家 – Home

Couldn’t decide to post the English or Chinese version of this song online… in the end, i found a bilingual version of the song… but for the English portion of the song, only the chorus is sung. The lyrics are below…

HOME (National Day 1998) sung by Kit Chan

Whenever I am feeling low

I look around me and I know

There’s a place that will stay within me

Wherever I may choose to go

I will always recall the city

Know every street and shore

Sail down the river which brings us life

Winding through my Singapore

Chorus:

This is Home, truly

Where I know I must be

Where my dreams wait for me

Where that river always flows

This is home, surely

As my senses tell me

This is where I won’t be alone

For this is where I know it’s home

When there are troubles to go through

We’ll find a way to start anew

There is comfort in the knowledge

That homes about its people too

So we’ll build our dreams together

Just like we’ve done before

Just like the river which brings us life

There’ll always be Singapore

Chorus(repeat 2X)

This is Home, truly

Where I know I must be

Where my dreams wait for me

Where that river always flows

This is home, surely

As my senses tell me

This is where I won’t be alone

For this is where I know it’s home

(For this is where I know, I’m HOME)

每一次我感到徬徨
不自禁就会回头望
我知道心中有个地方
一定会有一盏灯

照亮每一颗黑暗的心房
指引未来方向
沿着生命河流向前航
就能登陆理想

我的家收藏
我的欢喜悲伤
只要点燃希望
梦就会自由飞翔

我的家给我
一双坚定翅膀
我的梦不论在何方
一生的爱唯有家(世世代代温暖的家)

再也不会感到徬徨
不会再失意回头望
我要用心中一点烛光
燃放千万户辉煌

要让繁华的城市更灿烂
世界和平共享
全凭生命河流来导航
一起登陆理想

My Lion City

Sunday April 23, 2006 The Star

 

‘Stupid’ remarks stir up hornet’s nest

 

By SEAH CHIANG NEE

 

SINGAPOREANS are affluent, educated, but are they really survival smart?

 

In a world of harsher living, this question that never dies has again

grabbed the public focus here with a general election less than two weeks

away.

 

At the core of the debate: Without natural resources, the Singaporean

increasingly has to depend on his own guile, not only a good education, to

survive; has he got it?

 

It’s not a new debate. In the past decade, the Education Ministry has

changed the education system to teach independent thinking and

entrepreneurship to correct some fundamental defects in the average

worker.

 

The average Singaporean is good at academic studies and works hard, but

falls short on individual initiative and streetwise qualities, relying too

much on the government for help.

 

Revisiting the debate is controversial Taiwan lawmaker Li Ao, who recently

ranked Singaporeans rather lower in natural intelligence to the people in

Taiwan and Hong Kong.

 

“Taiwanese are scoundrels, but lovable, Hong Kong people are craftier,

(Chinese mainlanders are unfathomable) and Singaporeans are stupider,” he

said, adding that it is partially due to genetics. The original migrants

who came here from China were of “poor stock”.

 

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew once told Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping that

the ethnic Chinese in Singapore were descendants of illiterate coolies and

farmers from southern Fujian.

 

This had made them less able than the people of Hong Kong or Taiwan, whose

ancestors were mainly businessman or technocrats.

 

Singaporeans could function well only as a group, not as individuals, Li

told a Chinese newspaper. They would never be non-conformist or stand out

above the crowd.

 

“If you ask me, other than Lee Kuan Yew, his son Hsien Loong, politicians

aside, I can only think of a cute girl, (pop star) Stephanie Sun, there

aren’t many other outstanding people. The impression that I get (of normal

Singaporeans) is stupid”.

 

Singapore’s system, Li said, stemmed from the ancient Chinese political

philosophy of legalism, which emphasised on the rule of law.

“Singaporeans do not break rules, but they also do not stand out,” he said

in Mandarin.

 

He said Lee Kuan Yew had wanted to build a British-style democracy but

because the people were not up to scratch, they only knew how to toe the

line.

 

His report card on Singapore has shaken up the people at a time when

election fever is rising, indirectly touching on a campaign issue ?

government control on society.

 

Predictably, Singaporeans have reacted angrily to the terms “stupid” and

“poor genes”, dismissing them as a popularity stunt that takes no account

of their successful, modern achievements. This “genetic weakness” doesn’t

aptly describe today’s diverse, more mature and worldly-wise generation.

