10 reasons to be thankful but do we appreciate Singapore?

Republic of Singapore Air Force helicopters perform a fly over with the national flag during the 53rd National Day parade and celebration in Singapore on August 9, 2018.
Republic of Singapore Air Force helicopters perform a fly over with the national flag during the 53rd National Day parade and celebration in Singapore on August 9, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

I hope to see more people put up our national flag and think about what living in Singapore has meant for them.

Of course, no country is perfect and we all have our complaints. But, to be fair, consider what Singapore has offered us.

First, safety and security. I have lived in cities where I was warned not to go out alone after sunset and to be very careful of my belongings among crowds.

Second, world-class education at an affordable price.

Third, the chance to learn two languages in public schools. For those who have the capability to do so, they can learn a third language.

Fourth, a good and clean public transport system and an extensive Park Connector Network, so we can choose not to own a car, or choose to drive less.

Fifth, the Singapore passport which shares the top spot in an index ranking passport power and global mobility.

Sixth, Singapore's reputation worldwide, so much so that whenever I tell people I am from Singapore, I almost always hear good comments like "clean", "beautiful" or "very advanced".

Seventh, a government with one of the lowest levels of corruption capable of turning a resource-lacking abandoned state into a First World country respected by many.

Eighth, the greenest city in Asia. Imagine Singapore without our evergreen trees, parks and gardens - how claustrophobic, stressful and depressing!

Ninth, our children have the best chances of realising their potential (S'pore best country for children to grow up in, May 29).

Tenth, the variety of food and it being relatively cheap to eat out.

I could keep going with more points such as peace and harmony, lower taxes compared with other developed countries, one of the easiest places to file taxes, few traffic jams and clean air.

But are we happy to live here? Are we proud to be Singaporeans? Do we appreciate and treasure Singapore? Are we making the best of what we have?

What can we do to ensure Singapore remains an enviable homeland for our children and the generations to come?

Ng Poh Leng

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2019, with the headline '10 reasons to be thankful but do we appreciate S'pore?'. Print Edition | Subscribe