 26 Ubi Rd4 to help coordinate this global marketplace to promote world trade for the poor.
Happy National Day.
We have a lot to be proud of.
Mr Sim is the founder of the Restroom Association of Singapore, the World Toilet Organization.