[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Monday, August 09, 2004

[happy birthday singapore]
as singapore celebrates it's 39th birthday today, let us take a historical look and the meaning behind our national anthem and pledge...

the national anthem was written in the wake of nationalism during 1956-57. its composer, the late encik zubir said, had written it on the basis of two words, "majulah singapura" which means "onward singapore". it was launched on 3 december 1959 together with the national flag and the state crest, at the installation of the new head of state, the yang di-pertuan negara. upon singapore's independence in 1965, "majulah singapura" was adopted as the republic's national anthem.

so what does our national anthem really mean?

come, fellow singaporeans
let us progress towards happiness together
may our noble aspiration bring
singapore success

come, let us unite
in a new spirit
let our voices soar as one
onward Singapore
onward Singapore

our pledge was initially penned by mr s rajaratnam in 1966 and was written against the backdrop of racial riots in the 1950s and 1960s. mr rajaratnam revealed that the dream was about building "a singapore we are proud of". he believed that language, race and religion were divisive factors, but the pledge emphasises that these differences can be overcome if Singaporeans cared enough about their country. the draft text was handed to the then prime minister mr lee kuan yew, who polished the text before submitting it to the cabinet.

so there you go... and one point that shows that singapore still remains racially harmonious today - our president is indian, our prime minister is chinese and our speaker of parliament is malay!!


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