 

But some critics say there is some truth in what Li said, but insist that

the fault lies not in genes, but in years of political and social

conditioning by a top-down government.

 

One writer however, said: “A better word to describe the Singaporean is

naïve, which comes about because of a paternalistic and rather efficient

government. Everything is so structured and laid-out that the people do

not need to fight for a living, blunting their ability to compete. They’re

lulled into thinking the outside world also behave like Singapore.”

 

Businessmen from Taiwan and Hong Kong are more alert to opportunities, as

well as cheats, compared to even the capable Singaporeans, whose

preoccupation is getting a high salary.

 

They know where to take the short cuts when faced with a problem;

Singaporeans will just sit and wait for better days.

 

Under the Lee Kuan Yew leadership, the collective good comes before the

individual, so the republic’s success is a “collective creation”, Li added.

The individual is often lost on his own.

 

It has led some critics to ask whether the Singaporean has an original

viewpoint of his own beyond what the government says.

 

“I won’t say we are stupid. We are just not daring and street-smart,”

commented a Singaporean studying abroad. In his university, other Asian

students would walk up to the microphone and talk about some cause, not

“,0] ); //–> the Singaporeans, he said.

 

Li Ao is not alone in his views. Singaporean columnist Wong Lung Hsiang

said it reflected what he heard in China that “Taiwanese are shameless,

Hong Kongers are heartless, Singaporeans are ignorant”.

 

In Greater China, law-abiding Singaporeans have long been seen as gullible

..

 

In a commentary in November last year, Wong advised Singaporeans to

treasure their own system at home, “but when you are away, you should know

how to adapt to others”.

 

What Chinese Singaporeans have inherited from their grandparents is

peasant culture, explained “peasant judge” online.

 

“Peasants don’t care for much else except a bowl of rice on the table, a

roof over their heads, and the chance to go out to the rice fields to do

the daily back-breaking chores day in day out.”

 

Politics, too, is affected. Almost everyone goes to the polls with his

rice-bowl in mind.

 

It occupies the citizen’s mind a lot more than his counterparts in other

countries, who are more passionate about issues like justice and equality.

 

“Just imagine, well-informed Singaporeans advocating a one-party rule,

saying it is good for the future. If this is not stupidity, what is?’

asked redbean.

 

This could be a recipe for future trouble should a foreign predator one

day use this character weakness to take over the country.

All he needs to do to retain the people’s compliance is by keeping their

stomach full and their mind empty.

 

——————————–

 

I briefly read through this article before but i didn’t think it was worth commenting on. When the above was forwarded via email to me, i was going to just write a short reply to my friend… but then i decided… heck, i might as well post my reply online:-

 

Of ‘cos there are some Singaporeans who are overly dependent on the government and blame the government for all their woes. But there is an even greater number of people in other countries that depend wholly on government handouts & social welfare for their day to day expenses, living as tramps on the streets, under bridges, etc. If the typical blue-collar Singaporean is concerned solely about bread & butter issues, at least he’s taking personal responsibility in ensuring that he’s not living off the generosity of others. I say aye to that rather than people who are streetsmart – and live on the streets.

 

And if individualism is heavily promoted and adhered to by society, as it is in certain countries (esp. the one that takes “freedom of speech” as a sacred entitlement), what comes out of it? What kind of scandals and destruction have those countries caused?

I would say that Singapore has a very well-balanced system of democracy + socialism. We are a social democratic country and this system has worked well for us.

 

I’ll rather have a one-party parliament that’s focused on bringing Singapore into the next lap of economic competition, than a parliament whose politicians’ main activity is wrestling. (Sure, at least citizens of those countries will never fall asleep watching parliament on TV).

 

I’ll rather have a country where the police pre-empts/steps in to prevent/break up any sort of illegal public demonstrations, than a country that sends tankers to bulldoze its citizens.

 

I’ll rather have a country where citizens enjoy racial harmony & religious tolerance, than countries that clam down on religious freedom and where i can get shot for the colour of my skin.

 

In fact, i’m thankful even for the fact that my country allows me to post this blog entry without government imposed restrictions on what sites i can or cannot go.

 

Are Singaporeans stupid? I’ll let the quality of life i live here in Singapore speak for itself.

 

P/S Who the heck is redbean?? (highlighted in red above, pun unintended.)