Saturday, 9 August 2014

National Day 2014

Happy National Day Singapore

Fly Our Flag

In the lead-up to National Day, Singaporeans of all ages can proudly fly the Singapore flag on their vehicles, within their estates or even on themselves

in the form of buttons. Singaporeans can express their creativity by taking part in an Estate Decoration Competition organized by the People's Association, based on the theme of the NDP 2014 celebrations.

Some 126,000 vehicle-mounted flags and 300,000 button badges will also be distributed to the public.

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I urge Singaporeans to fly our flag and be proud!

WHEN I walk around my estate in Tampines, I find that many Singaporeans are not displaying our flag. Other than a few blocks decorated with flags by grassroots members, fewer blocks are adorned with symbols of our national pride this year.

I visited another part of Singapore and observed the same trend.
In my block, there is only one flag flying - from my apartment. I cannot help but ask if Singaporeans have lost their national pride.
FIRST, seeing fewer State flags being flown at this time which is traditionally a period when Sporeans show off their pride as citizens, could be that there are now more non citizens staying in those areas since many locals are renting out their homes to make ends meet.
SECOND, it could be that they, like me, would normally wait until the eve of National Day to fly the flag to ensure a spanking new flag which would otherwise be soiled from dust and dirt if flown days ahead.
THIRD, which is scary, is the utter disdain among such locals who are so fed up with their current living conditions that they no longer have pride as citizens because citizenship makes no difference - except for the National Service they must do --- compared with the legions of PRs and foreigner residents on our soil.

Some people, especially the old and patriotic Singaporeans, are lamenting why so few flags are seen on the flats? It used to be nearly the whole block of flats flying the Singapore flags. Now it is like you can count them on your finger tips. 
Let me explain this phenomenon by arithmetic. First point, not too long ago, the majority of the population was Singaporeans. Then you have the element of being a closed knit society of One People, One Nation and One Singapore. Practically everyone will be flying the flag.
What does the number says today? 40% are foreigners. That is 2 foreigners to 3 Singaporeans. By this you can at best get 3 flags flying from every 5 units. But actually if you include the new citizens who are still fresh and not really one of us, you are talking about 50% are Singaporeans and 50% new citizens cum foreigners. This will mean that for every two units, only one will fly the flag at best. So at best, only 50% of the flats will be flying the flag.


I refer to the 5 Aug 2014 Straits Times letter “Be proud S’poreans, fly the flag” by Mr David Tan Kok Kheng
National pride and political affiliation ought to be separate issues but sadly in real life they are not. On National Day, there will be a PAP and an NTUC contingent in the parade square. Every title, every accolade that the nation wins, the PAP is too eager to claim as theirs. How to separate national pride from political affiliation when political elements permeate all things national?
There are grave national issues at stake at the moment and the people feel betrayed. Flying the national flag means endorsing the policies of this nation which the people are against. The people’s feelings and actions are understandable. No one should be forced to fly the flag when he or she feels betrayed. No one should be accused of not loving the country when he or she is making a statement about how he or she feels towards the national agenda. This is the collective show of force by the silent majority.
Why should we be the laughing stock when we display the moral consistency of rejecting the over-flux of foreigners and not flying our flags to show our displeasure? On the contrary, the laughing stock belongs to those who claim to be unhappy with the PAP yet fly the flag to show solidarity with the PAP. Is how other countries view us more important than how we feel about our country? Our country is already divided at the core. No amount of flag flying can change that.
I am a native born Singaporean
I participated in three National Day Parades in the sixties. I pounded the bitumen of Saint Andrew Road in front of City Hall with pride and dignity.
I performed the Presidential salutes during the march past to the then President Yusof bin Ishak with gusto, choked with emotions and attachment to a Singapore I called my home.
Tears welled up in my eyes doing the Presidential salute, tears of joy and pride arising from a deep sense of patriotism. I was prepared to lay my life down in defence of my beloved country, Singapore.
Why fewer flats seem to be flying the flag for National Day
ENTIRE blocks of flats awash in red and white in the run-up to National Day? It is a less common sight these days.
More than half of the 15 Members of Parliament and residents The Straits Times spoke to said they have noticed fewer flags on display in recent years.
Changes in the work of grassroots groups and public housing designs are two of the reasons for the drop in the number of Singaporeans flying the national flag from their flats, they added.
Arrest the apathy, fly our flag
As National Day fast approaches, I see the Singapore flags that were put up by the various grassroots committees. But what has happened to the interest among households in flying our national flag?
Are citizens dissatisfied with the Government and not flying the flag as a form of statement, mistaking the Government as the state? Or could it be that people are too busy making a living in the current economic environment?
Whatever the reasons, this apathy must be looked into and arrested. Although flying the national flag does not necessarily equate to commitment to one’s nation, it is a loud and significant display of one’s intent
Singapore flags spotted flying at Punggol -- both upside down
Two Singapore flags were spotted flying high on the flag pole at Punggol Field Walk today, Jul 18 -- but they were upside down
Stompers Farzlina and Suhairi both sent in photos of the flags.
Farzlina expressed surprise that anyone could have "accidentally" put both flags up the wrong way: "Saw this at a construction site at Punggol Field Walk, Looks like it's done deliberately?"
The misuse of the National Flag is an offence under the Singapore Arms and Flag and National Anthem Act. Such misuse includes damaged or faded flags, incorporating flags into clothing, furnishing, or even letting the flag touch the ground when lowering it from the flag pole is an offence.

