Safe with me

First off, obsessed with the song Safe with Me by Megan Nicole. The music video though, is so well produced I could cry buckets.

In love with these beautifulll verses:

You’re not abandoned, there’s always someone waiting,

With open hands who’ll, reach out and stop you fading,

Into the darkness.

Trust has its dangers, but faith is everlasting,

I’m not some stranger, my lifeline’s for the asking,

I’m looking through you, what a world to see.

And the chorus gets me:

You’ll always be safe with me, now that I found you,

You will see, my love surround you

Soft as a rainbow, I’ll be your halo,

You’ll always be safe with me.

SOFT AS A RAINBOW

sobs

If someone ever sings this to me, my heart will melt.

These couple of weeks have been insane. I can’t really recall what I’ve done, but I know I really need to get some groceries because my stomach has been digesting itself and my face is hating on my lack of nutrients. I wish there was a nearer supermarket to school! I was so exhausted I fell asleep at 3 and woke up at 11pm, oopsie.

I have sooo much work, but I’m not really dreading them for some reason, like I honestly want to complete them and get something out of the assignments ya know?

Today I attended a talk on Singapore Cinema and its post-colonial elements. It’s really interesting and pretty much an accurate description of Singapore. It’s somewhat awkward but enlightening when someone else tells you what Singapore is and isn’t, because you’ve never really looked at Singapore from the social/historical/outsiders’ view besides gov-politics & education really. Like the prof said, Singapore’s reputation precedes itself in the astounding growth & modernization. What was really fascinating was when the prof said how Singapore differs from most countries in that we have a pretty rosy depiction of our colonial masters while most other colonies portray the exploitation & “white man’s burden”. Old buildings are torn and rebuilt constantly, renovations tend to overhaul the entire previous structure/design whereas the colonial architecture is preserved ardently, like the recent renovation of Victoria Concert Hall (named after Queen Victoria). Everything else is new new new. The financial district is expanded in Raffles City and City Hall, two very prominent “legacies” of the British. There was obviously pre-independence Singapore, where Sultans existed and immigrants fled to start a better life in Singapore, the story most of us know by heart. However, Singapore’s history/ identity didn’t really begin until post-independence, in which the British structure preserved in so many aspects of our society began to be equated with modernization. This was such an “aha” moment, like you suddenly see yourself so much clearer when there are words/ concepts to illustrate the unknown.

As a Singaporean, it’s natural to want to defend your side of the story, but I don’t want my national pride to dismiss the worth of my viewpoints. I really disagree with the whole criticism on Singapore being a “Disneyland with death penalty”. The West loves to slab the whole “lack of human rights” on Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East etc., basically anywhere outside of the Americas and Europe. It’s rather myopic to harp on human rights without the understanding of local context. I did a quick research on the the number of deaths due to death penalty in Singapore and there is an evident lack of official figures. Some may criticize the lack of transparency because many governmental roles/ policies, including the death penalty figures, are not disclosed. There’s definitely space for improvement in increasing transparency, as the growing educated population in Singapore has an increasing amount of interest in national affairs. But I will say this, Singapore is still a very small country that is generally easier to govern without the need to micromanage. Every single detail is blown up, or rather, known by the masses in Singapore as compared to large countries where people gravitate towards local news that focus on the state you live in.

Wiki (that’s usually pretty right on collective info just that professional ppl never cite it) says that 95% of the Singapore population feels the death penalty should stay. An overwhelming 95%. Does it mean we are archaic and overly conservative without the respect of life? Isn’t a nationwide consensus telling that surely something must be right? Furthermore, there is a huge decrease in figures according to Wiki, and generally that’s how we feel too – you never really hear of anyone being executed these days. Besides the execution figures on murder & firearms, there is also one on drugs (trafficking & in possession of). Now the harsh punishment for drugs is debatable, but my personal take on it is favorable, and I’m sure many of my peers would agree. There is a reason Singapore is so safe with minimal underground drug trafficking cases. One should understand the implications with removal of capital punishment as with many other things – freedom of speech, media freedom etc. They are not each an island of their own and should not be viewed as isolated policies. The lack of severe deterrence could increase crime rates/ drug trafficking which could destabilize the society & lose incentives for foreign investment and we all know how important global market is to the survival of Singapore. The same with “freedom” – to what extent are you free if other people can infringe on your freedom? Singapore’s in fact a more respectful country precisely because everyone is allowed their beliefs and practices but not allowed to openly criticize others who have differing ideals. This notion does not sit well with those advocating for “true Democracy”, but if it works for the country, isn’t it all that matters? I wouldn’t trade my safety & ideology (more like my lack-thereof) just to check off a concept that sounds amazing in paper.

The prof also talked about how public housing is a way for gov (he’s really talking about PAP) to control & remind Singaporeans to vote for the party. Sure, it makes sense because opposition parties have claimed that they are not given the same amount of funds than before – maybe there is some legitimacy that can be looked into, especially with the division of electoral districts that seemingly favors the party. But the prof went on to say how PAP openly says if you do not vote for us, you will not get housing upgrades, installations etc. When did PAP say that? It’s probably inferred from sources that exaggerated PAP’s threats on how if you don’t vote for them, the future is indeterminable. This makes sense because they do have the most outstanding candidates whom we assume will manage Singapore’s future well. If the gov really doesn’t allocate the same amount of funds to the opposition parties what won a district, this info would probably have been leaked to the public and caused a huge controversy given how we have criticized the “exorbitant” amounts of money we pay politicians to prevent corruption. So I would say his argument is flawed and baseless.

His next point about HDB flats being used in local productions symbolize conformity, alienation and “feeling empty” due to capitalism and a lack of relation to history is interesting and to some extent true. But what people in the talk didn’t know was that public housing provides for 80% of the population. Even though there may be alienation because of the growing wealth in elites increasing income disparity between the haves and have-nots, it is still relatively easier for the majority of the population to own houses. House ownership is important in so many ways but one thing is it’s an asset that provides some financial security. In the unfortunate case that one loses stable income/ becomes very ill, one has the option to switch to a smaller, less expensive apartment and use the discretionary “income”. If you don’t own any property (aka you rent), or any other financial assets, losing a job or having heavy medical expenses can be devastating. House ownership is something Singaporeans take for granted, but isn’t a given in other countries.

It was overall a very enlightening talk, but I feel the prof missed out on a very important observation. His analysis stems from local film productions which are small in size and not an accurate depiction of Singapore. Also, these films have artistic value – there is art for arts sake, and should be appreciated for what they represent.

Wow, I really went on a tangent with this talk – time to get on with my scary weekend 😮

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