Thoughts on PM Lee’s National Day Rally: Healthy vs Unhealthy Skepticism

Disclaimer: The post is not intended to undermine/ attack any specific authority or individual. 



Singaporeans are certainly getting more vocal these days.

I’d advised my GP students to approach what they read/ listen to in the media with some HEALTHY SKEPTICISM ie take things with a pinch of salt.  I wish to qualify here  that overdosing on skepticism is potentially dangerous too – avoid crossing the line. 

What do I mean? Well, being cynical about EVERYTHING that is said by our political leaders might actually reveal more about your paranoia levels. UNHEALTHY SKEPTICISM is when you approach contents with the mindset that whatever Person X says will be untrue. With such levels of paranoia, you’re bound to neglect any validity in the speaker’s claims!

You end up sounding one-sided, cynical, bitter.

So PM Lee gave his National Day Rally speech just before NDP, and citizens have come up with several interpretations of the points raised. Here’s an example:

PM Lee (Official):

“We are one united people, and not divided by race, social class, or political faction. We must always have able, honest and committed leaders, who can be trusted to serve Singaporeans. We need a good Government that thinks and plans ahead”


Bertha Henson’s (Singlish) paraphrasing:

“Instead ‘regardless of race, language or religion’, I change to “regardless of race, social class or political faction”.

I am going to nag again: you need to make sure got good honest leaders and a Gahmen which can plan and know how you feel about things.


An (overly-cynical) paraphrase from The Real Singapore:

“All this is only possible if we are one united people, and not divided by race, social class, or political faction. I repeat – POLITICAL FACTION. In other words, the 40% or so @#hJ** who voted against us – wake up your ideas and shut up and sit down, understand? ….

We must always have able, honest and committed leaders, who can be trusted to serve Singaporeans. This is a gentle reminder that this means [our] million dollar salaries are warranted”


Are Singaporeans now actually being overly critical?

For full transcripts:

PM Lee’s official transcript:–engl.html

For Bertha Henson’s (Singlish) take:

For The Real Singapore’s take (please read with more than a pinch of salt): Go search it yourselves; can’t endorse it on this website!


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