ST Discussion Board
How do I love Singapore? Let me count the ways
Posted by: Shutruk_N
Today, 10:31 AM
I too, wish to take this opportunity as our country celebrates 50 years after shedding its colonial shackles and 44 years of nationhood, to pay tribute to my fellow Singaporeans who contributed much to making Singapore what it is today.
I am specifically referring to those who answered the call from the country (not that we had any choice since it was compulsory military conscription) to serve Singapore in National Service during the initial years since its inception. We gave two to two and a half years of the best years of our lives to the defense of our country and many of us came away being permanent physical and mentally damaged as a result. We trained under Israeli “military advisors” and led by the mentally incompetent who extracted pleasure in subjecting abuse to those under them. How many of us came away permanent hearing loss because we were not allowed hearing protection when we operated our firearms and we derided as being sissy when we cupped our hands over our ears when we served a firing assistants. How of many further sacrificed when we served 5 in-camp-trainings over 4 calendar years when there was a desperate need to ramp-up the reservist divisions to counter potential external threats – much to the displeasure of our employers. How of us then were called again to serve a second round of reservists either in the SAF or SCDF when we were told that we possessed certain skills or knowledge which were needed.And then there were our wives and girlfriends, who suffered with us – waiting late into the night to receive a phone call from us while we queued to make a call from the only public phone located in the cookhouse. Who bored our frustrations, our pain and distress during the short weekends when we could spend with them – and at many times, we were too physical drained and tired to be any meaningful company to them. At the end of it all – how many you felt cheated when we did all of this for our country and when we turned 50, did not receive an acknowledgment, or a single “thank you” from an ungrateful government as we were discharged from further reservist liability.
And so as we prepare to celebrate this National Day, I say – cheers to you all. But for those citizens of Singapore who answered our government’s invitation to take up citizenship in our fine land and are lapping up the infrastructure and trimmings of an economy which my fellow Singaporeans made possible through our sacrifices – I say “good for you” BUT don’t you dare call yourself Singaporeans – because you did not shed sweat and blood alongside me for those two and half years and your women did not suffer as ours did when they waited alongside us during those years, and nursed us from our physical and mental injuries after it was all over. Those of you with your university degrees and your skills which our government tried hard to convince us will help Singapore to survive in a competitive quagmire – how many of you will take the first plane out when things begin to turn sour. I had the privilege of serving when men who are durian sellers, goring pisang hawkers and even 4D runners – but I will tell you that these men will fight and die for Singapore if the need arises. But you, our new found fellow Singapore citizens – not so I think.