Tuesday, August 9, 2011
How I healed and become a Singaporean again.
It has been a year when Samantha and I came back from our epic journey of our life time. For the past 2 years and 8 months, we had never feel so patriotic, able to fly the Singapore flag on our bike upon reaching Singapore land and to my house. At the same time, celebrating national day which the theme was:
Live our dream, fly our flag.
I wanted to contribute myself back to Singapore. The only channel I knew was to approach the RC (a neighbourhood community organized by the main political party of Singapore) chairman but he seemed uninterested about my approach.
When the General Election was near, I noticed that there was unhappiness shown over the cyberspace about being a Singaporean. Many lost their faith, trust and hope towards the nation that they belonged to. Our fathers had come from foreign land to Singapore when it was a 3rd world country. They were the ones that helped in nation building, to what we have now being the 1st world country.
Sam and I went to a few election rallies held by the opposition parties and could feel the anger from the people. The results had shown that about 40% of the qualified voters were unhappy. The 60% of the vote had secured 93% of the ruling party in the parliament.
Singaporeans have to go back to the same days again after the General Election. Nothing will be changed as we, Singaporeans, still carried the same disappointment, looking for opportunity to migrate and leave this heartbreaking relationship.
It was when Dr Tan Cheng Bock came into my life. I volunteered being with his team for this presidential election 2011. I could get to know Doc, close as a friend. When we were on the street, I witnessed commoners coming up to him, thanking him for what he had done for them personally. There were too much stories and testimonials to tell here.
Every time we met up, he would casually tell us about his plan for Singapore and what he wanted to do for us. We would talk Singaporean topics and visit heartland places. All these little gestures from Doc had started to seed the confidence of being a Singaporean when I was with him. It’s the good vibration around him.
I was able to walk and breathe again in the public where I used to dislike going out of the house for leisure. I felt the importance of being a Singaporean and what I have to do for the nation.
As a president, being above politics, Dr Tan Cheng Bock is the person to let us, Singaporean feels the sense of belonging and unity. He will be bringing back the lost sheep that have drifted away because of the previous relationship, because of the lost hope in our country.
Thank you Dr Tan, you made me proud being a Singaporean again. From being a fallen angel and become a citizen that is able to sing the national anthem with pride.
I would like to fly the Singapore flag with the same feeling that I had flew it everytime we set a new record for Singapore during our round the world trip:
Argentina (Ushuaia, most southern end of the world),
Alaska (Artic Circle, most northern end of the world),
Top Villarrica volcano (Chile),
world largest salt flat Salar de Uyuni (Bolivia) and of course,
upon reaching back to Singapore.
I would like to take this opportunity to send a message to all fellow Singaporeans on this national day 2011:
We are one united people and there will always be Hope Too.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Exactly 1 year anniversary that Singaporedream Team has been home, a place where they had always wanted to be.
1st August 2010, Goh said:
The moon at home is clearer.
There is a saying : The moon in other countries is rounder, which means it is better or there will be more opportunities being overseas.
But Goh countered this by saying:
The moon may be more round in other country, but it is covered with clouds. The moon at home may not be perfect but at least it is bright enough to light up the path in the night.
Goh started his landscape and arboriculture work since day 3 when they are back. He had been setting up his company again and trying to go back to work. But after some time, the passion for greens is no longer in his blood. Landscape and arboriculture had become a job for him, rather a passion.
At one time, he was in need of about S$20,000 to purchase a truck. Two friends wanted to give him a personal loan. He only chose one. This is the kind of support that his friend has given him.
Goh and Samantha wanted to set up their little family, living happily ever after and had forgotten the feeling of being homeless from the 2 years and 8 months of travel. Thou it is just a 3 roomed government funded apartment, living with Goh’s father, they were happy about not to worry where to stay tonight.
During the trip, they would be happy to save S$10 a day just for lodging. Being back in Singapore, they have the privilege of saving about S$300 a month on lodging and the convenience of local food, which their stomach has been always craving for. It solved the daily issues of their trip by being at home.
Both of them wanted to meet their friends badly since they had left. For the past one-year, they had not met many friends on their list. Why?
He was hesitating for the best moment to meet. Then, one got stroke at the age of 30, passed away. The other relative had stomach cancer and passed away. This was the two devastating moment for them, especially Goh.
Being home sick during their trip, they had met with some Singaporeans living and settling overseas. They can’t understand why these people got out of Singapore and harbor at a new country for new life. He thinks that these people are loser and was being thrown out of Singapore. Like being exiled? Until they came back to Singapore, they understand why these people left a place call home.
Thus, the day they cured their homesick, he mentioned the moon ideology to the press and it puzzled a lot of people.
Goh has always wanted to come back to serve the country but he was not able to take the culture shock that Singapore had changed so much. He believes in helping people. Helping people from home, then to the neighborhood, to the society, to the country than to the world. At the same time, he sees the problem on policy that the government had implemented and wanted to seek justice to the commoners Singaporean. Goh is too weak to challenge the powerful government. He has no qualification, he has no monetary back up, he has no professional friends that understand law and worst of all, Goh and Samantha were struggling with their finance, especially they had just came back home with nothing!
The Singaporedream Team set off in the name of the country, spreading words around the world, showing off Singapore to the rest of the world and making public awareness of what Singapore is, to the world. When they came back, there was no recognition of what they had done. This young couple went on this trip on their own fund but in the name of the country. Their most important equipment (the operational ready bike) was stolen 2 months before the set off date. They received NO help from the 60 letters (that was seeking sponsorship) they send out to the local companies. But they still carry on with the remaining deprived fund.
When their engine broke down in USA that almost ended their trip, what the nation did for them is to do an article in the Chinese newspaper, saying:
This is what happen after spending so much money for a round the world trip.
What a great encouragement?
Yes, they made it back. Trying to get use to the new Singapore. This simple living young couple wanted to share their experience with fellow Singaporeans, encouraging fellow Singaporeans to see the world. Corporate companies out there actually made use of them to do ‘free advertising’ for own profit and they were so simple minded that they let them ‘make use of’.
‘I just want to share my experience with fellow Singaporeans’
Goh mentioned in an interview.
His next objective is to complete the journey by writing it into a book. Staying in a government-funded apartment, he often faced disturbance and noise that interrupted from his writing. It was a different atmosphere as compared to the couple spending quiet time in the Patagonia where they can do much of self-realization, and writing a good article. At the same time trying to recall the factual of their trip and put into writing, he needs to think about his business. I wonder how he juggle his inspirations.
As a person that had always wanted to get justice done, he volunteered into politics and had experience the front line of the political battle in Singapore.
Goh and Samantha are so different. They could pack up and leave Singapore since Singapore has given them nothing during the round the world trip. They could have gone to Brazil, have a happy life and retire in Brazil. Why didn’t they leave Singapore?
It has been 1 year and a good recharge for them. What’s next?