Tuesday, August 18, 2009

History was made at 8.22 pm on 9 Aug 2009

This year the NDP was held at Marina Bay. We decided way before hand to watch the parade as an extended family with friends of Redsports. It was also because we wanted very much to be together for the nation's first ever mass island -wide and worldwide recitation of that solemn Pledge...Our Singapore Pledge.
We watched the Parade together with our grandkids and other family members...on the Box.
This year's Parade was truly impressive and very exciting...with many new ideas and sets. The colours were really bright and brilliant. For most of us the segment that we found most entertaining was the re-enaction of Sang Nila Utama's landing on Temasek ( Singapore). Comediennes Mark Lee, acting as the Admiral for the King and Suhaimi Yusuf as another key official, stole the show with their hilarious Singlish and their antics.
When Mark Lee was asked by Sang Nila, " What is ahead? Can you find us a safe place to land?"..
he answered, " You ask me I ask who? "all of us rocked with laughter. Even
our little cutie ones burst out in laughter!
I am glad that the NDP organisers and controllers allowed such light-hearted banter even on such an occasion. Past NDPs were too serious throughout. There should be a nice balance between the solemnity and the entertainment side of the items.
I hope to see more of such in the future.
As we sat watching the Parade, the seconds ticked by and soon the clock struck 8.22 pm.
What's so special about 8.22 pm?
It had been announced and publicised that at that exact time all Singaporeans, citizens or PRs, were invited to join in, where ever they may be, to reaffirm and recite The Pledge.
Everywhere, at home and abroad, and happening in real time..we all stood up to be counted. Yes, count on me Singapore! Yes, count on us Singapore!

It was only 30 seconds. But history was being made right that moment for all who were spirited enough to be counted!
So, our people affirmed the Pledge...giving it the deep meaning and respect it fully deserved. Our country has been the better for it all these years since it was first recited in 1966 ( see my previous post ).

My daughter and her kids made this tray of fruits done in a way that cannot be mistaken for anything else other than the crescent and the 5 stars D, P, P, E, J.
Do you know what those alphabets mean?
The 5 stars each represent:
Democracy, Peace, Prosperity, Equality and Justice.
It was our nation's 44th birthday since independence and 50th birthday since self-govt in 1959.
So on that day we all shouted out....
Majullah Singapura!


peter said...

If i am not wrong, the time was when the then PM Lee went on TV Singapura "live" to give a press conference on re: expulsion from Malaysia in 1965. That was the time he broke into tears, recalling the efforts he put into "Malaysian Malaysia".

unk Dicko said...

I have no idea at all about the significance of the 8.22 pm timing.
But I'm sure many people out there are clueless as well.
However, since you mentioned 9 August 1965...now that's different. What happened on that date, all the relevant happennings have been chronicled and archived by many websites and even books.
The 1st radio breaking news about THE SEPARATION came out at 10 am that morning.
Back then,our TV station ( started in 1963)only began its daily programme at 6 pm. That day, 9 August 1965, programmes were cancelled in preparation for the greatest and most momentous annoucement in Singapore's history...our expulsion from Malaysia leading to the inevitable SEPARATION. That TV announcement was made and telecast at 4.30pm ( about 2 hours before normal transmission). That was the historic segment where then PM Lee Kuan Yew broke down in tears.
9th August 1965 was a Monday..and I was at work that day. It was only my 3rd week in my first job.
I wonder where were you my readers on that day?
Care to share?

peter said...

I am sure in those days, it was normal to record earlier than telecast time. The TV telecast was done at night.

I heard abou the separation on the Rediffusion in the morning; yes around the time you mentioned.

unk Dicko said...

The TV news conference was pre-recorded at 4.30 pm so that there is ample time for editing if needed. It may interest readers to know this...PM Lee Kuan Yew requested PS Raman the "boss" at RTS to edit away that teary segment. PM LKY felt that in the Asian context,it might be perceived as unmanly and a sign of weakness to shed such tears in public.
But Raman felt it would be worse for LKY if he edited that segment since all the reporters and journalists will have a field day in coming up with their own description of the scene. They may make it look even worse.
LKY, in hindsight, said it was a good thing he followed Raman's advice as leaders of govt in the west empathised and were most sympathetic to Singapore's critical situation after Aug 9 1965. They saw Singapore as having been bullied.