In the midst of the festivities celebrating Singapore's 54th birthday, we are all gripped by the massive turmoil going on in neighboring Hong Kong. The unprecedented scenes of mass demonstrations, violent confrontations, paralysis of the trains and airports are things unimaginable to the average Singaporean. Many people are actually very disturbed and affected, as the news and comments are coming fast and furious on the ever-energetic social media. The impact of these dramatic events (or indeed any global event) on Singapore is most difficult to predict.
Over in Singapore however, the Prime Minister of Singapore just presented his National Day Rally speech on the 18th August 2019. Apart from the usual presentation of ideas to rally Singaporeans to support the government's plans for the future, one item stood out strongly - the Singapore government is planning to tackle the problem of rising sea levels, a "50 to 100-year problem" according to the Prime Minister. In other words, the government is planning to work on an issue 50 to 100 years ahead of its time! Talk about forward planning! What an amazing thing - to be able to have the resources and capabilities to plan so far ahead.
The Prime Minister's speech is a reminder to us all that despite of all the mess the world is in, we can, and should do whatever we can, wherever we are to tackle the challenges of our days. In Singapore especially, we are blessed to have stability and prosperity, and so we ought to treasure the opportunities for us to make our world better, because we can.
It is actually a simple matter of making a conscious and concerted effort to contribute rather than to be apathetic. In the Bible, the book of Joshua chapter 24 recorded some of the last words of Joshua, the leader of Israel who took over from Moses. Joshua urged the Israelites to be faithful to their God, and added that it is really their own choice as to what they want to do. But regardless of the choices made by the people, Joshua declared, "But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24: 15).
We need this sort of determination which says that no matter what others say, or what is happening to the world around us, we will be determined to make a positive difference. In Habitat for Humanity, we do have that spirit. We invite you to join us in a journey where come what may, we are all determined to make Singapore and the rest of our world better than when we found them.