20121021 National Day flag display – nobody cares

From: phillip ang

Sent: Sunday, October 21, 2012 1:06 AM
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Subject: 20121021 National Day flag display – nobody cares

Dear PM Lee

I refer to my email “National Day flag display – Who cares? 1” dated 24 August 2011. Displaying our national flag has become meaningless to the majority of Singaporeans, reduced to an annual ritual by RCs. Another campaign “to encourage Singaporeans to show their patriotism to Singapore” is simplistic and academic approach which in no way addresses the issue – why the majority of Singaporeans do not hang the flag during National Day? (if love and devotion to one’s country (patriotism) does not exist, can they be displayed? Do Singaporeans simply want to disassociate themselves from their RCs or are they angry with PAP policies which have disadvantaged Singaporeans? etc )


2 Nowhere across the Causeway or in any other countries do citizens need a campaign to increase the number of flag hanging participants. But even with the supplied hooks outside our HDB windows, most still do not do so.

3 Let’s take a look at how HDB estates ‘celebrate’ our independence day. (Most photos in Bedok instead of Pasir Ris, but every estate is similar)

i From a distance, Bedok ‘grassroots’ efforts appeared impressive with almost every unit displaying a flag. But further observation confirmed the indifference of its RCs.

ii The RCs were only interested to put up the maximum number of flags. No one was bothered when…:

…they subsequently rolled up and became hardly visible or

partially covered.

Faded ones are not few in numbers and RCs should have known better – under the SINGAPORE ARMS AND FLAG AND NATIONAL ANTHEM ACT (CHAPTER 296)
Damaged Flag – No person shall display, or cause to be displayed, any Flag that is damaged or not in a proper and clean condition.

SMRT’s extensive experience in cable ties might have prevented these…..

but might still be defenceless against intent vandals?

In another estate, a fallen flag becomes conveniently invisible

It would be unfair to blame only RCs as TCs and the HDB have allowed residents to hang laundry in all sorts of manner for decades ie.

or worse, below religious objects which should not be allowed on parapet.

Again the TC has to shoulder the blame for allowing poles to be attached to hooks meant for our flag. Sooner or later, the flag will be covered because the pole (or rope) is meant for hanging laundry.

Toh Yi estate is also no different from other estates.

Whether it is in my estate or others, one cannot help but notice those units displaying our flag are only a handful. Probably only RC members and civil servants displaying them?

Flags have also been hung the wrong way and…

the longest on record for 2012 goes to this unit along Drive 1, Pasir Ris. This lone unit along a 1 km stretch of road has gone unnoticed for about 3 months, 2 months after our National Day. (still there today)
This begs the question – are TC/HDB officers working in the estate at all? **

4 Without feedback, this may go on another year, as was probably the case with the unit below. If RC members are not aware that flags should be hung only from 1 July to Sep 30, heartlanders should not be expected to know better.
(photo taken in April but with the attitude of our indifferent TCs and RCs, it is more likely that the flag had been hanging since 2011)
‎Saturday, ‎28 ‎April, ‎2012, ‏‎6:38:42 PM

5 The examples above have been a regular feature since years ago. RCs and TCs have repeatedly turned a blind eye to thousands of flags treated with disrespect. I guess no one will take responsibility for the blatant contravention of the SINGAPORE ARMS AND FLAG AND NATIONAL ANTHEM ACT.

6 This issue has also been raised in ST’s STOMP.


7 As with other feedback, this issue is not about the display of flag per se. Non-participation by the majority of Singaporeans should have been seriously addressed by the government. Flag display should be spontaneous as it reflects the pride of its citizens and there must be valid reasons for not doing so. The underlying issues are complex and the government appears to be only concerned with the symptoms by allowing RCs to create an illusion of celebratory mood.

8 In our transition from a Third to a First World country, our preoccupation has been only with material and financial gains at the expense of all else. Indifference, from individuals, ‘grassroots’ members, civil servants to politicians, has become the norm, justified by trivialising issues where there are no financial benefits. This does not bode well for our country. (why do numerous cases of brazen irresponsibility need to be highlighted?)

9 Please be upset enough to do something before the situation becomes irreversible in future.

10 The PA, together with grassroots and other government organisations, should cease organising campaigns to “encourage Singaporeans to show their patriotism to Singapore by displaying the national flag”.

The government should instead address the underlying issue of why the majority of Singaporeans are reluctant display our flag during National Day as well as the totally ‘bochap’ attitude of our so called grassroots members and government agencies.

Thank you.


Phillip Ang

Position of national flag in Hougang readjusted: Town Council http://static.stomp.com.sg/stomp/sgseen/this_urban_jungle/1278578/town_council_position_of_national_flag_readjusted.html

Are Town Councils in charge of the display of flags by HDB residents while RCs are only in charge of putting up a show? This annual ritual by RCs is really a waste of time and resources and does not reflect the sentiments of the majority of Singaporeans.

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