Week 30/11: National Day Thoughts

  • I was really lucky once again to receive tickets to the National Day Parade this year. The view from the floating platform is beautiful, with the completed Marina Bay Sands building. However, I still feel a sense of unease with a casino (okay, integrated resort) being such a distinctive part of the Singapore skyline.
  • The segment of the parade which I always enjoyed the most was the military display, with our F15s planes, Apache helicopters, coast guard vessels, and the guards march-past. I still do. I’m sure it’s part of a grand strategy to remind the world we have one the most sophisticated (and expensive) pieces of metals to blast the enemies even though we are small. But it’s nice to see these traditions being parade evergreens. I don’t really care much for the songs and dances that change year after year. I usually forget about them “in a heartbeat”. [Theme song for the 2011 parade is coincidentally named “In a heartbeat”.]
  • Any reason why we had to use so much pop songs from Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry to stir the crowds? It’s the nation’s birthday, for goodness sake. Bring back the national day songs.
  • It was nice for that one day to see all Singaporeans coming together to embrace Singapore as home. But I really don’t think the nation has fully recovered from the effects of the May elections. We are still a very divided society, even more so this year with the added fault-line of political opinions. The political fault-line was always there of course, but it was simmering below the surface, not visible, at least not until this year. Somehow, National Day this year felt like a respite…the calm before the Presidential Elections storm.

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