Over this year, Singaporeans saw a spirit that seemed unbeknownst to us which surfaced several times.
It is the ‘Singapore Spirit’ which we sang about in National Songs as we grew up over the years.
And the attributes of this spirit include, care, compassion and courage.
This spirit was first displayed at the passing of Singapore’s Founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, when thousand upon thousands of Singaporeans filled the Padang all the way to Parliament House to pay their final respects to Mr Lee. It was especially moving when Singaporeans stood in the rain lining the streets from Parliament House to the University Cultural Centre to catch a glimpse of his casket which was carried atop a military gun carriage.
But that was not all, Singaporeans from different walks of life and organisations came together to hand out umbrellas, refreshments and other necessities to those who were waiting in line to pay their last respects.
On a separate occasion, a group of Singaporeans huddled together to lift up a trailer to save a South Korean man who was pinned under it after a road accident.
Over the last few days, we saw again the Singapore spirit which rallied people together to care for one another and protect against the haze situation.
Even the Members of Parliament from did their part to care for their residents.
As the haze got worse over last night, several government organisations made arrangements to provide relief for Singaporeans, including closing Primary and Secondary schools today to allow students to rest or study at home.
The Ministry for Manpower also urged employers to not compromise on the health and safety of their employees and to make work less strenuous with the use of mechanical aids.
Though work continues, Singaporeans continue to voice out their concern for those working in the outdoors, such as cleaners and construction workers.