Building a Truly Great Nation

The Workers’ Party National Day Statement 2009

National Day in Singapore has always been an occasion when Singaporeans look back with pride at our achievements as a young nation.

Our country was founded 44 years ago on the ideals of democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality. It was a moment which we can justly be proud of. Yet, for some time now, it seems that we have been losing our way on some of these ideals.

Do we want a future where our children and retired parents are judged only by their economic worth? Do we wish to have a society where the less able are left to fend for themselves? How much does your vote count for after it has been devalued by the tight controls over the media and political parties, and the constant redrawing of electoral boundaries

This year, it is time to also to reflect on the kind of Singapore that we want to build together.

The Workers’ Party believes Singapore can become a truly great nation: A nation where each Singaporean is counted as a valuable citizen rather than an employee of “Singapore, Inc”. A nation that is respected the world over for not just its efficiency and material wealth, but for the kindness and generosity of its people and leaders. To this end, and many more, we continue to strive.

Any nation will encounter challenges. These challenges are all part of nation building. At times our challenges will be light and at times they will be very difficult, or even gripping. In such hours, Singaporeans may feel dispirited, but hope – the hope of a victorious future – will never abandon us. Therefore Singaporeans can expect to triumph over every challenge, even the hardest.

The Workers’ Party invites fellow Singaporeans to reflect, above all, on the relation between being more and having more. Having more must never be allowed to win. If it did, Singaporeans would lose the most precious gift of all: our humanity, our conscience, our dignity. As such, in this era of global uncertainties, Singaporeans must make demands on ourselves of “being more”, even if others do not make demands on us.
Each of us, fellow Singaporeans, will experience a “being more” of our own: responsibilities that we must assume and fulfil, a Singapore cause, for which we must fight, a duty, an obligation, from which there can be no withdrawal, no running away. A system of truths and values that must be upheld and defended: a “being more” in us and around us.

As part of the Workers’ Party’s National Day celebrations, we are embarking on a number of “being more” events to usher in our nation’s 44th Birthday. These initiatives are conceptualised, planned and spearheaded by members of the Workers’ Party Youth Wing.

The Workers’ Party invites all Singaporeans to participate in these events, namely: an Essay Writing Competition, a Town Hall Dialogue and a Public Outreach Activity on National Day itself. More information can be found on the Workers’ Party Youth Wing website at www.wpyouth.sg.

The Workers’ Party wishes all Singaporeans – whether in Singapore or residing abroad – a Happy National Day!

KOH CHOONG YONG
Vice-President, The Workers’ Party Youth Wing
05 Aug 2009

Update: Press coverage of the WP National Day statement:

TODAY

Lianhe Zaobao

Channel NewsAsia

Author: Gerald Giam

Gerald Giam is the Member of Parliament for Aljunied GRC. He is a member of the Workers' Party of Singapore. The opinions expressed on this page are his alone.

10 thoughts on “Building a Truly Great Nation”

  1. Before foreigner rule the country today local but there is no difference, power skrew but the same politic. happy holiday.

  2. To build a democratic society, based on justice and equality….in the midst of idle chatter one day with a friend of mine, he pointed out something that I never really realised. And rightly so, he is an English teacher. We both agreed, the operative word is “to build”. And, to build, we need to come together to achieve those lofty goals. The questions we should ask ourselves is; now that we’ve modernised our city, claim 1st world status unto ourselves, whatever we’re doing for ourselves and our country, are we moving closer to those goals, or further away? And whose goals are we really meeting? Everyone’s? Equally? Of course not, but as equal as practicable?

  3. And especially for those brain-dead/washed, head-in-the-clouds cheery believers, who actually think we’re already there…..To build, means we’ve not yet achieved it, if we had, the pledge might then read, To “maintain”, or “sustain” a democratic society etc etc. So while its good to celebrate our nation, I’m not sure how much the waving of flags, painting of faces and singing of songs does to move us forward. I say to all true patriots, suck it up, roll up your sleeves, we’ve got building to do.

  4. Well it’s kind of like “The Best is Yet to Be”. It’s a continual aspiration to achieve more. Let those cheery believers be. After a while they, like me, will realize that they were believing in a false god. That’s when we’ll have a repeat of March 8 in Singapore.

  5. Woah!

    Posting only the WP’s national day statement on your blog is a lightning rod, don’t you think? (No pun intended; it is a happy coincidence there is a lightning smack in the middle of another political logo.)

    To be fair and balance, how about putting up the ND statement of all political parties that have issued one?

    Happy national day! August 9 is probably a very special day for you…

    Regards,
    An Old Friend

  6. Hi Gerald,

    Pardon my ignorance, but would you be so kind to explain what happened on March 8?

    Regards,
    An Old Friend

  7. Sorry I should have explained that. March 8, 2008 was the date of Malaysia’s 12th general elections, which saw the opposition make great inroads and denying the BN the 2/3 majority in Parliament.

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