The slogan for this years’ Singapore’s National Day, ‘Live Our Dreams, Fly Our Flag’, brings about a lot of meaning to it for me and perhaps, for many of my Singaporean friends.
As I take the trains, I spot advertisements on individuals who mention that they have been a part of living their dream for Singapore.
As a Singaporean, one of my dreams is for us to be able to experience a state which encourages the following:
- FREE DOM OF SPEECH & EXPRESSION BEFORE AND AFTER SPEECH & EXPRESSION HAS TAKEN PLACE
- A MORE ACCURATE AND MENTALLY PROVOCATIVE REPORTING OF NEWS BY MEDIA THAT IS IMPARTIAL and
- FOR THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE GOVERNMENT AND IT’S AGENCIES TO BE MORE ACCEPTING AND OPEN TO CRITICISM FROM THE OUTSIDE WORLD AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTAND THAT CRITICISM, WHEN CONSTRUCTIVE SHOULD BE SEEN AS A MEANS TOWARDS IMPROVEMENT
I also have a dream for all Singaporeans:
- TO STAKE A CLAIM IN THE AFFAIRS OF THE STATE AND NOT JUST LEAVE IT TO THE POLITICIANS WHOM WE HAVE VOTED FOR
I know that these are very big dreams but as a First World country with Third SECOND World drainage systems, we need to be progressive as a society first, then a nation and move towards the idealogy that we hopefully still, believe in our National Pledge and not just let it just be a statement without convinction.
‘We, The Citizens of Singapore, Pledge Ourselves As One, United People’
Anyone who proclaims themselves to be a Citizen of Singapore, should remain united as one front. This doesn’t mean leaving our politicians to lead and remain united at the front whilst the rest leave the entire responsibility of policy making to them.
As Singaporeans, we should be staking a claim in the affairs of the state. We should be able to exercise our rights as citizens and to be able to punish our politicians who have failed to perform the tasks that we have entrusted them with. Politicians who are incompetent should be asked to step down (even when they’re in term) and better and more capable individuals should be given the role instead.
Currently, Singaporeans often complain about the government and the politicians they have voted for only to regret that the decision made was a bad one because their lives were made harder by the policies drafted and passed in parliament. I hope that Singaporeans will learn their lesson and understand that history repeats itself and make a smarter vote in the upcoming General Elections which I predict will be held in the first half of 2011.
‘To Be A Democratic Society’
At age 45, we’re now a matured state and as a matured state, it is time that we start to act maturely like adults. Surely, the word democracy brings about a lot of meanings to it but the first and most significant trait for democracy is for individuals to be able to freely express themselves in speech and expression without a fear for their own well-being.
At this age, Singapore should be providing an avenue where individuals and organisations can feel safe to express themselves freely in speech and expression and feel safe and secure before and after they have enacted such acts. Whilst it is understandable that certain areas of topics should not be expressed openly at the first instance, this doesn’t mean that we should be closing up avenues to freely discuss and debate these issues to have a better understanding, as well as to build a more knowledgable society in this Knowledge Based Economy.
‘The Media Role’
The role of media is integral in any society and plays a huge role in influencing or swaying the mindsets of individuals. Unfortunately, the news media in Singapore, though a tad meek in the information that it provides, is in fact the only reel or print media that is most entertaining to watch and/or read.
My hope is for Singapore Press Holding and MediaCorp, as the two biggest players in Singapore’s media industry to play a bigger role in educating Singaporeans and to see itself more than just an avenue for entertainment. The media should be creating programmes which help to uplift the social-economic status and life of Singaporeans from all backgrounds.
The news media should not just see itself as a portal to disseminate news. It should also see itself as a social catalyst that is able to inspire and mentally provoke individuals to think beyond what is reported. And more importantly, as a news provider, I believe that the news media should provide impartial reporting in the news angle that it is taking on. For example, it if provides Positive News Reporting for Politician A, it should also provide Positive News Reporting for Opposition A. This is only fair and just to both sides of the fence and therefore, the news will remain impartial to either side.
So, having said so much, I really hope that Singapore will be able to move towards this direction so that we can scale higher up in other areas of international surveys than just the one’s we’ve been known for.