The Pledge Is Our Lighthouse, Don't Lose Sight of It

I completed 2.5 years of National Service in the Singapore Armed Forces many years ago. Like all guys in every generation of NSF, while waiting ORD - the holy grail, we shared corny jokes to liven things up a bit to make time pass faster. One of the inside jokes that we laughed at was the 7 Core Values of the SAF, namely:
Loyalty to Country
Fighting Spirit
Care for Soldiers
We would joke that they placed Care for Soldiers right at the bottom of the least because that was their last priority and had a short laugh. Nothing malicious about it, just mindless soldiers banter. 

As far as I remember, nobody jokes about our National Pledge. Every single one of us must have recited it more than a thousand times in our life. I can write it out at the back of my mind.
We, the citizens of Singapore,
pledge ourselves as one united people,
regardless of race, language or religion,
to build a democratic society
based on justice and equality
so as to achieve happiness, prosperity and progress
for our nation.
The Pledge means a lot to every of us. It is our vision, the county's mission statement and what binds us together. Each of us may have different opinions and preferences but the pledge is our common factor. I'm not sure about other Singaporeans but I regard The Pledge seriously because I believe in it. It is just a mere few sentences but it was artfully crafted. Our past generations worked hard and did build a Singapore aligned to the pledge. A small nation with no natural resources but plenty of physical limits somehow managed to make a little name for themselves in the last few decades. It was a small miracle.

However, it has gone down the hill since then. The government of Singapore is still delivering plenty of progress, plenty of prosperity but little happiness to the nation.

We are now a nation progressively full of people instead of what it should be - a prosperous nation full of happy people. 


  1. There was once in my life that I shouted out loud The Pledge with pride. And that was during WP's last rally in Serangoon Stadium with ten over thousand fellow Singaporean. That is the best I ever had, better than those during school, army days and NDP.

    Anyway, the recent price hike from ComfortDelGro has just created more unhappy people lately.

  2. @Thomas: i did the one you described twice. One at where you were, the other in 2006 at the same ground hehe.

    It was a different feeling to say it with other Singaporeans thinking and feeling the same at that moment.

    I bet it's better than those national day ones

  3. Yes, definitely much better. If the National Anthem were play after The Pledge, tears would definitely drop. :P I would never forget that night.

  4. @Thomas: see u there in 2016. I'll be there.

  5. I didn't went for the PE2011, not sure where I will be by 2016. If I'm still holding on to my passport, yes, I will be there. Just hope by the time, 60% of Singaporean has woke up from their dreamland.

  6. It still gives me a lump in my throat to read the National Pledge in your blog and it seems so wise and true and in fact so pratical to a fault during those nation building days. Without a doubt, Singaporean are practical poeple. But practical people would be a lot more practical if they were just a little more dreamy... like us :d

  7. haha happiness? no more...very hard...everyday worry $$ not enough...everyday angry with mrt...angry with the ppl....n very tired...

  8. @Thomas: Don't bent on it. But do enjoy the pledge taking at the stadium :)

  9. @Uncle Phil:

    Nice seeing you here again. Your generation is more adventurous, flexible and dare-to-do.

    My generation however, we are brought up to be good citizens and workers. There is nothing wrong about it. We are not groomed to question the system anyway, to the extent we do not even question any system at all. We still have dreams but not so many out-of-the-box type.

  10. @ah pooh: Your hubby says "if you can't change the thing, change the way you think about it." How come you haven't grow to love the crowded MRT ah? :P

  11. @ asingaporeanson: We may belong to different generation but alas we are all victims of the"same" circumtances that leads us to say "enough is enough, I am getting out of here". I took the leap many Chrismases ago and I am still flying high.

  12. @Uncle Phil : I don't remember reading your story about your decision to leave. Did you write it down? If so, do you mind sharing the link with me?