I was watching Indonsia’s TVRI Channel earlier showcasing Cap Gor Meh celebrations with my dad and was glued to it for quite a while.
The show was an eye-opener on the difference in openess between Singapore and Indonesia despite the close geographical relationship.
During the speech given by one of the Indonesian Tionghua representatives, he mentioned that as Indonesians born in Indonesia, he will together with his fellow Tionghua clan in Indonesia, defend Indonesia till their last breath.
He went on further to stake a claim that they are Indonesians and there wasn’t a need to label Chinese Indonesian whatsoever, an Indonesian born in Indonesia, he was simply Indonesian.
That speech was read in front of President Haji Bambang Susilo Yudhoyono, who during this term had abolished and gave freedom to all religious and racial groups in Indonesia to celebrate their cultural heritage. Such celebrations was never granted during Soeharto’s era.
In the name of democracy, President SBY had given the priviledge and thus instantly put holidays on the Indonesian calendar, which otherwise before, wouldn’t have been celebrated nor acknowledged.
As a Singaporean, I was proud of what Indonesia had become.
With the leadership of President SBY, Indonesia has become one of the world’s most celebrated democratic nations in the world and as a nation which is rebuilding itself from autocratic and corrupted rule of Soeharto’s era, Indonesia has surpassed Singapore in it’s democracy despite the difference in size.
Such a shame to Singapore that here, not only are we deprived of democracy, our very own so called founding father of modern Singapore has mentioned that we were never meant to be democratic regardless of what the pledge said. Not only that, racial groups in Singapore are also being marginalized despite being Singaporeans who would willingly fight their lives to protect the country that they love.
The distrust that the Singapore government has on it’s people is a reflection of how much secret the government or the single living being is hiding for fear that what is being kept secret could very well mean justice to be served.
Perhaps, it is time I started singing the tune of Indonesia Raya with pride than Majulah Singapura. The first time I heard the Indonesian Anthem during SSEAYP, I felt more pride and gusto for it than Singapore.
Okay lah… a bit biased just because Dad’s Indonesian.. but still!