Civica Writing Competition 2015
Dreaming and Living out the Impossibilities in Singapore
By Jagasirpian Takshak
Life is like a battle ground, where you need to fight and work hard to protect what you hold dear and believe in. Life in this small land is an example. I am this piece of land – not a huge piece, and as a matter of fact I am known as the Little Red Dot. I have not been known by many people in the world until recent times.
Well, my people went through a tumultuous period over the last 50 years and earlier. There were times when we lost hope but we always stood firm and fought for what we believe in, and we have succeeded. It’s the spirit.
I was a small village island many years ago. I was discovered by Sang Nila Utama and later founded by Sir Stamford Raffles. The British flag and Japanese flag have both fluttered over me and gone. I was once abandoned to fend for myself with my people and have experienced disharmony in racial riots.
Now I finally have a name, Singapore, and since 1965 an identity – and finally a flag that flutter high with pride. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister, together with many pioneers, worked relentlessly to build me up to achieve greater successes. My people will celebrate their golden jubilee this year – 50 years of independence. Physically, I have expanded over the years through reclaimed land. I have been developed extensively for the people living in me. Many ethinic groups live in me – native and foreign – because they can all call this land, “my home”. I am a landscape – a beautiful sight to behold, a sharp contrast to my look in the earlier days. Peace not war, belief and not doubts reign in me. I am very well sheltered by my neighbours.
Through the years, my people have lived and worked with resilience, tenacity, respect and harmony, going from strength to strength for my growth and progress. Campaigns launched from the 1970s to 1990s achieved social objectives such as cohesiveness and the common good for my people. Some campaigns became iconic representations which had a positive effect still lasting today, such as water-saving, anti-smoking, anti-littering and the national courtesy campaigns.
To you readers out there: Brace yourselves as you go on an epic adventure to explore how, I, Singapore, am a miracle land whose legacy will live on, dreaming and living.