Singapore flags felled in Ang Mo Kio
A town council worker puts up new flags after several were felled today (Aug 10). Photo: Channel NewsAsia

An act of mischief ruined National Day decorations at an HDB estate in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 3 today (Aug 10).

Town council workers had put up Singapore flags in the build-up to the celebrations. On Sunday morning, it was discovered that several flags had been felled.

Police officers were seen clearing up the damage when our reporter got to the scene at about 2pm. Town council workers were also seen putting up new flags. They said the flag poles were broken but there was no damage to the flags.

Police investigating toppled Singapore flags

Oh dear God, there’s a flagpole chopper on the loose! Quick apprehend the vandals before more Singapore flags are felled. Our 49th birthday post-NDP celebrations depend on it! This foul deed is as despicable as someone peeing all over our Cenotaph, or decapitating Sir Stamford Raffles’ statue.

Since we’re doing the policing and stuff, we should also round up anyone who has the audacity to allow the Singapore flag to touch the filthy ground. Like the perpetrators behind this brutal act of flag dumping below, leaving a sad pile of bleeding flag corpses, innards wrenched and spilled, outside a disgusting rubbish chute. I can’t get this ghastly image out of my head. The horror!

Even the hand-held flags are not spared. Look at how these two innocent flags are tossed among random filth near a lift. It’s as heartbreaking as seeing children laying broken and lifeless in a corner after a gangrape. I don’t want to live on this earth anymore.

A toast to nation’s birthday

President Tony Tan and his wife Mary hosted the National Day Reception at the Istana Lawn yesterday. The reception is an annual event held to celebrate Singapore’s birthday.

Guests present included Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, his wife Ho Ching, Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong and his wife Tan Choo Leng.

Also on the guest list were government, business, community and grassroot leaders, as well as sportsmen, social entrepreneurs and volunteers.

PM National Day Message

The Workers’ Party National Day Video 2014
What make us Singaporeans
As we search for our place in the world, the Singapore Identity continues to evolve and take root.
This National Day, the Workers’ Party would like everyone to find that unique value in us, that binding quality which makes us Singaporeans.

SPP National Day Message 2014

Dear fellow Singaporeans, we have done well for ourselves. Our economy is healthy. We are glad the government is taking also steps to make Singapore the best home for ourselves. Underpinning these successes, Singaporeans are asking for a more secured retirement through an enhanced CPF system – one with a higher rate of return and a less restrictive payout structure. We support these requests and we believe that more opposition voices will help to form more relevant policies for Singaporeans.

