Since I started blogging I have posted my prayers for Singapore whenever the National Day approached. Over the years I have seen a change in the sentiments expressed in those prayers and wishes . This year I am more positive and upbeat than I have ever been about my country.
Part of it is because I realized I have been quite a complainer and grumbler about the Singapore government. I get upset mainly because of the uneven playing field every time election came round. Also because I had not seen enough being done for the poor and sick. Also because policies have been forced on us despite the strong feedback from the ground -case in point is the increase in the GST. However valid my unhappiness may have been, a harsh critical and complaining attitude was just not a gracious Christian response. So I have changed in this respect because of the Word.
Another reason is I have seen the government take some encouraging steps in the right direction and made some concessions. They are loosening up and allowing for more freedom of expression. They are doing more for the poor and needy. They are going to allow the opposition wards breathing space and upgrading of lifts. At last Potong Pasir and Hougang residents will get to savor some “just reward” for not wavering in voting in the opposition despite pressure not to do so.
Thirdly, when I see the generals killing the Buddhist monks in Myanmar; the reds and yellows in an unending tug of power in Thailand; and the unbelievable and incredible that is so characteristic of the frustrating circus called Malaysian politics, I find the stability and grinding sameness of Singapore politics a desirable opium. The latter two may look more like thriving democracies, but I still prefer the orderly and neat Singaporean version, or rather the Lee vision. Looks like I have shifted in my sentiments and have taken on a more tolerant stance towards the principalities and powers.
Anyway I wish for Singapore…..
More land (either by reclamation or rejoining the federation), so that it doesn’t get overcrowded. I am thanking God I probably won’t be around to see the population grow to 6 million. I am not xenophobic, but I like my space.
More compassion and care for the poor and needy, and also the senior citizens, since I am getting there too.
More sensitivity, humility and justice amongst all policymakers and those in authority.
A less stressful life for all workers and students; that they can slow down, breathe deeply, and enjoy the simple pleasures of family and life.
For greater tolerance of failure and celebration of perseverance, creativity, and risk taking.
Cheaper housing for young couples and families.
Less people emigrating to Australia.
I wish for Singapore to survive and indeed to thrive and keep surprising everyone.
Share with us your wishes and prayers for Singapore.
Thank you pastor for being so honest and free with your views. From your Blog I can relate very closely to many of your postings which I also enjoy very much. If I may I would like to add one more wish for Singapore.
It is not an original idea but was taken from a Straits Times newspaper article by Bill Durodie. As you all know that a government set the tone and pace of life in a country especially so in a small place like Singapore. The “stability and grinding sameness of Singapore politics” may be “a desirable opium”. But Durodie reminded us that people are looking “for meaning of life, not just more of it.” He states that “the forgotten role of government today is to inspire people, not simply to protect them. In an age marked by the absence of belief in secular ideals, nothing could be more vital. People who believe in a cause or project are far more effective agents of it then those who are coerced or corralled”.
He continues to say that “The choice, so often invoked in our risk-averse times, between freedom and security is a false one. real security can emerge only from being free and not the other way round. Sadly, today the maxim “better safe than sorry” seems to dominate over that of “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. It remains to be seen whether the future will be captured by those who would instil absolute safety first or those who understand the need to inspire a nation in order to achieve great things.”
“…a State which dwarfs its men… will find that with small men no great thing can really be accomplished.” – John Stuart Mill
But for me, I will desire after my God who says: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jer 29:11)
I remember reading this very article you quoted and it certainly made an impression on me. People need meaning of life once the lower hierarchy of needs have been generally met.
adding two more wishes.
1) leaders who say enough is enough: i am well rewarded and paid more than me and my family could ever consume. by my contentment, i hope to narrow the gap between the rich and the poor. in so doing, by no means my contribution and commitment to society will in anyway be compromised. with the top making a deliberate effort to achieve a more equitable distribution, the humblest laborer too can enjoy a decent living without the indignity to beg,steal and borrow.
2) leaders should drop credentials or titles. we will still give honor where honor is due but not beyond its functionality. therefore a chair will be a chair and can never be better than a table and thus no more important than a table or a shoe rack. though john the baptist was a bona fide prophet, he denied he was one.
“……..the humblest laborer too can enjoy a decent living without the indignity to beg,steal and borrow”. Yes this would be something Singaporeans can work and vote towards.
“Wants” are insatiable – what is acceptable today will be passe tomorrow. Wants are the products of having needs fulfilled – in this regard most Singaporeans have had it very good, however the age of globalization has spawned a widening divide between the have too much and those that do not have not enough.
My prayer is for the “Lights of the World” aka “Christians” to be be just simply the lover of God and of our neighbours as commanded and professed. Covered by grace, we should not have the need to justify and impose. If we could just abandon our need to be “optimal best” in all of our decisions and action, the world would be a better place each day because we are part of it.
May God answer your prayer Journeyman!
Just when through the newspaper today and was not able to see any of your National Day wishes come true! The speech by the PM didn’t offer much in the way of looking towards a good future. Despite all the government resources and highly paid scholars to keep tab in the world economy he can only utter “Worst is over, but future still uncertain.” A rally without the power.
Instead, was warned of religious fault lines. The main issue of contention was the Aware saga. But I feel this is not so much a religious affair but an uncovering of very serious infiltration from groups who desire an alternative lifestyle to be accepted into mainstream society. Even my Hindus and Muslim friends finds it revolting and are strongly against it. It has nothing to do with religion. The people who decided to make a change just happened to share the same beliefs. On hindsight, if they did not brought this issue into the open many people in the public would not have known especially their programmes in schools. This also reflected in a bad light the role of MOE which is suppose to be the guardian of the value systems of our young children.
Anyway, we can still continue to form our wishes for next year’s National Day. We only have time to wish away. Haha….
Do u think the funeral/wedding incident which the PM quoted was appropriate?
Thought the issue there was basically one group coming in without any written consent and the other group already had ‘advanced booked’ the venue. The race/religion element was overhyped IMHO!