A Singapore identity is important because it binds us as a people and sustains us as a nation (Is Singapore's identity less clear today?; July 23).
We averted being a failed state with foresight, fortitude and a good dose of luck. People stood behind our founding fathers to face a common destiny despite the odds.
Economically, we were more homogeneous then.
Basic existential needs were the common overriding concerns of the populace, and many longed for three square meals a day.
But our needs have become more diverse as we prospered.
While the drive to meet our basic necessities and the pursuit of material wealth have delivered a better standard of living overall, they cannot be relied on to build our identity as a nation.
A common ideology, vision, or even an adversary is what is needed.
The emphasis here is a commonality of experiences among the people.
In this respect, wealth may serve as a divider more than something that unifies us.
I suspect that many of us may find it difficult to define what constitutes the Singapore identity.
We are caught up in the struggle to make a living or pursue material wealth.
Our identity is something we must build on our own, it is something others cannot help us with - it cannot be outsourced.
With today's technology and communication, the views Singaporeans hold may diverge, and that is all right but we should close ranks in the face of external threats - ranging from security to criticism by foreigners. We must be vigilant.
We must strengthen our national education, so that everyone realises that Singapore is not just a place for us to build our material wealth.
In the end, it will be us, Singaporeans, regardless of economic status, who have to defend what is worthy.
Lee Teck Chuan