Stories > Perspective

2015 • Issue 3


J e a n T a n
E x e c u t i v e D i r e c t o r



his is a momentous year for Singapore as we celebrate our 50th anniversary of independence. Singapore, the modern cosmopolitan city which we are proud to call home, did not happen without challenges and difficulties to overcome. From resource scarcity to health epidemics to economic crises, there has been no shortage of challenges to test our resolve. But through the hard work and stewardship of committed leaders, and the cohesiveness of Singaporeans to strive and stand as one people, we prevailed over stiff odds to get to where we are today – a jewel of a city. More importantly, as we stand united in our shared values and beliefs, we have built a home where we celebrate our diversity.

With this in mind, this special SG50 issue of Singapore widens its lens to include perspectives from our non-Singaporean friends, as we celebrate the little things that make us Singaporean and define our hopes and dreams for the future. Flipside, our regular section featuring reflections and personal journeys of our foreign friends who call Singapore home, has been expanded to include inspiring insights from more contributors. Among them are Andrew Mead, a transit architect who managed Singapore’s largest public art programme at several of our transit lines, and Richard Hartung, who came to know Singapore better through his editorial and volunteer work here.

Singapore, as a culture hub, has attracted and nurtured many talented individuals who later made this place their home. We pay tribute to some of these foreign-born Singaporeans who have added richness to Singapore’s cultural scene – like Zubir Said (Indonesia), Tan Swie Hian (Indonesia), Liu Kang (China), Kuo Pao Kun (China) and Neila Sathyalingam (Sri Lanka).

Lastly, tickle your funny bone with “Different Strokes”, a special tongue-in-cheek piece by Singaporean newspaper columnist and humour writer, Sylvia Toh Paik Choo; and Neil Humphreys, a British humour columnist, as they share their love for Singapore in their own uniquely Singaporean ways.

As we celebrate our nation’s Golden Jubilee, let us not forget that the Singapore story belongs to all of us. Let us reaffirm our shared values and commitment to a brighter Singapore. Blessed Birthday, Singapore!



The Singapore International Foundation makes friends for a better world.

We build enduring relationships between Singaporeans and world communities, and harness these friendships to enrich lives and effect positive change.

Our work is anchored in the belief that cross-cultural interactions provide insights that strengthen understanding. These exchanges inspire action and enable collaborations for good.

Our programmes bring people together to share ideas, skills and experiences in areas such as health care, education, the environment, arts and culture, as well as livelihood and business.

We do this because we believe we all can, and should, do our part to build a better world, one we envision as peaceful, inclusive and offering opportunities for all.

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