at least, that’s what critics are quick to point out whenever Total Defence Day — commemorated every February 15 — draws near. It seems that Singaporeans of today know nothing of the painful history of our nationhood. WW2 and the other struggles it took to build our homeland as we know it today are like a dim memory. With this in mind, I began to inquire of my fellow Singaporeans: do Singaporeans not love Singapore? Below are the responses.
Do you think we should commemorate Total Defence Day?
- “Total defence should be appreciated; [it’s a] geo-political necessity” – Mr Tan, 41.
- “No. Even if it was commemorated, does it even get the message across?” – Miss Toh, 18
- “Yes. It forms a culture for Singapore and somewhat creates the cohesiveness between the citizens. On the other hand(additionally), it prepares us for the worst.” – Yan Yee, 18
- “Not really sure when is total defence day and why we need to commemorate this. But maybe it’s good if it reminds us about Singapore’s defence.” – Mr Toh XK, 29
- “Yeah it should. We need to remember that we’re not invincible and if we become complacent and slacken in any of our defences, we may fall like how we once fell to the Japanese.” –Shannen, 18
- “No. Reason being: Although the day marks an important milestone in history, however one should be forward looking instead of harping on the past. Nowadays, TDD is more to teach students how to survive in an emergency situation. That is to some extent important.” –Haeffner, 18
Do you love Singapore? What would you do for Singapore?
- “Singapore is like a hotel, (how do we feel a belonging to it)?” – Mr Tan, 41
- “Yeah I do! [I will] remain a Singapore citizen for life!” – Shannen, 18
- “Yes I love Singapore, and I will be willing to fight during a war if there is a shortage of guy soldiers. or become a war nurse” – Xueqing, 22
- “Yes. Don’t mess it up.” –Miss Toh, 18
- “yes. erm… support Singapore to the end? Have faith and trust our government, I guess?” –Yan Yee, 18
- “Yes. I will study hard and repay Singapore by playing a part in contributing to our economy in the future…” – Lynn, 18
While a few Singaporeans may be — stereotypically — ignorant of the reason for Total Defence Day, it is hasty to conclude that Singaporeans just don’t love Singapore. It is evident from this small sample of locals that patriotism does exist. Perhaps for us to take Total Defence Day more seriously, we should change the way we impart its significance to young Singaporeans. Instead of the repetitive information we get every single year that tends to bore youths today we would appreciate some change and variety.
All in all, I believe we do still love Singapore, even if we don’t get what Total Defence means, totally.
By Little Thundervoice