As a Singaporean, I enter one of the most competitive education system in the world. Not that I'm stupid, I'm juist average. Average struggling to be better. Granted, the smartest ones got ahead took the places in the best secondary school leaving me to school in the less ideal environment of a neighborhood school. I had to struggle in a bad environment where students have no dream no ambition and not infrequent to see them join gangs. Who can blame them? They already believe their lives will amount to nothing. Against the odds I struggle, teachers who give up on the students given the lousy environment, and surrounded by students who already gave up on themselves. Claw my way to JC, competition gets tough as the students from better secondary school have better background and discipline. Work hard. Finish "A" levels. Drafted in army - told to die for country.
Results come out. Okay average results. Hopes raised for a better future. Still serving my country, I applied for a place in the uni. Rejected by all of them. Went to appeal in my No. 4, saw the campuses filled by foreigners from China, Vietnam and India. I believe they are probably smarter than me being sourced from the top 0.1% of the China & Indian population of 1.5 billion combined. How can I a neighborhood boy compete for places with these top brains from foreign lands. I'm just an ordinary boy trying his best. Why is this chance for a better life taken from me?
ORD from, army, those friends with poorer results than me but richer parents all went to Australia or Canada to study. They say cannot survive without degree in Singapore. So I don't have degree, still must survive. Look for job, job pay pittance. Sometimes work under foreigner. Hop around for a while found out what the word 'survive' means. Survive means just keep yourself alive ....but nobody can stay alive without hope for better days ahead. To buy some hope, I indulge in 4D everyweek end. That is the best hope for me.
In the end, I realise that is the life of a typical Singaporeans. You see those long queues at Singapore Pools - they exist because of the simple fact that a person can't live without hope and he will grab any he can find ...even if it is false hope.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining that the system is particular harsh on me. It is the same for all average Singaporeans born in poor families. I'm not allowing these challenges and obstacles they artificially put in my path to crush me. I'll press on but I won't forget those who made life tough for me and many others.
Singapore will always be my home and I'll not let those who are harsh to me force me out of my home. I'll fight to reclaim my future and have my freedom:
Cry Freedom Singapore
Five stars arise, our thoughts idealised
A nation is born, our allegiance sworn
Born to a home to call my own
That is all I've known, where I've grown
Out of the poverty, I came the farthest
My future was bright till they shut the light
Betray us locals and deepen our plight
Our future's bleak, yet we cannot speak
So I end up struggling, fighting to eat
The less I have, the bolder I get
With my hands, I wave our flag
Democracy, Equality and Justice
Ideals I will die to protect...