Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Singapore: A Smart City in the Making

Indeed, it is National Day today! Singapore celebrates its 52nd year of independence this year.

Nation building is a marathon. Singapore has come a long way since the separation from Malaysia in 1965, and there is still a long way to go and lots of growing to do. The young nation is currently remaking itself to become a smart city in a garden. And, no doubt, by keeping alive the spirit of its pioneer generation, Singapore will make even greater achievements.

This year, Singapore commemorates fifty years of national service (NS50). National service forms the backbone of Singapore's military defence, and is a vital contribution to peace and stability. Every Singaporean son contributes two years of his youth to protect the nation. In the past fifty years, batches of young men were enlisted into national service and trained to become soldiers, sailors and airmen. Over time, those who have completed national service are seeing their sons going through national service. This year also marks the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore during the second world war. People suffered and many lost their lives during the Japanese Occupation, which lasted for three years and six months between 1942 and 1945. Singapore's commitment to maintaining a strong defence force is the result of the lessons learnt from the Japanese Occupation.

The growth of the middle class in Asia presents businesses and individuals with new challenges and opportunities. The strong economic foundation laid down in the past decades helps to keep Singapore ahead of competition. In addition, Singaporeans have to master new knowledge and skills, which will in turn reinvigorate the economy. Like our forefathers who had worked hard for the fruits of success we enjoy today, the rainbow awaits those who rise to meet the challenge of the day.

Majulah Singapura. Happy Birthday, Singapore!