Happy National Day! Today marks the 44th year anniversary of Singapore’s independence. 9th of August 1965 signaled the beginning of Singapore’s development from a third world country into a first world nation.

I recently started taking an interest in reading MM Lee’s memoirs because as ashamed as I am to say this, I don’t think I know enough about Singapore and our nation-building efforts to truly call myself a Singaporean.

Unfortunately, I don’t think I am alone. Ironically, foreigners, some of whom we call friends and fans of Singapore, appear to have greater knowledge about our highly revered MM Lee, his contributions to Singapore and the process of how our nation attained our achievements today. Why do we always think that the pasture is greener on the other side when Singapore is where we belong?

I think a large proportion of us take many things that Singapore has given us for granted. The safe and secure environment, rigorous education system, transparent and stable political system, attraction of FDI, creation of good jobs and sustainable economic growth (albeit negative growth in this year’s context) are just some of the things that we take for granted.

What we fail to realize is that not many developed nations are able to provide two of the above-mentioned benefits to their people, much less all at the same time. Shouldn’t we be thankful for what we have?

After interacting with numerous foreigners who have relocated to Singapore and understanding their reasons for doing so inevitably made me realize how lucky we Singaporeans are.

On a brighter and less serious note, here’s my tribute to our National Day.

Happy Birthday Singapore!