I was pleasantly surprised to read in the New York Times a report on Singaporeans’ rising social activism with the headline “As Singapore loosens its grip, Residents lose fear to challenge authority”. It cited the recent public event held at Hong Lim Park to lobby for a repeal of the ISA and the Bukit Brown saga where numerous Singaporeans spoke up and lobbied for positive action to save this historical cemetery. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/17/world/asia/activism-grows-as-singapore-loosens-restrictions.html?_r=3&pagewanted=all
Often, when foreign press reports on Singapore, it’s about pretty sterile stuff such as about our nation’s hardware and economy or it is something negative about our draconian laws and our controlled political arena. And sometimes, we can detect the mocking of Singaporeans as a submissive and boring people in the reports.
Hence, I felt pride when I read this nice positive piece in NYT about Singaporeans’ growing passion in speaking up for their country and for causes they care about. I hope we will continue to gain even more respect and show our people and the world that we are no apathetic pushovers who will meekly accept whatever the government dishes out to us.
If we believe something is wrong, we should speak up and question for this is our country and we have the right to shape the home we want. I am truly happy to see more and more of my fellow men and women, and even the youths, having the passion to voice their views and act on their hopes and dreams. Bravo! Let’s hope this momentum gathers pace. As the saying goes, the future is in our hands.