Wednesday, August 09, 2006

on National Day

Singapore Flag

on National Day

Today, I was watching the parade on tv. I thought I had enough of these. But as the first strains of the national anthem rang out, as if on cue, there was a lump in my throat.

Maybe it was the two and a half years in green uniform, running up hills, cleaning carbon from rifles. The mud caked on my boots is soil, our nation's soil. I was training for a contingency that I hope will never come.

This must be clear. The nation is one thing, the executive that runs it is another. Though I may have differences of opinion with the latter, I do grudgingly believe that they are trying their best. I do hope they will keep to their promise of a more open society.

I have lived through a period when this nation's very own existence was an uncertainty. Today, as F-16s roared past overhead my block to the parade grounds, I hope, for my daughter's sake, that she will not see the times I had been through as a child.


Blogger kittyn said...

Agree... while we disagree with the current administrators on various opinions, there's no denying that there will be no nation today if they have not done what they did... just hoping that disappointing cases like Mr Brown won't happen cos it's as good as taking two steps forward and one step back... sigh

10 August, 2006 10:12  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

Nice sum of what this day means to you. It's great that you're hopeful. I can't help seeing national day parades as nothing more than the administration's opportunity to trumpet its own horn yet again with the usual propaganda on progress, LKY, pap..yada, yada...

I read Dharmendra Yadav's essay on David Marshall and public service (

It's a good summary on the motivations of the current government (not so much public-service as it is self-service) and how empty our youths and us have become in the narrow-minded pursuit of economic progress/wealth to the sacrifice of respect for the individual and people. So when i see banners shouting "Happy national day!", it's hard for me to feel in a celebratory mood, especially not when i think of all the heroes of democracy and free speech who have been suppressed- like Chia Thye Poh, Josef Ng, Said Zahari etc...

10 August, 2006 15:52  
Blogger kittyn said...

medusa... that was an excellent article.. thanks for the link

10 August, 2006 18:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

glad that you shared my thoughts too. let's see if things improve, beginning with scrapping the stupid no-smoking rules at coffeeshops...

friend, thanks for the link, oooh, that was a hard-hitting article.
btw, this year's trumpeting seems to have toned down somewhat, or is it i have been on-line too much?

10 August, 2006 23:21  
Blogger kittyn said...

dsnake... i think for that first wish, you can just keep wishing.... unlikely it'll happen... hahahaha

11 August, 2006 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

>>>too. let's see if things improve, beginning with scrapping the stupid no-smoking rules at coffeeshops...

You only have the inconsiderate jerks to blame for it. I don't how many times I see some jerk puffing away in the middle of a crowded eating place. Sorry, don't enjoy smoke with my lunch and I don't see why I should choke just because some jerk wants an after meal puff. I actually politely told someone to stop once, know how he answer me? In his smug "It's not illegal wat." Now it is. Good riddance.

- Liz

11 August, 2006 15:08  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

methinks too. :(

inconsiderate jerks are giving the rest a bad name, but i don't like the way the policies are nailed down like that, not just the no-smoking rules.

11 August, 2006 23:34  
Blogger Medusa aka expiringpoet said...

Friend, didn't see you today leh? Busy ar?
No Smoking at's not total ban, right? The ones I see, they set a few tables for smokers, usually at the corner.'s good that I no longer smoke else i'd feel like some social leper! I feel for you and other smokers though, poor thing...

No worries, good thing must share :)

12 August, 2006 22:45  
Blogger floots said...

amen to that
i wish you well

13 August, 2006 15:32  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

hi medusa, was working lah. it would be great to see you guys, heard it was a big party! never mind, try to meet you guys at the next reading.

it's ok, us smokers are pariahs in a world that is purportedly clean and orderly. :)


hi floots,
thanks for your kind words!

i wanted to comment on your "Bees" post, but it vanished!

13 August, 2006 22:11  

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