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city of possibilities

die a good death

ok. i think everyone's already acquainted with the title of this entry. just watched the national day rally and there was this urge to write something about what i've heard.

truth be told, i cannot be bothered about the issue regarding the increase in the cpf interest rate by one percent capped to a limit of $60 000. nor am i affected by the implementation of a 10 percent increase in the workfare bonus. or how increaing the draw down age to 65 will affect my retirement, considering that it's still a few decades away. in fact, for most parts of his speech, i didn't see how many issues will be of a direct consequence to me. yes, i'm already contributing to my cpf account now, but the thing is, it is something that has yet to materiaise in full form before me. i don't see it and it becomes an intangible portion of my income. let it grow in the account and maybe in 20 years time, i'll see its relevance. it's comforting though, knowing that there is a government body looking after my retirement funds, and that there are people working to ensure that i have enough money to see me through the retirement. even housing has been taken care of by the government.

i think we've grown somewhat into a nanny state, where the government has a hand in almost everything. from education, to housing and even retirement. it's evident isn't it? everything has been thought of, and taken care of by the government. the prime minister has to start making plans for people who want to work beyond their retirement age, from encouraging employers to employ older workers, to egging on those who choose to retire early. the question is do singaporeans need the government to have it all mapped out for them before they can look after themselves, and each other? do they need a milk bottle shoved down their throats before they start planning for their futures? essentially, do singaporeans need to be told what to do and be looked after from birth to death? i think not.

well, what moved me in his speech was the future prospects of singapore's development. taking the pungool 21 project with new waterfront living as an example. that's pretty swell looking at the animation. but thinking abut the effort and the number of years it's gonna take, digging a new water way that runs through the estate and building thousands of flats, is pretty overwhelming. yet, it boasts of a life that i can foresee myself living and being drawn into in like a decade or two. setting up a family by the bayfront and returning home from work each day. it's almost comforting to know that there is a future to look forward to back home here. singaporeans huddle in this comfort of knowing that there's always someone, or something to fall back on.

and how apt, that at the end of the whole rally, the national day song that has been the centrepiece of alot of controversy was played on channel 5. do we really need the word "singapore" to be mentioned in a song before we can totally relate to it? agreed, the song's target audience may seem to be the younger, globetrotting youths of the nation, but it's the message embedded in the song that matters. i mean, no matter where you are, home is where the heart is. it's in you, it's an inner acknowledgement of an existence of a place that is close to the heart. you don't need to proclaim to the world that singapore is home. so to all the critics, eat your heart out. for if you need a verbal and physical representation of home, it merely goes to show the lack of an anchor to where home really is. it's intangible and cannot be accounted for. the increasing global identity singaporeans are adopting makes this song all the more poignant without the word singapore in it. it brings to attention the risk of a misshapen identity, and compels the listener to reaffirm his beliefs as to where home is. somewhere in between the countries of the world, there lies a little red dot that is home. for those who have lost sight of it, a slow recollection is spurred on by the song as they struggle to regain the name, that is not mentioned, of home.

3 years in the uk. is it going to make me forget what or where home is? will i lose the capability to call out the name of home? i hope not. the three years will serve as a bridge to the world beyond our shores, to learn and to edify the mind, and come back a somewhat gobal citizen of the world we serve, and live in.

and so the countdown begins. 36 days.

“city of possibilities”