Youth Olympics: the abandoned orphanBy secret-blog Aug 17, 2010 2:45PM UTC
It is a strange thing to note that Singaporeans cheer when the ping pong ball flies off the Singaporean side of the table, smile with triumphant glee when Orchard becomes flooded and celebrate when a hallmark sporting event produces little but empty seats in the face of a highly apathetic population.
One will be hard-pressed to find any other citizen in this world that has been able to exact such pleasure from the misfortunes of their own nation.
There are deep underlying reasons for this phenomenon. Some point to the fact that Singaporeans whom resent the elitism and moneyed salaries of their political elite feel justified whenever blunders happen (“See, they are not that smart after all”). Meanwhile, others who already oppose the government delight in schadenfreude to see new attack grounds being opened for them.
Amidst these reasons, there is one most disturbing with weighty troubling ramifications: That Singaporeans have disowned Singapore, or rather, PAP’s Singapore.
The Frankenstein known as PAP’s Singapore has come about as a political party created a whole nation moulded in its own image, and extended its power such that nation and state has been tightly enmeshed and indistinguishable from each other.
It is a Frankenstein that some reject, for the principles that underpins its creation – ruthless, callous efficiency and hard-nosed realism – become disagreeable as the bleaker do-or-die times start to fade into history.
It is a Frankenstein easy to be disowned for the populace played little part in the processes dictating its creation – This, despite the very fact that they are its very life-blood.
It is a Frankenstein that many hate – but one that all will love to love.
Because it is not easy being a citizen of this nation; It is not easy to love only part and not whole; It is not easy thumping your chest on National Day, while mocking the spectacle of the Youth Olympics the next; It is not easy wondering if loving your country is an implicit endorsement of a political party that you don’t agree with. It is not easy being conflicted like this.
There have always been two Singapores in my heart. One that tugs my heartstrings like how the fluttering flag, red and white, pulls at its cords. The other, a secret shame, the disclaimed child, the abandoned orphan.