43 years of Independence!
The word 'independence' is a smear word in the history of colonised people. Independence from who or from what? If the land is yours, if you are the owners of the land, what independence, but independence from the colonial masters who came and took the land from you. You lost ownership of your land and your rights as an independent people. You became a subject of a colonial power. All the properties and land now belonged to the masters. They came and they took, including you. The only people who fought bravely for their land and their rights as a people were the Red Indians. They fought with bows and arrows against rifles and bullets. They were decimated. But they were willing to die for their land and the rights to be what they were. No one was going to take away their land and properties unless over their dead bodies. Millions of dead Red Indian bodies were strewn across the prairies. There are so few left of them today that the World Wild Life Protection Fund should rightly put them on the endangered species to be protected. The Africans were in a poorer state when the colonialists arrived. They did not know much about being a nation or a country. All tribes, and primitive weapons for hunting, worst than the arrows of the Red Indians. And they were easy meat. Hunted down like animals and shipped as beast of burdens. They called them slaves then, to work for a paltry 3 meals and in chains. No rights, no freedom. They don't even own their bodies or their children or spouses. All owned by the colonial masters. The Indians in India were far better developed. They had empires and kingdoms before. But they could not fight the power of new military weapons. Many chose to serve the colonial masters and be part of the empire. The pockets of resistance were too weak and disorganised to mean anything. Came Malaya, in a period of village chiefs. The only fighting weapons were the krises and spears, maybe some blowpipes. But as small groups of fishing villages, they were easily rounded up, a little carrot and stick, and all was peaceful with the colonial masters in full control and owning everything. Singapore was created as a trading post by the colonial masters. It grew and became their administrative headquarters. We became part of the Straits Settlement which included Penang and Malacca. Then came self rule in 1959. David Marshall and Lim Yew Hock were involved in political and administrative fights to win back some rights to govern ourselves. History helped us in our next phase of development when the British Empire was crumbling and they found it necessary to grant independence to their colonies but retaining authority and privileges to trade and administration. We became part of Malaysia in 1963 and then full independence in 1965. Finally, we owned the land we lived in, we became citizens with full rights to properties and liberty. Yes we became independent and owned everything here. There were some legal and political struggles, not the kind like fighting a war of independence when many were killed or ended up as martyrs. We were literally given our independence on a silver plate. Maybe we have got our independence too easily. So it is easier to give it away or share it with the world. Everyone is welcome to be a citizen. And everything can be sold for a price. Just name your price and we can negotiate. Will we sell everything we owned for some fiat currency? Would we sell our rights as a country, our people's rights as citizens for money? Will we eventually lose everything or sold out everything that has a monetary value on it? What is a country or nation when we don't own anything any more? What is a country or nation when no one feels any attachment to anything here? What is, if no one thinks it is worth fighting for, or a better option is an exit to another country, emigration? What is a citizen when anything of value is own by foreigners? And to make matter worst, we either have to pay dearly to enjoy or visit them or be excluded completely, because we are not a member or cannot afford to become a member, in our own country? It is not too far fetch to imagine that Sentosa or Orchard Road will no longer be freely accessible to the citizens unless they can afford a ransom for it. The trend of losing the rights to our land and properties, to the right of sight and smell, and even free air, is growing. If and when everything is sold, what are we as citizens of this land? We are 43 in a week's time. What will things be when we are 53, 63 or 100? Will we be citizens in name only but serving new economic colonial masters that own all our land and things on the land one day? Will the word independence takes on a new meaning some time in the future?