Happy Birthday. Singapore!

9 08 2008

Happy 43rd Birthday. Singapore!

Watching the celebration of National Day yesterday by Cherie Heart’s children… makes me nostalgic… sang along the national anthem.. saying the pledge.. singing… “Count on me Singapore, “Stand up for Singapore”, “One people One Nation One Singapore”, “We are Singapore” …

Our Singapore National Anthem

Majulah Singapura
Mari kita rakyat Singapura
Sama-sama menuju bahagia
Cita-cita kita yang mulia
Berjaya Singapura
Marilah kita bersatu
Dengan semangat yang baru
Semua kita berseru
Majulah Singapura
Majulah Singapura

Meaning can be found here.

Our Singapore National Pledge

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.

Singapore (National) Pledge

By Zaubidah Mohamed written on 2003-04-10
National Library Board Singapore

Comments on article: InfopediaTalk

The National Pledge embodies the ideals for building a united Singapore. It was written in August 1966 by Mr S. Rajaratnam, the then Minister for Foreign Affairs. Mr Lee Kuan Yew, the then Prime Minister of Singapore, refined it before submitting it to the Cabinet for approval.

The National Pledge was written in the mid-1960s in the aftermath of the racial riots that had affected communal harmony in Malaysia and Singapore. Rajaratnam believed that race, language and religion were the main factors contributing to the division of the people. In wording the Pledge he sought to bring across the message that these differences can be overcome if Singaporeans were committed to and caring enough for their country. The dream for Singapore is spelt out in the ideals of the Pledge. It calls for a sense of nationhood to be fostered despite differences, and encourages all to bring reality to the dream of building a country which all Singaporeans could be proud of. Rajaratnam remembered taking only a day or two to pen the words although it was refined further by Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew before submissions to the Cabinet. Some sources suggest Ong Pang Boon had a hand in the writing of the Pledge, but generally, Rajaratnam is credited for its entirety.

On 25 August 1966, about 500,000 students from 529 government and aided schools recited the National Pledge, the first time the Pledge was recited in schools. Led by teachers, the recital was done at the instruction of the Ministry of Education (MOE) which then said that pupils were to observe this ceremony with solemnity and respect, and to face the National Flag with their right hands raised. From 27 June 1988 however, students have been reciting the Pledge with their right fists clenched to their chests, a change which according to MOE was to better reflect the emotional aspect of saying the Pledge. The Pledge has since been recited on occasions of national importance such as the National Day Parade. Unlike the National Anthem and the Flag, there had been hardly any early newspaper coverage of the Pledge.

The Pledge is available in the four official languages.

The Pledge in English
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 in Malay
Kami, warganegara Singapura, sebagai rakyat yang bersatu padu, tidak kira apa bangsa, bahasa, atau ugama, berikrar untok membina suatu masyarakat yang demokratik, berdasarkan kepada keadilan dan persamaan untok mencapai kebahagian, kemakmuran dan kemajuan bagi negara Kami.

Extracted from Guidelines on the use of the National Symbols (The National Pledge). (July 1999). Ministry of Information and the Arts.

Guidelines for Use
1. The National Pledge is recited during school assemblies, during SAF Day, during National Day Parade, and at National Day Observance Ceremonies.

2. Individuals reciting the Pledge shall clench their right fists to the left side of their chest as a gesture symbolizing loyalty to the nation.

3. The Pledge shall not be used for any commercial purposes. Organisations seeking to use the Pledge in print or in any other medium should obtain prior approval from the Prime Minister’s Office.

Zubaidah Mohamed





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