Adventures of a Wocket

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Majulah Singapura (Onward Singapore)

on 08/20/2015

Majulah Singapura is Malay for Onward Singapore. It comes from the country’s national anthem of the same name. You can have a listen here:

As you may or may not be aware, Singapore recently celebrated it’s 50th anniversary of independence. Now as a Brit and coming from a country that has never had a national day (I suppose St George’s day is considered as such but it is unfortunately not a national holiday) or an independence to celebrate, I find it fascinating. First let me delve into a little history for you. (I do so like my history).

Singapore fell to the Japanese during the second world war, on February 14th 1942 they had invaded most of the country and on the 15th the British surrendered and the country was renamed Syonan-to (Light of the South), this was officially when the Japanese occupation of Singapore began. This occupation (during which many terrible atrocities were committed against the Singaporean people) lasted until the Japanese surrender on the 14th of August 1945. It took a month before the British returned and begin a military administration of the Straits Settlement. Singapore became a separate crown colony when the Straits Settlement was dissolved on the 1st of April, 1946. Following on from this, Singapore entered into a chaotic state involving strikes, food shortages, riots, plus the creation of Singapore’s self government. This chaotic state lasts for almost 15 years. I am glossing over a great deal that happened. If you wish to know more you can read about it here: with the shortened timeline being here:

In May 1959 Lee Kuan Yew became the first Prime Minister of Singapore when the People’s Action Party won the general election. On the 3rd of December that same year, the above national anthem was presented. From 1959 to 1965 Singapore went through a tumultuous time and things are set into motion that lead to the separation of Malaysia and Singapore. The agreement was signed on the 7th August 1965 and the Malaysian Parliament voted to expel Singapore from the Federation on the 9th of August, making Singapore an independent country. It was then admitted into the United Nations on the 21st of September as its 117th member and became the 22nd member of the Commonwealth.

That was 50 years ago. Since then they have built up their infrastructure, their economy, their education system, their public transport systems, their welfare and medical systems and have achieved more in fifty years than a large majority of other developed nations. Just have a gander at their global rankings over here:

There is much to celebrate for Singaporeans and I am simply grateful that I got to be a witness to this 50th anniversary.

There were concerts at Botanic Gardens: 20150807_150146 20150807_151824 20150807_152346 20150807_154814

Unfortunately my friend and I didn’t get to see any concerts because of the torrential downpour that flooded the Palm Valley and soaked me to the bone. Here’s what it should have and did look like on better days between 7th – 9th of August: jubilee-botanic-gardens channelnewsasiacom (photo sourced from

There was another concert on the Saturday the 8th of August at Marina Bay Sands: 20150808_192011 20150808_202035 20150808_202421 20150808_202422(0) 20150808_203041 20150808_203239

We were behind a barrier right next to the stage so we didn’t have front viewing.

And fireworks, for all celebrations there must be fireworks: 20150808_204555 20150808_204557 20150808_204558 20150808_204559 20150808_204617

I didn’t personally get to see the parade fireworks for National Day but here’s a video: trust me you want to see this, it is impressive! Watch it all! Even how they did it is interesting 🙂

I personally really liked this: this is a favourite song among locals too. Maybe even more so than the national anthem. I found this heart warming.

Many people have many differing opinions on Singapore and Singaporeans, some good, some not so good but they sure know how to throw a good party. It is sad that Lee Kuan Yew himself wasn’t around to witness how the majority of people came together to celebrate what they have built. A nation that has thrived over the last 50 years. I know that Singapore faces criticisms but honestly that isn’t what today’s post is about, I simply wanted to share in something that made me smile and kind of made me wish we in the UK had a national day and celebrated it as heartily as SG50 was celebrated. Though we did put on a fantastic show for the Queen’s Jubilee and had an amazing turnout 😉 (Good show, UK).

Happy 50th Anniversary Singapore. Celebrate this year and keep on celebrating. You have definitely earned it.


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