This year, all Singaporeans were encouraged to take the pledge at 8.22pm during National Day. Our Junior Reporters were honored to conduct a short interview with the Guests of Honor of the Admiralty National Day dinner during their stopover at our school that evening. The Guests of Honor were Law Minister, Mr K.Shanmugam, and Parliamentary Secretary, MP of Sembawang GRC, Dr Maliki.
When asked about the significance of taking the pledge as a nation, Dr Maliki said that it is a good reflection for bringing Singaporeans together. The pledge is not only a set of words, but it is meaningful and is an important pillar for our nation building.
“…for every Singaporeans who internalizes the meaning in the pledge, would understand what it means to be a Singaporean… it means the unity, that we want to bring Singaporeans together, for us to say the pledge, not only just to say the pledge, but also to remember and internalize the values within the pledge itself.”
Minister Shanmugam has also shared his view on what Singaporeans could do to show sense of belonging to Singapore.
“Singaporeans could show concern for their fellow citizens and residents in this place… in the spirit of humanity and togetherness, and affirm our national identity, at the same time, do the best we can, to fulfill our potential, help our family, our neighbours, our grassroots organization… being a member of this society and helping this society is a fundamental act of being Singaporean.”
To Dr Maliki, it is not about doing big things to feel belong to Singapore.
“… being who they are and defending Singapore, not just in terms of defense, but also whenever people talked about Singapore, we should continue to say what we feel about Singapore, why Singapore is the way it is. I think that means Singaporeans must understand the history, background of Singapore, and also be part of Singapore. They must feel that Singapore belongs to them, they must feel that they own Singapore… they have the right to say anything that they think is useful to Singapore…”
On the other hand, our Junior Reporters, Aloysius Tay and Lee Cheryl, gave their thoughts on what they would do to show their sense of belonging to Singapore. They will study hard, so that they can have positive contributions to Singapore in the future. Aloysius also added that when he grew up, he will serve the army so to defend Singapore.
Written by Ms Ng Chih Chun
on behalf of Junior Reporters of Greenwood