I was being asked by an undergraduate what is the greatest transformation that I have witnessed to date? Without any hesitation my reply was and still is “From a slump into a modern first-world country!” It is just like reading it from a story book.

When I was young, I could not understand what our government was doing at that period of time. We blamed and cursed the government for clearing all the slumps in the villages to build SIT (and later HDB ) flats, trying to shift us from the rural sites to the urban……

Then, I did not understand why the government curb youngsters from wearing “drain-pipe” trousers at that period of time. Also, when the “Hippie” culture spread from the west to our shores, I did not understand why our government was so strict in maintaining short hair (above the collar). Well, those were the days and time that I grew up and witnessed the good foundation which our government have established! I am very grateful for all their foresight and planning.

Now, with the transformation, we have a very modern and unique Singapore.Many foreigners marvel at our transformation. Many foreign governments wanted to find out how we could jell our ethnic groups – multicultural, multi-religious and multi-diversity people together in harmony! Ah, what is the secret formula? Ask our main architect and he will be able to tell you.

All the modern-day youngsters should know what our government has done! When I told the undergraduate the above stories, he listened with awe! I only hope that more elderly people would tell their descendants and other youngsters the transformation of Singapore from the slumps to what it is today!


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