As we edge closer to the countdown to 2020, as Singaporeans, let’s take a moment during our holiday festivities to give thanks for 2019. At the start of year, there were a lot of worries about an increasingly fragile global economy which Singapore depends to be successful and the many growing geopolitical concerns that can hurt us. But thank God, 2019 turned out to be a good year. And there are many things to be thankful for!
- When you read of many countries, far and near, being torn apart internally – we are blessed that in 2019, with all its imperfections, Singapore remains relatively united as a country. We were not torn apart by religious and other social divisions that have plagued many nations, big and small. Our country is not homogeneous in its politics, but I believe we have been able to balance the need for discourse and yet celebrate our diversity.
- Peace and safety is often taken for granted and we have to give thanks that 2019 (barring a few days left) has been uneventful on the security front. We are free to travel to almost any part of Singapore – at any time, day or night – not having to fear for our personal safety. Singapore remains one of the safest countries in the world – and it is something that we have to continue to fight for and earn each and every time!
- While there has been past glitches in our infrastructure including healthcare and transportation – we can see and feel the improvements as the result of the government’s investments in these areas. With many new hospitals and nursing homes now online, the days of patient beds stacked in the corridors awaiting admissions seem to be behind us. Our MRT service level has improved significantly with the fixes in the old lines and opening of new ones. The overcrowding in our buses have also improved with the addition of more buses and routes. That is good for everyone!
- We continue to do our part to help the less fortunate in Singapore. I look to Giving.SG as barometer because it reflects the average Singaporeans who want to do good. While I cannot find 2019 statistics, it is heartwarming to learn that more than 160,000 individual volunteers have signed up through the website to-date. More than 200,000 donors have contributed to-date to Giving.SG more than $150 million supporting over 500 charities! Thank you Singaporean for showing that you care!
- Singapore in 2019 got a little greener with the opening of the massive Jurong Lake Gardens. As a land scarce city state, there is always the fear that eventually Singaporeans will have to content with a concrete jungle. Taking a stroll along our many well kept parks will quickly put that fear to rest. For this, we have to give thanks to the hard working men and women of NParks!
I am sure you can come up with many more things to be thankful for. Regardless of your political leanings, I am sure you will agree with me that all the hardworking folks in our government deserves our thanks and gratitude for making our lives a little better in 2019!