Showing posts with label National Day. Show all posts
Showing posts with label National Day. Show all posts

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Celebrating SG49 with the Community

Enjoyed a week's holiday in Vietnam and flew back just in time for National Day celebrations! At Changi Airport's Duty Free Shop, I wished the cashier a Happy National Day and she gave me the widest smile.

Took a quick shower and rushed to Eunos Community Club (CC) for the annual Eunos National Day Observance Ceremony. It is the first time in history that the National Day Parade is screened live at the CC and my first time emceeing on National Day.

The event kicked off with a performance by Tosh and Wei Liang, actors in the "Ah Boys to Men" movie, but not before a cool wefie.

The wefie uploaded by Tosh on his instagram

This is how it begun

To have war?

Immediately after the performance, National Day Parade was telecasted live at the hall. It was a touching moment when the founding Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew was on screen. All of us broke out in cheers and applause together with the many Singaporeans who were at the Floating Platform. 

And I guess singing National Anthem just gets more emotional each year for me, realising how blessed Singaporeans are in a safe, clean and green country, a small island that shines brightly in the international realm.

A segment of NDP 2014 acknowledged the workers of various professions and their contributions in nation building. For a moment, I thought that was a Labour Movement event. Nevertheless, it was a great showcase and recognition of the contributions made by workers of various collars.

And it coincided well with Prime Minister's message on recognising individuals based on their "skills, contributions and character" and not just educational qualifications.

Looking forward to National Day Rally!

Sunday, February 07, 2010

National Day Celebrations 2010 Organising Committee Meeting

29 January 2010

I felt privileged to be in the organising committee (for my first time) for Eunos constituency's National Day Celebrations 2010.

This year's committee is chaired by Mr Pang Loo Seng PBM, Chairman, Eunos Community Emergency and Engagement (C2E). Hock Rong was surprised to find out that he had been appointed one of the vice-chairpersons, and I was equally so when I knew I would be the Secretary.

A traditional National Day celebration would consist of a National Day Dinner and a National Day Observance Ceremony, where awards are given to senior grassroots leaders. There is also a National Day decorations competition among various residents' committees.

As a breakthrough to the norm, we'll also be having a 45+5 hours Karaoke Marathon as well as a campfire as part of the celebrations. 45hrs = Singapore's age. +5 = 50 hrs (in commemoration of People's Association 50th Anniversary). The campfire, titled Young At Heart - You Are Here (YAH-YAH) campfire, would really hype up this year's national day fever.

Stay tuned!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Eunos National Day Dinner 2009

1 August 2009

Just after a night of dance party, Eunos Petal Garden transformed into a formal setting for the annual Eunos National Day Dinner 2009.

The Guest-of-Honour is Foreign Affairs Minister George Yeo, who's also an MP for Aljunied GRC. He is accompanied by the host MP, Mr Zainul Abidin Rasheed, Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. In their speeches, both MPs highlighted the importance of racial harmony in the light of recent terror attacks in the region.

The 20-year long service award was also presented to community leaders. Congratulations to Mr Loh and Mr Willie from Eunos Zone '3' RC:

Monday, August 18, 2008

National Day Rally 2008

17 August 2008

After missing National Day Rally 2007, I told myself I will not miss National Day Rally 2008. Participants were to reach at 5.45pm for refreshments. I reached at 5.30pm. There were already a crowd at the University Cultural Centre @ National University of Singapore (NUS). I caught up with Zul and had some nice refreshments catered from Meritus Mandarin Hotel.

According to a veteran RC member, it's wise to arrive early and queue early to enter the Auditorium. Those that came later would be designated to proceed to levels 2 and 3. Those even later would enter a theatrette to view the Rally from a screen.

As were waiting for the Rally to commence, we looked as the MPs and various VIPs enter from the front side door. It was great to see Mr Chiam See Tong, though he staggered a little, probably due to his recent stroke. As one Grassroots Leader puts it, "The Heart of Singapore is Here!"

In National Day Rally 2008, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong employed the use of IT to illustrate his points. For the first time, there were English subtitles of his speech in Malay and Mandarin on a slideshow. He would later used graphs and other images to bring across his points with the powerpoint slideshow.

PM Lee's speech covered economic issues (specifically inflation and ERP concerns), raising happy families, gracious society, cyber society and writing our Singapore story together.

For economic issues, the audience clapped thunderously when PM Lee revealed that the Government would be dishing out 50% more dividends in October. 3-room flat dwellers would be getting about S$5,000 worth of support from the Government this year. With graphics, PM Lee convinced us that the ERP did not make the average car user worse off than a few years ago. Instead the lowering of other taxes brought in lower net revenue to the Government.

Expressing concern over the low Total Fertility Rate (TFR) of Singapore, PM Lee hinted a possible merger of Social Development Unit (SDU) and Social Development Service (SDS) to cater to a wider group. I thought this was a change that should have been done long ago. At present, SDU focuses on matchmaking graduates while SDS focuses on matchmaking non-graduates. This elitist policy is finally scrapped. The Prime Minister also suggested having a SDU Trust Accreditation for dating agencies so that single Singaporeans can be assured of the quality.

