We have overcome
Asia Insurance Building was the tallest building. Bukit Timah Road was the longest Road. Two battalions armed with 303 rifles and a few guns, we used them for ceremonial salutes today, were all we had. We had 3 tiny reservoirs and had to depend on Johore for our water supply. Each family had 8 to 10 children, mostly uneducated, under employed, and crammed into attap huts or Chinatown cubicles. There were unemployment and shortage of housing. Small businesses had to pay protection money to secret societies to remain in business. We had several small family banks run by self taught businessmen. We overcame the odds. Asia Building is now dwarfed by HDB flats. Longest road is either AYE or PIE. We have an armed force equal or better than anyone in the region. We are self sufficient in our water needs. We have full employment, solved our housing problems, educate our people to the highest level possible. Now what? We have housing problems all over again. We have unemployment among our own people in spite of full employment. We cannot solve a little flooding problem. We do not know what to do with littering by flyers. We built 3 large local banks that operate in the international market, all by our local talents. Now we are sneering at our local talents that they were not good enough to run these banks, and we need to employ foreign talents to run them. And very likely none of these foreign talents even know how to start a banking business. We have one of the world’s highest saving rate only to find out that many will not have enough money for retirement. A visit to the dental clinic or hospital is like offering oneself to be robbed. Maybe it is true that our local talents are hopeless, despite paying them top dollars. That is why we are struggling with little petty problems and got caught off guard now and then. Those days when we could overcome all odds and surmount all problems, no matter how big are over. We can’t even come out with a simple fare structure for public transport and the oldies/students have to subsidise the able, and no one can do anything about it. They just put up a show of protest and live with it, as what had happened to all the unpopular policies. What is happening?