Tuesday, March 01, 2011

I feel most Singaporean when…


… I am HOME.

Exactly a year ago, I was at Changi Airport at this time. I had an opportunity to go to People’s Republic of China (PRC) to work for half a year. Together with me were my Dad, Mom and two younger sisters who were there to send me off.

We had breakfast and time somehow slipped past quickly. And then suddenly, it was time for me to go. We hugged and bade farewell as we will only meet again six months later. I walked into the departure hall alone and turned back to say my final goodbye.

That was the first time I ever left Singapore alone. That was also the first time I was away from Singapore for such a long time. That was one experience I will never forget.

Being away from home allowed me to look back at Singapore from another perspective. Some government policies which I wasn’t happy about eventually made sense to me. Now that I can compare Singapore with PRC, I realized that we Singaporeans had taken so so many things for granted.

Our MRT system might be packed during the peak hours but imagine if we do not have it? We will have no choice but to take the bus or cab or drive and the roads will be packed no matter how high ERP are.

During the 1950s, the Fullerton Hotel (former General Post Office building) was along the costal line. Today, we reclaimed land and created the Marina Bay. Not to forget the skyscrapers at Raffles Place, they were nowhere in sight 50 plus years ago.

If we face problems, we can always look for our Members of Parliament (MPs) during the Meet-the-People sessions. I can’t think of another country whose MPs provide such easy access.


I had the Singapore Flag by my side to feel secure. When family and friends are thousand of miles away, surprisingly this worked miraculously. And when I caught the National Day Parade (NDP) from the internet, I almost wanted to pack my stuff and come home.

Now that I am back home, I am doing more to give back. I strongly believe that together we can make things happen and make Singapore the best place to live, work and play.

Singapore will always be my home.

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