13 Jul 2014

9th August: A Refresher

Whoo. Heading towards mid-July. National Day is creeping towards here. You could almost touch the fat packs of coupons snugly stuffed into the NDP Fun Packs. Almost taste the NEWater supplied within too.

Honestly I'm not totally psyched about the 9th of August. It's almost a given that at least half of the choreography is supposed to flesh out abstract concepts in ways I don't understand. And that the emcees (chosen to represent all major races, of course) are busy trying to keep the hyped crowd from fizzling out, at least not until the fireworks are about to be unleashed into the night sky.

But it seems like this time, the NDP may hold more significance to us Singaporeans in several ways. At least that's what I think.

I mean, time and time again the NDP has served as both a celebration of our achievements & values, and a reminder that it will take effort & collaboration to keep this up, or else we will almost certainly perish as nothing more than a little dot disappearing off the map. (Best narrated in foreboding deep voice)

But seriously, it has been anything but a smooth road from the start of modern Singapore, to present-day Singapore. Hard to deny that our strong significant position in the world today is still a precarious one.

So, perhaps 2014's NDP's gonna need a bigger kick in their message, especially in light of certain events like the Little India Riot, the CPF controversy, the LGBT debates, the recent news of the book pulping, among several other happenings of a similar nature.

We are in quite a tricky balancing act. Right now the most we are usually able to manage is silent tolerance. If nobody outright discriminates against a certain group for reasons deemed as unfair, then everyone should be able to get along. Should.

The thing is, we have social media. We have lower entry barriers to discussion platforms than ever. Even if the plain slander is taken out of the conversation, there will almost certainly still be differing opinions, each based on rationale. Whether the rationales are sound is a different matter, and is the question the discussion is meant to answer. The point is, the differences are becoming more and more visible. We can't ignore them. Especially not with the younger generations being more inquisitive and curious, being more willing to challenge underlying assumptions.

NDP can't simply keep repeating the phrase "racial & religious harmony". Especially not when the demographics expand beyond race and religion. We have income groups. We have workers of various industry sectors. We have subscribers of different political agenda. We have people who identify themselves apart from the default gender and/or sexuality archetypes.

Just preach harmony. In general. That's what I'd prefer. We can't keep being focused on "race, language or religion" alone. Sure they are major defining demographics of our people, but our people are more than those attributes.

I might be talking out of my ass though.

I guess... if there's a summary of this whole crap, maybe it's that perhaps we should remind ourselves again of what the NDP's significance is. And how we may need to adjust ourselves to continue exhibiting the virtues that NDP deems as critical to Singapore's success.

And another thing, empty yourselves in the toilet before you enter the Floating Platform. It's too much of a hassle to look for a free toilet midway.