Happy 50th, Singapore. A nationwide momentous jubilee weekend celebration awaits everyone who will be in Singapore this weekend to help blow out its 50 red-and-white candles. One pictures Singaporeans in unison—regardless of race, language or religion, bowing their heads and shutting their eyes for just a moment, whispering a wish or a prayer perhaps, for the continued prosperity and future of its successful nation. It’s after all, a birthday unlike any other. One that will be marked with as much poignancy by the passing of Singapore’s founding father, Lee Kuan Yew, and with as much aplomb for the glorious achievements that a tiny red dot on the globe has achieved for half of a century.
If any nation in the world could lay claim to a rags-to-riches tale, it has to be Singapore. Is there any success in this world that has neither seen nor suffered sacrifice? With sacrifice, comes pain. Pain, as we all know, births forth groanings. So there shall always be critics just as there shall be pundits of its economic, legal, education, infrastructure, media and social policies. We will still hear of the groanings i.e. regular lamentations of regular citizens and intellectual debates amongst arbiters regarding ‘collateral damage’ a country as successful as Singapore undoubtedly endures in its quest for phenomenal economic rise. Issues like the widening gap between the rich and poor, the haves and the have-nots.
Yet amid the arguments, protests and groanings—what remains starkly clear is how the Singapore we see today is a success to be reckoned with since its humble declaration of independence in 1965. That arduous journey of its pioneers alone, if nothing, is worth a well-earned 50th jubilee birthday toast. The burst of fireworks and soaring aircraft displays, national day parade marches and floats at the iconic Padang venue, the mass engagement of Singaporeans celebrating in clusters of SG50 jubilee activities on an island-wide basis, will only be a fraction of the sense of pride and patriotism felt in every Singaporean who calls Singapore home on this historical, significant and special SG50 National Day.
Even those who may not be physically present there, but who do cherish Singapore in heart and celebrate with Singaporeans in spirit (one such as me, I suppose). Here is Singapore 2015. May Singaporeans cherish its many wonders and achievements, its scarcity and riches, its founding history and pioneering stories as a sacred heritage and legacy for our children and theirs too.
Cheers, Singapore. I miss you a lot of the time.
P.S. Hope you love these SG50 Happy Birthday Singapore cupcakes, especially the green tea frosting, my fave.
Matcha Green Tea Frosting for cupcakes:
(makes about enough to ice 15 to 20 cupcakes)
125g unsalted butter (half a block of 250g butter)
60ml milk at room temperature (more if preferred)
2 T matcha green tea powder (melted with 1 T warm water and mixed to a mustard-like paste).
500g powdered icing sugar, sifted
green food gel tint (optional)
Beat the butter and milk at room temperature, adding the sifted icing sugar gradually in batches till all is well creamed. Add the matcha paste for flavour and if desired—extra green colouring from food gel tint, also gradually until desired shade is created. Another T of milk may be added if the frosting is too thick.