Do we really call Singapore our home?


Last Sunday (18th July), I went to Kent Ridge Park to have a walk-along exercise. It’s actually quite accessible, took Bus 200 from Buona Vista Stn and alighted right in-front of NACLI.

Cass and I were walking blindly and we walked along a canopy walk-way, overseeing beautiful landscapes. At the end of the canopy walk-way, we stumbled upon a lesser known museum called Reflections at Bukit Chandu. Thankfully the curator asked if we are students because it’s a free admission. Woo hoo!

Took some pictures in there and you can view them from my facebook page under Kent Ridge Park. (Non-flash photography allowed in the two-story museum)

It was so interesting that I developed an interest to understand Singapore more. There are many places, even tourist attractions I have not visited. I felt an urge to buy a Singapore City Map and explore Singapore, as a Singaporean; especially historical sites.

Do we really treasure Singapore as our homeland? I hear people complaining about Singapore being a place too bored for their liking and expressed interests in migrating. I hear of how people often complained there is nothing interesting in Singapore. There are many interesting places in Singapore which we as Singaporeans do not even know of and we started complaining about Singapore.

Buy a City Map and explore Singapore inside-out before you can say, “I had enough and seen enough of Singapore, maybe I should migrate.” But I do hope after re-visiting Singapore, you would all stay on; reminding ourselves how we came this far.

During an interactive show on the battle of Bukit Chandu (The last battle before Singapore was surrendered), I was deeply touched. Our fore-fathers died bravely for their families. Why would the British surrendered us over while we out-numbered the Japanese in terms of ammunition and manpower? It was because of confusion, it was because not everyone(especially the Colonial masters) felt the ownership over Singapore. There were many brave British soldiers and officers, but not enough to pull a victory. When I was reminded how stubborn our volunteer fighters and how the British surrendered Singapore “easily” is because of disunity.
Some would die for this land, some would rather go home(overseas) quickly. A mix-conviction issue.

Right now, all Singapore citizens have a stronger conviction to die for the country. Our families, assets are all rooted in this land.

Do you feel that way? Then you can call Singapore your homeland.

On Tuesday, I went back to NYP and Cass, her school-mates and me were looking for a seat(7 persons) at Koufu. Found a 4-seater bench and we quickly tried to occupied it. As the table was cluttered with used plates and bowls, I cleared the table. The cleaner was so grateful she smiled and commented that I was a good and helpful boy. By clearing the table myself, I took ownership of the table and deterred two late-comers who tried to stand around the table trying to compete for the table with us. [Hehe!]

In the end, we occupied a 4-seater table(5 persons occupying) and two seats shared from the neighboring 4-seater table for Cass and myself. After we came back with our food, there was a tray occupying our table space. Cass asked who’s tray was it and I already suspected it’s the 2 ladies originally sitting at the table. The ladies has no sign of remorse nor offered to clear the tray, Cass returned the tray to a clearing station. I was quite sad about it, how self-centered people are. To make things worse, they are tertiary students – our younger generation.

After our meal, I returned the used plates and the tray myself; strengthening my conviction to be considerate to others. I remembered I returned my MacDonald’s tray in Shanghai, earned myself some stares. By the way, I saw a westerner returning the tray by himself. I was encouraged by his action and I did the same afterwards.

In the evening, my mum and I went Jurong Point for dinner at the Kopitiam. Used plates and bowls were our neighbors for quite some time before I need to gesture a cleaner to help clear it. I was frustrated because the cleaner saw it a few times but ignored it. At the end of our meal, we returned the tray and used plates ourselves.

If it’s a criminal offence to litter (Historically, litter contributed to the bubonic plague), can lying your used plates behind considered litter on the table? Do we feel ashamed that someone else got to clear your used plates? Well, not so; it’s such a “culture” in Singapore. What about dumping their used tissue papers into the bowls which either ourselves or others will re-use them? Especially tissue paper used for clearing our noses?

If from history we learned that littering can contribute to plagues, what about inappropriate public food-table manners?

By clearing our own plates,

a. Cleaners can concentrate on cleaning the tables and washing the cutlery, plates, etc. (Cutlery now are safer to use with)
b. Faster turn-over rate to generate more revenue for stall-owners

Some may argue that if we are too clean, we will be vulnerable with our “untrained” immune system. Is clearing our own plates “too clean”? I am not encouraging people to clean their hands with anti-bacterial all the time. It’s definitely encouraged to let our immune system go under stress and be stronger.

That’s why I rarely visit the doctor if I am feeling slightly unwell, except where I am sick for too long; this goes to show my immune system is too weak for that virus.

A question to ask ourselves: Is the attitude/spirit of littering the same behind littering on the streets and “littering” on public tables? If you love your country, be considerate to your own country men. Do it in small amounts, whenever you can; I am sure people will be influenced and touched by your kind gesture.

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