This weekend, Singapore celebrates her 50th birthday as an independent nation.
Our island nation has definitely come a long way since independence. Singapore had an uncertain future back in the late 1940s to the 1960s, following the second World War. At that time, Singapore was a third-world colony of the British and her fate was unknown.
Strikes and riots and an uncertain future for 1960s Singapore
During those darker days, many strikes and riots followed in the 1960s, as well as a failed merger with Malaysia, which did not exactly work out well for Singapore. Even when our island nation had broken away from the Federation of Malaya on 9 August 1965, there was still no guarantee of what Singapore would be like or whether she would even be able to succeed on her own. Then, Singapore was just a little red dot on the world map, with no natural resources – except her people.
This was truly her only resource – and so Singapore has to thank her people for what she has become today. For example, one Singaporean, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, together with his team, rose to the challenge then, to transform the nation then into the Singapore that we know today. He may have passed away in March this year, but Mr Lee can rest in peace knowing that he has done everything that he could, for his country.
Singapore is a bustling city state today
Today, Singapore is a vibrant city state that many other Asian nations look up to and aspire to emulate. She is now a clean and green garden city with a bustling economy and airport. There are new modern iconic landmarks such as the Marina Bay Sands as well as the Singapore Flyer, too.
Singapore may still be a little red dot on the world map, but today she is a successful little red dot, with many foreigners aspiring to come here – be it for business or trade, or to give their children a good education and bright future. Today, Singapore has one of the best airports in the world and many international celebrity chefs such as Gordon Ramsay and Tetsuya have chosen to set up shop here. Our Little Red Dot also has a very bustling sports scene today, with the successful staging of the South East Asian Games in June and the world-renowned Barclays Asia Trophy last month.
Furthermore, to add to the nation being a crown jewel in the sporting landscape, Singapore stages the only night race in Formula One – and this too, has been a success every year. Even one of the United Kingdom’s biggest football clubs – Arsenal FC – recently held their global away kit launch, right here in Singapore. Indeed, the Singapore today is definitely going places, and this means that the future can only bring bigger and better things for the country, as long as she keeps it up.
Celebrating our Golden Jubilee
This weekend, as we celebrate our Golden Jubilee, much of our thoughts will lie with Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and everything that he has done to transform our Little Red Dot into a Prosperous & Successful Red Dot. He will be a major part of our jubilee celebrations in spirit, as we celebrate National Day on 9 August 2015 this year, exactly 50 years after Singapore had broke away from the Federation of Malaya and were facing uncertain times.
Regardless of whether we are watching Singapore’s National Day Parade at the Padang or at the Marina Bay Floating Platform, or even at home, we will hold Singapore close to our hearts. Whether we will be at one of the community sites or watching television at home, or even at a Singaporean event held overseas, I am sure that every single one of us will all be able to identify with Singapore, celebrate together with the rest of the nation, and look forward to an even brighter future.