- POSTED: 09 Aug 2014 10:07
- UPDATED: 09 Aug 2014 10:18
Local celebrities Desmond Tan, Chen Shucheng, Udaya Soundari and Fiza O share their thoughts on what they love most about Singapore and what sort of home they hope the country can become in the future.
SINGAPORE: Singapore celebrates its 49th birthday this year. While she is pretty small, there is still lots to love about the Lion City. Channel NewsAsia finds out from local celebrities Desmond Tan, Chen Shucheng, Udaya Soundari and Fiza O what they love most about Singapore, and what sort of home they hope the country will become.
"I love the sense of being safe whenever and wherever when I am in Singapore.
"This is especially important for me as this sense of security puts my mind at ease, and allows me to stay focused on the big things in my life. Even when working overseas, my mind is at ease because I know my family is safe," said Tan.
The actor-singer, who recently wrote a song titled Love Song to SG to express his love for Singapore, believes that Singapore can be an even better home if everyone can be a little warmer towards one another.
"If we were to learn to enjoy the interactions with one another or smile more, I believe that it will bring more warmth and love into our daily lives. Gestures as simple as smiling to other people in the lift, thanking the person who holds the door for you, giving a friendly wave to thank drivers who give way to you and so on, will brighten the day for both you and others," said Tan.
"In the long run, Singapore will be a friendlier nation."
"I love Singapore because it has beautiful housing estates. It may seem odd but I really do like them," said Chen with a laugh.
"When I was a boy, we lived in this old house which had a leaky roof. I remember I had to run about with washbasins whenever it rained to collect the dripping water. And I envied those who lived in a flat."
"The flats in those days were really spacious, had lifts and ... they didn't leak. Today, they are even more beautiful and can be compared with the condos in other countries. Of course, as our population grows, the housing estates also start to look a little cramped, but I feel it's pretty cosy like this!"
While the veteran actor feels that modern housing estates allow Singaporeans to live in relative comfort, he hopes that residents will feel a stronger sense of community in the future.
"In the past, neighbours would talk to one another but today, the adults are busy working while the children are busy with schoolwork so there are less chances to interact, to talk to one another" said Chen.
"We have community centres to hold classes, events and promote this sense of community, but I think there is still room for improvement."
For actress-host Udaya Soundari, it is the little things that make Singapore really special.
"I love that I get clean water from almost any tap I turn on, that I could lean on any pillar and still expect my blouse to be stain-free, that I can be hungry at any time of the day or night and still be spoilt for choice [when it comes to food].
"And we are a society filled with people with a good sense of humour who can laugh at ourselves. It is something that is pretty hard to find in many other countries that I know of and have been to," said Udaya.
The well-travelled Vasantham artiste believes that while things aren't always perfect in Singapore, the country would be better off if Singaporeans appreciate what they have.
"We have the latest technology, the most efficient drainage systems, the cleanest roads and the most convenient transport systems, so much so that we fail to see that what we take for granted are actually luxuries in many other countries," explained Udaya.
"We tend to complain or throw tantrums on social media when train lines stop or there's an ankle height flood. I hope as citizens of this country, we can overlook the tiny problems and become a more appreciative, happier country."
RIA 89.7FM deejay Fiza O went straight to the point, when asked about what she loves most about Singapore.
"What I love most? Definitely the food! There are so many choices and it caters to all. I can easily get my fix of halal Hainanese Chicken rice!" said Fiza O.
The popular deejay, who gave birth to her son Isa Awsam earlier this year, also provided the funniest answer when asked about her hopes for Singapore.
"I hope that Singapore will continue to prosper and have a strong currency. It makes shopping overseas a lot more fun!" said Fiza O with a laugh.
"But seriously, I hope Singapore's education system continues to be refined. I'm sure there will be a wider range of [educational] courses available for everyone, which will provide them with better opportunities in life."
For more National Day-related coverage, visit Channel NewsAsia's National Day special report site here.