National Day Rally Speech 2019: The Goodies and the Problems

Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong delivered his seventh consecutive National Day Rally (NDR) speech this year at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College Central. The annual speech was moved to the present venue in 2013 after nine years at the National University of Singapore’s University Cultural Centre, underscoring PM Lee’s “longstanding commitment to investing in every Singaporean to his full potential” and to emphasise that “Singapore is at a turning point”.

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The Bicentennial and the Layperson

Those who have gone through the Singapore education system may recall having studied history at least at the lower secondary level. Some of the key names or words associated with the early history of Singapore they would be familiar with are Sang Nila Utama, Temasek, the “lion”1, orang laut, fishing village, Stamford Raffles and William Farquhar

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Food Insecurity in Singapore

Every night, the sun goes down on Singaporeans who have not had enough to eat, or who do not know where their next meal is coming from. Surprised? As Singapore has shifted from Third World to First, the nation has shaken off the widespread hunger and food insecurity that prevailed at independence. Yet, this “developing world” version of widespread hunger and endemic deprivation has been replaced by a very first-world problem: hunger and food insecurity afflicting individuals or pockets of neighbourhoods, even in one of the world’s wealthiest nations.

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Homelessness in Singapore: Living in the Shadows

Escaping the eye of the citizen-consumer majority living in Singapore, the homeless are largely forgotten and often misunderstood. Despite Singapore’s international reputation for successful urban planning, with 80% of its population living in HDB flats, there are still those who are homeless here. In contrast to the reality of Singapore being home to the rich and privileged as portrayed by Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians, theirs is a reality delegated to the shadows. Yet it is a reality that deserves our attention, despite being easier to ignore.

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Beyond SG50: Our Singapore Soul

Singaporeans are enjoying a good quality of life thanks to strong political and economic leadership of the past 50 years. There has been much focus on economic success but less on areas that enrich the soul of Singapore. What is the soul of Singapore? Who is the soul of Singapore? These are questions that had me stumped for a very long time. I do know that the soul of Singapore is not in the chrome silver and glass of our skyscrapers.

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