What does loyalty and a sense of belonging to Singapore mean to you?
For some, Singapore is everything to them. It's the only place they know. It's where their memories are, where their hopes and dreams were fulfilled.
But not everyone feel the same way.
We are increasingly disgruntled because of what Singapore has become - it is neither home nor a hotel. It is merely a business playground, where the rich can play and the less well off toil away without any end point in sight.
Our country treats us like a commodity, rather than a citizen. On top of that, Singapore is freaking expensive and nothing is free.
Even our mandated NRIC renewals have to be paid for, not given free.
According to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA), a co-payment of $10 will help to foster a "stronger sense of pride and ownership of the card".
The issue is not the card. The issue is what the card represents.
Pride in my country, my NRIC, and my passport stem from what the country has achieved. It comes from knowing what the country is capable of achieving. It is knowing that I have a place and role to play in that succcess.
But the government seems to think that my loyalty can be bought with the $10 that we have to pay for our NRICs. Well guess what, you are seriously wrong.
Loyalty, in Singapore, has become transactional. Why?
It doesn't help when you hear stories of students whose result slips are withheld because their parent(s) have not been able to pay for their school fees.
How have we come to this?
We love our country but the elites running the country are more interested in the GDP than they are about helping to make Singapore a place for all Singaporeans.