Chia Ti Lik’s Blog

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National Day Celebrations & Rehearsals – The cost & purpose of

Now I don’t mean to be mean. I don’t mean to be nasty either.

National Day is an event that all citizens should be proud of. They rightly should be.

I just happened to be working in office clearing my work on a saturday evening only to find the peace being broken by F-16 Fighting Falcons from the Black Knights, Republic of Singapore Air Force doing their aerobatic rehearsals for national day.

Now we all know that the PAP hijacks to a certain extent such National events and programmes to glorify itself. National day rally is one. National Day celebrations is another. National Day Parades always have a subtle twist to glorify by repetition ad nauseam the progress made from the past.

But such acts do not detract from the fact that the National Day celebrations do provide some entertainment to the masses, some spectacle to our weary people.

As our nation takes a step closer to its 49th Birthday, citizens of this nation should take a step back to take stock of what this nation has become and where this nation is heading.

This is best done as you come closer to consuming what’s coming up on the platter for National Day: mass formation displays, perfected through months of rehearsals and trainings, Impressive aerial displays and flybys involving air force Apache helicopters and the Black Knights, time painstakingly through rehearsing for weeks before the actual event.

Such practising to perfection is all well and fine, because a mass display and flyby of military aircraft should be conducted with precision and accuracy. Let there be no mishap. There must be no flaw. It has to go like clockwork. Faultless, flawless and blameless, just like the spotlessly white PAP uniform.

But amidst all these, let us also remember that National Day exists only for that just one day in each year.

And national pride should be perennially present throughout the year and not just on National Day.

What do Singaporeans truly feel?

Does national pride in fact exist in present day Singapore?

Do Singaporeans take pride in what is this which is supposed to be their home?

Do we take pride that Singapore as it is now is something which we are proud to call our country?

Do we relish the thought of being able to stay here throughout our working lives and into our last days after retirement?

Do we tell our children and family to put our country first before everything else and that the country is what and all that matters to us?

Or do we dread, after the euphoria of the celebrations have died down, the drudgery and stress that flows from life lived in Singapore and the burden and oppression that comes with Singapore Citizenship?

When the parents see their sons in the SAF contingents which are involved in the display, do they view them with pride and honour?

Do our servicemen relish their units being singled out for national day duties or do they curse and swear under their breath at the task that has befallen them?

As we begin to search for all these questions ourselves in our own minds and hearts, i need only bring to your attention my sharing of my understanding of what such mass displays and spectacles created in the name of celebration of our nation’s glorious path.

AND my understanding is:

The more communist, fascist and totalitarian regimes are, the greater the emphasis will there be on creating grand spectacles, creating grand monuments, creating grand public infrastructure and a correspondingly great diminishing of the people’s voice, the people’s wealth and the people’s ownership of things in their country.

To put it simply if you want to see which other country celebrates national day similar to Singapore’s, try looking at North Korea.

Therefore we should all ask ourselves:

As we eagerly rush home in our cars to sit before the TV to watch the National Day Celebrations’ live telecast on this 9th August 2008. We have to ask ourselves, how much of your car do you actually own?

As we park our vehicles and run towards our lift, looking at anticipation at the flat that “belongs” to you and which you call home, you have to ask yourself, how long will you take to “own” that? Do you actually “own” your flat at the end of the day?

As you watch the afterburner trail out of each of the F-16s streaking skywards for their exhilarating climb, you have to ask yourselves, how much fuel is being burnt, how much does that operation and its rehearsals cost in taxpayers’ money?

As you watch the floating platform which they constructed a couple of years ago into another world’s first, you have to ask yourself was the cost of creating a floating platform actually necessary? It that not taxpayers’ money as well?

As you watch the millions of dollars going up as fireworks, which is funded by the money coming from people like you, you should ask yourself, what is your present state of net worth and the health of your bank account?

You should also ask yourself, if you were to fall ill and be unproductive, will you have the confidence that life will carry on for your family without too much disruption and the years will pass beautifully like each National Day coming and going without fail. Will your life be just as fulfilling and fruitful?

You should ask yourself to take stock of what is it that makes Singapore a country? What is that which makes us want to be citizens? Is it the planes streaking the skies? Is it that display of the national flag?

Is Singapore all that great a country that the celebrations make it out to be? Or are you thinking that you might have a better life elsewhere?

What is a mere show and pretence of a nation? And what is it that truly makes a nation?

What is perceived? What is real?


June 30, 2008 - Posted by | Life, Politics

1 Comment »

  1. They are the Boss.Majority votes for them. What can you do ? Just pay your taxes and you will be fine.

    Comment by Izmasloane Ishak | April 4, 2012 | Reply

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