The National Day Parade on 9 August 1965 was a grand celebration. Red and white dominated the whole Padang and the sense of pride was palpable.
While no one used the word, it was very much an occasion to Honour Singapore and take pride in what had been achieved over 50 years:
- we have an armed forces that is respected for its capability and professionalism
- racial and religious harmony in a society that Pew Research just a few months back had found to be the most religiously diverse country in the world
- an economy based on a well-tested tripartism of workers, employers and government working together in intimate knowledge of what is at stake for the survival and success of Singapore
It was also an occasion to Honour Singaporeans of the pioneer generation, as well as recognise the younger Singaporeans who will make the future Singapore.
Professor Edwin Thumboo of the Department of English Language and Literature in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences of the National University of Singapore has penned a heart-warming poem entitled, simply, “Say SG”:
Singapore in the coming years is NOT guaranteed survival or success. The pressure will not just be external, but also internal.
Social harmony cannot be just one group “tolerating” another, but one group engaging, respecting, and appreciating the other.
And social harmony will need to be not just between people of different races or religions, but also between different socio-economic groups and between different nationalities.
In this regard, it is worthwhile to read the commentary by Mr Daniel Yap on the dangers of elitism published in the social media site “The Middle Ground” where he states that the elite owe the world the greatest debt: http://themiddleground.sg/2015/08/13/the-rafflesian-elite-owes-society-the-greatest-debt/
In all these relationships, be it on a national, organizational or personal level, there needs to be mutual trust. As Honour is the foundation of trust, let us take and make the effort to honour our word and each other…for the well-being of ourselves, our family, our friends, our businesses, and our nation!