To encourage couples to give birth to more babies, PM Lee called for an extension of Child care leave from 2 days to 6 days. Maternity leave is also extended to 16 weeks! Furthermore, benefits would also extend to the 5th and subsequent child, instead to only 4.

Highlighting the importance of the Government to pay attention to cyber society, PM Lee wowed the audience when he used his mobile phone Quik application to instantly capture us in a video on screen. He quipped, "Here's our first non-political video." After the table tennis match, PM Lee surprised us when he instantly connected to Team Singapore at Beijing and started a web chat.

For politics, the Speaker's Corner would now have the Nparks in charge, instead of the police. Demonstrations and strikes would be allowed within the premise, as hinted by DPM Wong Kan Seng some few months ago.

The overall experience was good. I would rate this National Day Rally as among the best I have heard over the years. Not only has PM Lee delivered his agenda and concerns to Singaporeans, he impressed many of us with his use of digital media and dispelled myths with convincing data to show that the Government is doing its part to help the poor.


Update on 21 August 2008: Reflections

Since I was interviewed by Today Newspaper [], there were some comments and concerns from readers. In this section, I'll seek to address these concerns.

A reader left a comment stating that it is a matter of "integrity" whether or not one should reveal the details of the Rally. I feel that this is too exaggerated. The PM only mentioned not to share his jokes, so technically there wasn't any instructions not to share the information in blogs. The local media can be controlled but not bloggers [participatory journalism]. Besides this is the cyber society that the PM was focusing on. As long as the information is accurate and factual, there should be no qualms about sharing information. Of course, if there were clear instructions to keep the details to ourselves, then I wouldn't be blogging about the Rally prior to the telecast.

First-time readers could read up my featured posts (see right column) to find out the events that I have written on and some "business opportunities" that I exposed.

I would like to also thank some of the readers who sent me compliments.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'm Attending the National Day Rally 2008

After missing last year's National Day Rally, I told myself I couldn't miss the next. And yes, I am excited when I received the invitation card today.

I am a huge fan of the National Day Rally. Every year when friends doze off watching our leader speak over the rostrum, I am stuck to the screen.

In this year's National Day Rally, I would certainly be looking out for any mention or hint of the future of the political landscape of Singapore. With the ongoing debates on political freedom, and endless lawsuits, it's important to hear what the Prime Minister's stand is. Besides this issue, I would also be interested in how the government is going to handle the ongoing inflation and economics.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Singapore's 43rd Birthday - A National Day worth Celebrating

Whenever Singapore celebrates its birthday, Singaporeans are reminded of how the state gained its independence in 1965. Then, it was considered a "political joke". Nobody thought such a small state, naked of resources, could survive and prosper in the international realm.

The People's Action Party (PAP) would always remind Singaporeans that it brought Singapore to where it now stands. Being the only government that we have seen, it has to be the case. However, the Opposition parties would argue that many other factors contributed to the nation's success as well, and the PAP had its blunders too.

As Malaysian politics gets increasingly dramatised, its neighbour island state is not getting spared too. Almost every day, there are articles and commentaries debating the authoritarian style of the PAP. Even in the morning of National Day, the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) was distributing flyers and selling books for its Tak Boleh Tahan campaign in Toa Payoh.

Singaporeans have every reason to celebrate the 43rd year of Independence. Generally, we are sheltered, well-clothed, able to feed ourselves for each meal. We worry about different issues as compared to developing states. We live happily with our families, we travel around freely, knowing that this is a safe and secure environment for our children.

Yet, not many would appreciate how fortunate we are. I can sense a prevailing herd mentality towards supporting the Opposition for the sake of Opposition. The most common hyped up keywords are "Human Rights", "Democracy", "Freedom of Speech and Assembly". Some fans are supporting these like they are "Britney Spears".

I'm not saying that we should not have Opposition parties. They are essential to any governments in the world. Just as we don't want to have Opposition parties opposing for the sake of opposing, I frown upon people who join them for the sake of opposing to certain measures by the PAP government. There are plenty of feedback channels available. It's just a choice of whether one takes action through them.

It's hard not to celebrate Singapore's birthday. We never know whether we could do it 5, 10, or 20 years from now.

Happy 43rd National Day to ALL!

Monday, August 13, 2007

42nd National Day: City of Possibilities

On National Day's eve, Yong Sheng held his birthday chalet at Aranda Country Club. I believe it's my first visit to the club. The executive suite was spacious and comfortable. Spent the night and the early wee hours of National day until 5am.

At 6.45am, I was already dressed in my "Eurasian" outfit, doing rehearsals for the National Day Observance Ceremony at Petal Garden. 4 of us from Eunos YEC would be reciting the pledge to the residents of Eunos.

After the pledge, representatives from the 10 major religions in Singapore came forward to pray for harmony and prosperity for our nation.

After the ceremony, I rushed home to catch some sleep... Zzzz...

At 1pm, my family and I headed to Intercontinental Hotel near Bugis Junction. We checked in to the hotel shortly after arriving at the hotel. The room was awesome. As we would be staying there in September again, I didn't utilise the camera. So I slept all the way till the commencement of the NDP on tv.

Managed to feel some vibration through the windows when the fireworks were splashing across the Esplanade. When my brother returned from the parade, we enjoyed steamboat buffet at Tan Quee Lan Street.

Returned to Oweek the next day...