Happy 48th Birthday Singapore! You have truly come so far: From a sleepy fishing village in the backwaters of Southeast Asia to a major Straits Settlement colony, you survived the discrimination of the British and the horrors of the Japanese Occupation and defied the odds to become the most literate, wealthiest and most developed nation in the region. Along the way, you built towering steel skyscrapers and winding concrete jungles, and yet managed to purify the rivers and preserve our natural rainforests. You have navigated the IT boom and digital revolution with amazing ease and also kept our unique cultural heritage alive amidst the threat of globalisation. You put your best foot forward at all times and have never failed to shine on the world stage. You are a miracle indeed.
Yes, you do have your quirks. Like the national obsession with finding good food (there are even apps for that), the insane Hello Kitty lines at McDonalds, the kiasu queues at Expo/Suntec PC shows, the soul-sucking, fear-inducing exam seasons, the STOMPers and exhibitionistic Youtubers, the occasional hazy presents from our neighbours (and the expensive N95 masks we buy), the embarrassing sex scandals, the suffocating MRT rides … And yet we love you warts and all.
Thank you for being there for all of us through thick and thin, through the hail in Jurong and Clementi and the flash floods in Bukit Timah and Orchard Road. We will always remember and be grateful to our forefathers and mothers who sacrificed so much that we may reap where we did not sow. So, thank you for giving us so many opportunities and blessings throughout the years without expecting anything in return. Even though we complain a lot (maybe too much!), we still love you with all our hearts, and we could not have come this far nor climbed this high without you.
So, my dear Singapore, may those who love you prosper and find happiness, and may you continue to foster unity, harmony, friendship and peace among all your people. May there be security within your walls and kindness within your gates. May you treat your poor and needy with justice, mercy and compassion, and remain humble in all that you do.
Happy Birthday dear Sunny Island Set in the Sea.
You are one-of-a-kind and we and are proud to call you home.