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3/13/2012

The untold nation builders of the 1950s

In the 1950s we were still not a country or a nation. We were a colony of the British Empire. After the war, the people were getting more politicised and aware that the British were colonial masters and running this island for their own interests. The interests of the people were secondary. The British only think of the purse of the king or queen in England. A few elites started thinking that they could run this island better, for the people who were making this place their home.

A simple thought of taking control of the country and to decide their own future became the seed of fermentation and the struggle for independence. The people wanted to determine their own future and not be led by the colonialists with their own agenda. They wanted a better distribution of the wealth of the island by seizing political power.

The few good men did what they needed to do. They agitated the people to stand up and fight for their own future. The otherwise stateless and docile people, the workers, were politicised. They could see a better future if they were willing to fight and risk their lives. The people were awakened to the possibilities, to be their own masters and not the servants. Those days they used to end their letters with the phrase, ‘Your obedient servant.’

The servant mentality was removed. They were unshackled. And they fought for what we have today. They continued to slog after independence to build a fairer and more equitable society for themselves and their children.

The course of our history would have been different if they have been cowed, frightened, kiasu and kiasi. The course of history would have been different if they have been apathetic, kia cheng hu, and remained docile and obedient to the power of the day.

They took their future into their own hands, to shape it the way they wanted it to be. The people decided what was best for them. Without their courage to confront the colonial govt, to fight for their own good, we would not be what we are today. We only have to thank them for standing up, to face the selfishness of the colonial govt, to say, ‘give me back my island.’ We would decide what was best for us.

History always have great moments like this, when being compliant, being docile, being obedient, being afraid, were not an option. The generations of the 50s gave us this country. As our inheritance, it is tragic to lose this country by default and sheer negligence on our part. It will be a great tragedy and an unfilial act to our forefathers, our benefactors, who fought for a country for us and our children. They were migrants to a non country. They gave us a country we can call home. We are no longer migrants and stateless.

The descendants and beneficiaries of the sacrifices of our nation builders have a duty and responsibility to protect this little island they inherited. It must not be given away freely to anyone on any flimsy excuses. If we lose this inheritance through inaction, the tragic shame will be on every Singaporean.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

One of the best post I read. My sentiments too. Thanks Mr redbean.

Matilah_Singapura said...

You mean a bunch of communists came in and socially engineered a society.

Lucky (pure chance) they didn't fuck up, no civil war took place, and the story is one of success.

Lucky. Just lucky. (i.e. life is probabilistic)

Gintai_昇泰 said...

Those in control of this tiny island of only 700 sq m are so much blinded by greed and avarice. Of course they will never admit it. Will a drunkard admit that he is drunk?
The elites nvr seem to be satisfied with wealth and more profits. Everything now is cheap labour and even more cheap labour with maximization of profits. $100 billion not enug. $200 billion? $300 billion? Even now as we speak with more than $500 billion and the accolade of 3rd richest in the world still not enug. They to hit $1 trillion and then maybe $10 trillion and so on all at the expense of squeezing every bit from this limited space of 700 sq m with more than 5 million people!
When will it end? We may be 3rd richest but we got our old folks picking carboards, collecting dishes, telling them to go JB to die, locking away their life savings and throwing crumbs to them on budget day or before GE. Is this how we treat our senior citizens who had contributed so much in our founding years?
If u have frens or relatives in Hong Kong or China just ask them how they are treated.
Every month each Hong Konger above 65 yrs is given equivalent of S$200! Correct me if I'm wrong. Not much but enug to supplement their savings or whatever their children give them.
In China old ppl don't work. Even it's one party communist system the citizens there were loyal n happy. They nvr speak ill of their motherland! Each old folk is well looked after by the communists. Special amenities built for them. I was told of this fact by my fren who just came back from rural China.
Are we not shameful when we compare with them?
I rest my case.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

That is why our country is rich and the poor getting poorer.