Saturday, August 9, 2008
Let's Count Our BLESSINGS !
Today our nation celebrated its 43rd Birthday. We joined the Fed of Malaysia on 16th Sept 1963 and one year later, on 31st August 1964, celebrated our 1st Malaysia day with a Parade held at the Padang. That parade will always be a part of me as I was a member of the Singapore Scout Contingent assembled in front of our City Hall and later took part in the Marchpast. That was not the only Parade I was involved in...there were others through the years.
But, that was the ONLY time that we in Singapore ever marched under a Malaysian flag and sang the " Negara Ku". A year later, on 9th August 1965, Singapore was unceremoniously kicked out of Malaysia. The sight of our weeping Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew on our TV as he announced the SEPARATION between Singapore and Malaysia....remains an indelible part of our collective memory. I was one of those who gathered round our b/w TV set to listen and watch that historic announcement and moment of grief and agony. Only 3 weeks before that, I had embarked on a new journey in my life. I had joined the government service in my first job.
And then ....we were cast away, just like that....orphaned!
We were nothing but just an island with NIL resources, even less money, no food, no precious metals or oil, no agriculture, no crops, no defence, no army, no airforce, no navy...add more no's.
But we had LEADERS !
We had men of GREAT CHARACTER !
We had and still have a PEOPLE WHO NEVER SAY DIE!
In short, We had a TEAM of LEADERS and a POPULATION WHO REFUSED TO QUIT
when fate or rather the UMNO ultras across the causeway bullied tiny S'pore...back then.
TODAY, 43 years later....WE can stand TALL and PROUD of our Achievements as a Nation.
Based on the latest facts and figures on various Ranking sites, using either the IMF or World Bank sources, we can make a pretty accurate comparison of how and where we stand among other countries. Using either GDP or GNP or PPP [ Purchasing Power Parity ] or whatever...Singapore ranks highly and way above all the ASEAN countries., even higher than many other developed countries too.
Using the PPP indicator, S'pore is rank # 6 in the world and Malaysia # 69 !
Using per capita income, S,pore with US$ 35,163 is rank 21 while Malaysia with US$ 6,800 is rank 63. For a quick comparison with some other countries: Rank and US$ only.
Country Rank Per Capita
S'pore 21 /35,163
Japan 22 /34,312
Kuwait 23 /33,000
NZ 26 /30,200
Taiwan 37/ 16,000
M'sia 63/ 6,800
Thailand 89/ 3,737
Indonesia 115/ 1,925
Philippines 119/ 1,625
India 131/ 978
Vietnam 140/ 818
Laos 150/ 600
Myanmar 174 /235
Zimbabwe 179/ 55
And this by all means is not our only Blessings. We have other more important things to count too. Full Independence, safety and security, 1st world standard of living, 1st class transport system, 1st class hospitals, 1st class schools and universities, Top Airport, Top Airline, Top Port,
Top government and civil service.....add infinitum.
So as I and those of my generation sit back and relax a little, we hope that the younger generation will take great pride in all that we have gone through and achieved together and always be on their guard against those who are very, very envious and jealous of our Great SUCCESS. Know who and where these dangerous wolves are today? No need to guess too hard for the first one though. The answer is pretty obvious....right?