Post National Day Reflection

Robin Low
5 min readAug 10, 2020

National Day used to be big celebrations and a time where photographers gather to take photos and families come together to see the National Day Parade.

I’ve been to many National Day in the past, at the Padang and the old National Stadium, and for the past few years, I felt that many things have changed. There were less people displaying flags and when you reflect on our National Pledge, I feel that a lot of it feels like lip service — “We the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people regardless of race, language or religion, to build a democratic society based on justice and equality so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress for our nation.”

Experiencing the political system and looking at how the PAP treats the WP wards by reducing funding, I do wonder how is this based on justice and equality? Aren’t the people in Hougang and Aljunied still Singaporeans?

The recent presidential elections reflect that something went wrong in our nation building, so much that we need a reserve election as we are not one united people regardless of race, language or religion.

With the GRC system, and the ever-changing boundary lines drawn by the elections department which is under the PMO, and how PAP MPs get to be Grassroots Advisors despite losing in the elections, I wonder how is this Democratic society.

I’ve overheard RC members at the voting booth asking residents if they have received the “Grace Fu” NTUC vouchers, which I assume is from PA and not from Grace Fu, and think to myself, how is this allowed as normal practice?

From my engagement with many Singaporeans in the past few years during walkabout, many Singaporeans have given up fighting for the system, and I do understand why.

We celebrate Singapore’s 55th birthday, and with a heavy heart, I see Singapore exceeding 55,000 COVID infections while we try to celebrate this occasion with mobile column and fireworks. In the name of “honoring the frontline workers” I hear fighter jets roar across Singapore and big crowds gather to see the mobile column and fireworks with little or no social distancing, and I do wonder, how is this going to help the frontline workers by ignoring safety guidelines as the virus does not take a day off during National Day.

Robin Low

Author, Traveler, Innovator. Focuses on Social Impact and Innovation.