Unite as one Singapore, whatever your nationality

Unite as one Singapore, whatever your nationality

As I watched the cortege of former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew pass yesterday, I was struck by a sense of unity and pride as a Singaporean.

Who exactly is a Singaporean? I looked around me at the crowd and saw people of all races, ages and backgrounds celebrating Mr Lee's life.

As the procession moved on, people started drifting away, but I saw one Caucasian woman sobbing uncontrollably.

I'm not sure what her nationality is, but her tears and adoration for Mr Lee were a clear sign of her heart as a Singaporean.

Mr Lee was an incredible leader for everyone living in Singapore, whether they hold a pink identity card or not, and he was the strongest proponent of having expatriates come live and work in Singapore, to make Singapore the best it can be.

He said himself: "We welcome (foreign) talent and will continue to welcome talent."

I hope we can honour his views and work together, being more accepting and welcoming to those who may not appear Singaporean in terms of their passport, but are as bound to Singapore in terms of spirit as anyone who was born and raised here.

This article was first published on March 31, 2015.
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