Wednesday, August 09, 2006

National Day

Today it was my nation's 41st birthday and a time for everyone to celebrate the usual things like 41-years of constant economic success and how we managed to come up from a sleepy backwater to a thriving metropolis that we are today.

Well, there's much to celebrate in Singapore. It's one of the few places where you can look at Apache Helicopters and realise they're not there to harm you but as part as the fun and games. I've also used this time and time again, Singapore is one of those cheery places where the tap water is safe and the civil servants are actually obliged to play by rules that exist instead of rules that are made up.

Singapore has on the whole been a good home to me and the many others like me in terms of providing us with a safe and secure infrastructure. But with all that said and done, I feel restless and frustrated with the way things have turned out.

I think my biggest bugbear is the fact that we've become a society that places more emphasis on letters of the law rather than on the human. I suppose you could say I've been affected by the rejection of my request for defferment from NS. Its like the powers that be are so obsessed with the paper war that they forget their actions have consequences on real people. I do value the time I spend in National Service but I cannot let this service to a non-existent war rob me of my ability to make a living.

I'm frustrated because Thui's immigration status. Han Li could be a million things but if they keep her here, they should also allow the little girl to stay. Let's be realistic, playing with the immigration status of a 7-year old status will do nothing to affect the vice trade in Singapore, which was always prevelant.

We can be a nation of rich and successful people but at the end of the day, we need to remember the success was created by people and not by arbitary rullings. It was entrepreneurship and common sense that created this nation rather than by academic bureaucracy. If we remember and celebrate this, our future looks bright. If we forget this and insist on letting our bureaucrates develop a sense of being God then our future will be glum.

I don't know what it is, but I've been so melencholy about things here that when Han Li mentioned moving to Vietnam with her and Thui and setting a simple beauty shop, I wanted to say yes!