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Happy Birthday Singapore!

Singapore turns 41 this year and a celebration it will be at the National Stadium later this evening. I love this country with all my heart and it’s always a joy when we turn a year older.

If we look back at early Singapore, I’m glad that’s history. The racial riots should never be seen again. Not forgetting the Japanese Occupation (Singapore’s darkest period). My uncle Noel and various other members of my family were brutally killed during the occupation. Thousands of lives were lost in both Singapore and Malaya. Following the British’s failure in defending Singapore, we soon gained independence and the PAP was formed.

I have long respected Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. The man had a vision and he led Singapore to greatness. Ask any visitor to Singapore and they’ll comment that it’s remarkable that so much has been achieved in such a short period. Clearly, it’s only with the proper leadership and management that we’re where we are today.

Each time I travel, I miss the country I was born and raised in. Pretty darn well I might add. Sure I curse and swear that my pack of cigarettes or a can of beer is cheaper in countries like Indonesia for example. But when I compare the security and comfort of Singapore, we win hands down. There’s not a country I’ve visited that offers what Singapore has. And we’re the smallest country in Southeast Asia!

Since a kid, I have never missed a national day parade. By gods will, I’ll never miss a NDP as long as I’m alive and kicking. My highlight of each parade is the freefall segment by our Red Lions and the arrival of Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. It’s always an emotional ride when he walks down the stairs to his seat. Not to mention the applause he receives upon his arrival and prior to his seat.

My birthday wish for Singapore is that we stay peaceful for years to come!

Noel Boyd

A Fellow Singaporean

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