We achieved all this with pride because we learned to respect and be tolerant of other cultures and beliefs in our journey of nation-building, instead of creating chaos to disrupt our progress. Disasters and deaths happen everywhere but we feel close to the heart for one reason — We are Singaporeans. Like students elsewhere and unlike those during my time the s , they want peaceful change, not violent revolution. This narrative was emphasised a hundred times over during Mr Lee’s funeral and the recent SG50 celebrations: Our leaders will walk among and not ahead of us; they will be part of, and not simply lead, the national conversation. In a previous lecture, I proposed that we develop a uniquely Singaporean human development index which would measure our overall “well- being”, besides only having GDP as an indicator.

These were also far less likely to engage in the risk-seeking behaviour of human financiers, and thus lead to greater financial stability. Hey, women can be soldiers too! To the extent that in our initial years Singapore was almost synonymous with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, he defined our national identity and we looked towards him for signals on how to behave, to think, to view ourselves. The more entrepreneurial students may have opted not to apply. We are happy to point candidates to the private sector if their aptitude and passion are better suited there.

They spent a whole day explaining how innovation requires experimentation and repeated failures. This implies recognising, not avoiding, our differences.

What 18-year-olds tell us about Singapore’s future

Many are committed to serve the public and see their job as a calling. However, Singapore’s multitude of races and cultures made me feel no longer alien. The students eagerly pull grey virtual reality headsets over their eyes. What can we say about the present generation of year-olds, judging by the essays they write, their school records, their psychological profiles and their responses at PSC interviews? First, they have a poor knowledge of Singapore’s history.


We can create our own identities even as we inherit certain common characteristics. Many Singaporeans signed up as volunteers and others involved by cheering for our athletes; some also brought their young children along to show them the Singapore spirit at work. Copyright – The Online Citizen Instead of allowing this diversity to become a hindrance to our progress, we want to recreate these differences to our advantages.

Many personal stories, one Singapore identity

This dream is not something new — it is one that is shared. Perhaps that is also what makes other new migrants singapoer to settle in Singapore – the fact that they could create their own identities here. Inside, it is a rainbow.

There are, in fact, good reasons for public servants to follow rules. Until we resolve the issues, subscribers need not log in to access ST Digital articles.

singapore sg50 essay

Hopefully, too, their bosses will give them enough space to experiment and make isngapore, because anyone in Silicon Valley will tell you that, without failure, there can be no innovation. I am especially pleased that more of our young now aspire to work in the social sector, so that they can help the underprivileged.

singapore sg50 essay

Identity is not a static snapshot. Copyright – The Online Citizen We should put in place a framework for this fluid discussion to take place, to be mapped and to be expressed.

The Monsoons Book Club is a non-profit-making association of concerned individuals interested in books and ideas relevant to the social, political and economic progress in the South East Asian. For instance, the proposed Dawei Port Development Project in Myanmar provides a cost-efficient commercial gateway to Asia, reducing dependency on the congested Straits of Malacca.

In the working world, the unemployment wage makes young Singaporeans less afraid about pursuing their true passions. If managed well, those outside can be co-opted and turned into allies.


Building a sustainable future for Singapore – an essay for SG50 – The Online Citizen

Skip to main content. Most amazing is how far and fast we have progressed from third world to first world country with a strong economy and a high quality of life. For instance, tele-medicine reduces the need for travel to hospitals as it delivers healthcare services to homes, and consultations are done on a virtual network.

Our young people are not unaware of the values espoused by our founding fathers, particularly Mr Lee Kuan Yew. For example, I may stir clear of the Bharathanatyam, an Indian classical dance course because I thought it is strictly for Indians or assume it is conducted only in Tamil.

I suspect that is why Mr Lee once exhorted our young public servants to study Machiavelli – not so much because he wanted us to act like knaves, but because he wanted us to be aware that there are Machiavellians around us, who will take advantage of those who are naive and weak. Thankfully, the best and brightest who appear before PSC do still think critically and question what is happening in Singapore, including our socio-economic disparities, our educational policy and system, and our political environment.

singapore sg50 essay

If the Government draws the bandwagon too tightly, it will make too many enemies. Reviewing social singaporee textbooks once every couple of years may be a hassle, but it ensures that young minds know the Singapore story in its entirety, not just the narrative the powers that be feed. Rules help keep them honest and impartial.