Importance Of Nation Building

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On 9th August 1965, Singapore experienced a traumatic separation from Malaysia, gaining unwanted independence.1 After losing its hinterland, survival received top priority and policies yielding tangible structures, such as defence, economic growth and housing, were important tools employed by the government to build a Singaporean nation. Nation-building refers to the efforts of forging and establishing a common experience and shared values amongst the people so as to nurture and form a unique national identity, prompting them to see themselves as one united people with a sense of belonging to the nation. The significance of those nation-building efforts do not, however, diminish over time. These policies continue to exert their influence and prominence till today in fulfilling their mission of nation-building. Thus, I disagree with the statement and I believe that their significance remains strong and does not hinder nation-building efforts. Undeniably, critics may argue that National Service (NS), the major pillar of Singapore 's defence system, actually discriminates against the Malays, which hampers nation-building. Against the backdrop of the 1964 racial riots as well as the traumatic separation from Malaysia, there was a strong distrust of the Malays.2 This was reflected in the implementation of defence policy. When Singapore inherited the battalions, Malay soldiers were transferred out from combat positions, while career progression was stalled.3 The past continues to

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