Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 11:21:18 -0700 (PDT)
Local: Mon, Aug 24 2009 2:21 am
Subject: The Singapore Pledge Debate
The Singapore Pledge Debate
The Singapore pledge has moved from becoming a daily ritual during my
school days to grow on my altruistic ensemble over the years. I heard
somethings about a parliamentary debate on the pledge on the car radio
shook pulled my other part of my body from my bed a few kilometers
away. No danger was my wife was driving and I was desperately trying
to catch up on lost sleep.
I decided not to read a singe shred of this topic so that I can form
my own opinion unadulterated by you reporters and journalists alike.
No pun intended. Up to now, I have kept this faith and will launch
into penning my thoughts on such topics in an unadulterated manner.
To me the pledge represents a couple of things namely:
a. A state that we would like to arrive at at year X in the future.
b. A common compass to point us towards the year X destination.
c. A common moral goal post for a secular society polarized across
various divider like race, religion, language and social standing.
d. Justice is blind and fair. (the lady with a blindfold on top of old
supreme court has always caught my attention). Not the woman but the
concept it conveys.
Singapore is a young nation whether you use 1819 or 1959 or 1965 as
birth years. Not only that, the multi-ethnic composition right from
the start did not help and a sprinkling of riotous events along racial
and religious lines did not help. It seems that the low flash point
thinner to glue the society together as one never had a chance and the
low flash point thinners were used in the raw with disastrous results
as we look back using our rear view mirror and hopefully wiser.
On why the pledge written by Rajaratnam and revised by Lee Kuan Yew
should stay the way it is to allow it to sink deeper roots a few more
generations for it to be internalized in the future generations. I am
not suggesting that we continue on a track and not change it for old
time sick to bring us all into destruction. By not changing the pledge
which we have very little reasons to do so after such a short period
will transmit to the younger generation the meaning of sacredness and
longevity of some of our institutions. Seeing my two kids grow up and
the youths that I interact with, it seems that we need not worry about
them adopting to the fast changing environment that is becoming second
skin to many of them but to root them in the areas that needs
longevity together with their dynamism transform Singapore into unique
society in the world and no longer the little red dot as we are
commonly known as.
On the question of equality, there seems to be an existing dichotomy
like granting the Malays in Singapore certain special privileges. And
if I read it correctly, the ruling party might be concerned that the
pledge might be used as instrument to rally SIngaporean into one be
made to polarized the nation and allow racial overtones color our
largely islamic and Malay geographical neighbors. Many countries like
New Zealand, USA, Canada,Malaysia and Australia practices some form of
first nation rights to certain groups to varying degrees.
This could also have been prompted by religious activism world wide
and this worries me too and in a secular society, we should at all
times be able to live as one people with different races, religion and
practices. Tolerances, understanding, and respect shall be hall marks
by which we live by.
Peter Lye aka
Safe Harbor. Please note that information contained in these pages are
of a personal nature and does not necessarily reflect that of any
companies, organizations or individuals. In addition, some of these
opinions are of a forward looking nature. Lastly the facts and
opinions contained in these pages might not have been verified for
correctness, so please use with caution. Happy Reading. Peter Lye