It's all about Amelioration

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Singaporean on Paper or Heart?

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photo by Sebastian Mary

Congratulations to our woman’s table tennis team for clinching the world cup from our arch rivals China. It is another milestone in Singapore’s sporting history. Only thing missing is the enthusiasm of support among Singaporeans.

I could see it coming, after reading about our triumph in Moscow. The never-ending debate about our Sports representatives not being “true blue” Singaporeans, hence the lack of national empathy and pride associated with their victories. And of course like any national issue that our incumbent is uncomfortable with, they will point to extremities via their propaganda mass media, attempting to alienate alternative views and sway public opinion. Just like how they claimed that we are all xenophobic when it comes to foreigners of all classes and how they are critically needed to fill lower end jobs that we shun, OR how they should lock our CPF funds up if we liquidate our property just because some guy irresponsibly squandered his proceeds away.

On a similar tone, we are told to embrace the efforts of our table tennis world champions, treat them as fellow Singaporeans and not be ungrateful [link]. Well, once again these reporters are missing the point. A hidden agenda perhaps…  I reckon the majority of us certainly do not doubt the effort and time put in by our peddlers in achieving what they have today. And we also acknowledge the fact that they were “unpolished diamonds” when our scouts found them and we nurtured their talent to be world beaters. We are also told that like the Zidanes of France and the Cacaus of Germany, many countries are importing their way to victories. It’s an unfair comparison if you ask me.  Firstly unlike us, the majority of their representatives are still natives or second generation immigrants who were brought up there, with a handful of new immigrants to boost their strength. Secondly, Singapore is a young country with a mere 50 years of independence as compared to other developed countries with a couple of hundred years of history.Are we already putting our hands up and forgo generic growth in our local sportsmen? A small population is not a problem as seen in countries like Denmark and Norway which boasts world-class sports representatives.  A very typical fear mongering type of mindset that our ruling party instilled in us led us to believe that we must be world beaters ASAP in anything we do, and the end justifies any means even if it takes blatant importing of talent in the sporting scene. I dare say, what’s the rush? Is it just to meet a certain key performance indicators (KPIs) that government boards are so fond of?

I’m sure it takes time and money to nurture home-grown talents, but for every sportsmen, it is definitely worth it if he has the full support of the nation he is representing. Never mind the world cup, a regional cup would suffice, because the passion of a true sportsman lies in not what material rewards he’ll attain by winning a competition, BUT the pride of representing his country and adornment & fervor of his supporters. Just look back in the nineties and the Malaysia cup. Never mind if it’s a competition among the states of merely 2 countries, the pride of seeing our local footballers in action is for all to see.

This leads to the ultimate question, can our China born peddlers that represent us feel connected to our country? I am utterly frustrated by the mass media because,why is the focus always on the negativity of  Singaporeans whining about our foreign-born athletes? Why can’t the focus be on these new immigrants instead? Ask them about their sense of patriotism or whether they can truly call Singapore home. Ask them what were in their hearts when our national anthem was played at the podium? What can they identify with our country that will keep us in their long-term plans? It is paramount that we know the answers to these questions because at the end of the day with our low fertility rates, we are relying on these new generation of immigrants which includes these athletes to sustain the growth of our country.  It does not help that they can only speak Mandarin during interviews. No wonder some Westerners think Singapore is in China. Gees.


Written by Nabs

June 3, 2010 at 12:44 pm

Posted in BODY, MIND, Politics

3 Responses

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  1. Money cannot buy everything and they need to understand this. Even if it deliver certain results, it may well be ephemeral. The government has an important role to play in developing National Identity FIRST and ensure that citizens feel CONNECTED to the country. Only then can they ensure loyalty from the people. Taking shortcuts is not a long term solution.


    June 4, 2010 at 12:09 am

  2. […] in a Strange Land – It’s all about Amelioration: Singaporean on Paper or Heart? – Singapore Social and Political Thoughts: Issue of NS for Singaporean Men Part II – The Temasek […]

  3. Wrong to think that this is done for the country and people. The ultimate objectives of this importing of foreign sport ‘talents’ is to embellish what the govt has ‘achieved’, like the icing on the cake otherwise LKY, LHL and GCT ‘tak puas harti’ that they have achieved 100% personal glory. The second reason is to deflect the criticism and the truth about the cost and toll that the economic success has taken from Singaporeans – that they are made to carry such a heavy burden to achieve it for the govt.

    Just how truly well meaning the govt is can be seen from the way it had held back aid and assistance to the poor, sick and aged of our society. They would rather throw billions away to line the pockets of foreign banks and investors. Just a fraction of what Ho Ching and LKY have lost would have covered the well being and welfare of thousands of the less fortunate in Singapore. When they cannot even tell us what boo boo they have made in itself tells volumes of the humongous losses they have made in the financial crisis – with ‘no regrets’ according to the PM’s wife, Ho Ching!!! In Japan, public officials and politicians would have committed harakiri to show their deepest regret and shame, but not here where we have the culprits still in charge. Be prepared for even more losses.


    June 5, 2010 at 2:43 pm

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