But by and large, we are happy that we have a sound retirement system, albeit, an imperfect one. We had concerns regarding higher medical costs and insufficient medical infrastructure resources. Yesterday, we were informed of an old Singaporean who was bedded by the corridors of a public hospital. No one deserves this, but we are aware that Government is ramping up medical infrastructure quickly. The CHAS card has benefited Singaporeans, especially those holding onto the blue card. It is good time for us to explore deeper support for even middle income families.

Singaporeans are afraid of losing their jobs and getting into a needy situation. The first strategy is to live within our means. COE prices will always increase because of the increase in population. It is not clear to us if we should reduce population or bear the brunt of an increased population for economic growth. What is clear is that we have to grow sustainably. Even if our population has to hit 6.9 million, we must do that very slowly.

Our Pledge is a constant reminder to us that Singapore is our Home
On 9 August 1965 we made a declaration, that as of that day, “Singapore shall be forever a sovereign democratic and independent nation, founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of her people in a more just and equal society”.

The spirit of that declaration is captured and enshrined in our National Pledge, “We the Citizens of Singapore”. And to us, the Citizens of Singapore, does Singapore belong to; just as we belong to her.

Through the many events in the last 49 years, we the citizens of Singapore, have bonded and grown stronger together as a people. NSP strongly believes that Singapore must be be a home and not a hotel for its people.

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Finding our way home - Singapore Democrats

A home is where the heart is

But it is also where the mind works and plays. Increasingly, our hearts are telling us one thing but our minds another.

We grew up on this island with family and friends, and the sights, smells and sounds have become second nature. They play with our emotions and pull at our heartstrings.

But our mind sees our home leaving us, alienated and distant.

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Today we celebrate our 49th National Day, one year short of the historic 50th anniversary that will be used by the PAP as a springboard for their 2016 General Election campaign. Over the next year, our Government-controlled media will step up their campaign of propaganda and disinformation on behalf of the PAP. The media will bombard you with images of how well off you are now compared with 1965. They will say that this is due to the genius of the PAP and to Singapore’s so-called “founding father”, Lee Kuan Yew. They will say that you wisely chose prosperity over freedom and accepted authoritarian rule in preference to democracy.

While of course you are better off than in 1965 (as is most of the global population) to say that we would not be where we are today without sacrificing freedom is a completely false rewriting of history. Whatever the PAP would like you to think Singapore was never a mangrove swamp until the genius of the Lee family conjured a global city out of nothing.

The Straits of Malacca has for centuries had an unequalled strategic position at the crossroads of world trade routes. Singapore has always been best-placed to profit from it. Singapore was already one of the richest cities in Asia. When the British left Singapore they already left in place an infrastructure that was well ahead of most of the other cities in the region. They also left behind a significant presence in many of the industries that constitute Temasek today including shipbuilding, ship repair, a port that was already the fourth busiest in the world, aviation services, aircraft repair and financial services associated with trade.

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The Singapore Democratic Alliance wishes Singaporeans a Happy National Day.

As Singapore celebrates its 49th Birthday and celebrates the success and prosperity of the past 49 years, SDA says its time to look to the future. We have a shared future ahead which is vastly different from the shared past that we have so far enjoyed.

It is now important to ensure we continue to build an inclusive society and achieve a sustainable Singapore.

related: To Be Or Not To Be Singaporeans

10 things to do on National Day weekend
The Singapore Philatelic Museum will be holding an Open House on National Day, where families can enjoy the DC Super Heroes themed programmes for free
Our Brick Estate
Singapore Char Siew Baos!
The Art Of Celebration – Palette Of Local Delights
Our Folksongs, Our Tunes
(Re)discovering Donald Moore: Singapore’s Arts pioneer
Museum Open Houses
One Fit Nation: 49er Challenge
Sentosa Celebrates

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Red Lions thrills with free-fall jump against lunar backdrop

With the moon as a dramatic backdrop, the parachutists took the plunge.
In a thrilling display of precision and skill, the Singapore Armed Forces Red Lions parachute team executed a free-fall jump during the National Day Parade (NDP) preview show on Aug 2, 2014.
The nine parachutists landed in front of the audience at The Float@Marina Bay, where Junior Red Lions joined them to salute the nation together.