For mere mortals
It was great fun to be at the debate on foreign talent that was held at the AGM.
It is interesting though that none on the panelists was officially representing a “true blue Singaporean view” as pointed out by the learned audience.
Singapore is indeed at an exciting cross-roads.
Kishore Mahbubani said in a Straits Times article published on 9 Mar 2013: “Singapore is undergoing a metamorphosis. Indeed, it is likely to be a mighty metamorphosis….Unlike previous transformations, this one is not taking place in the material or mental spheres. Nor is it taking place in the economic or political spheres. Instead, it is taking place in the spiritual sphere. The soul of Singapore is being redefined.” (article at: http://www.mahbubani.net/
articles%20by%20dean/ singapore-butterfly-or-frog. pdf )
Indeed, who is a Singaporean? Someone who has served his national service? Someone born in Singapore? Someone who has received his citizenship to become a Singaporean?
Does it matter at all who is a Singaporean as long as he calls Singapore home?
I am sure this debate will rage on.
If Singapore is merely a 5-star hotel, the debate is indeed one-sided.
Let him who is the ablest, most talented, who is able to pay, get the best of what Singapore has to offer, and Singapore belongs to him, and Singapore wants him.
What remains for the rest of mortal souls? As there is no hinterland or alternative city in Singapore for escape, escape must most certainly mean migrating to another country.
This cannot be.
If it is, then all the talk about nation-building is merely a farce, a charade, a series of unfortunate events?
I look forward to a Singapore whereby our young can and will determine their future. That they can dream dreams, and realise them.
As a start, perhaps there will be many more civic-minded bodies like the HPA established for many to contribute on a voluntary basis for societal good.
In the words of Kishore, I wish for a “Singaporean society” that will “emerge as a happy butterfly, flitting around in a garden city.”