A while ago, I was interviewed by a media student for her school project. She asked me what Singapore means to me. Having recently watched a nature documentary on the food chain in the Norwegian forest at that time, I said something like this:
"To me, the question on what Singapore means to me, is like asking a fish from a stream in a forest, what does the forest mean? Singapore is where I was born, where I've lived all my life, and if I am fortunate enough, it will be where I will get to grow old and die. 'Singapore' is not just a physical location, but its environment, its people, its culture. So, Singapore means to me what the forest means to that fish. "
The thing is, writers and artists are really like sportsmen, entrepreneurs. The achievements of Singaporean artists are the artistic achievements of Singapore, just like how the accomplishments of national sportsmen are the pride of the nation, and the accomplishment of a successful Singaporean enterprise is something for all Singaporeans to be proud of.
When the Singapore Botanics Gardens got awarded the Unesco world heritage site status, all Singaporeans share the happiness. When SIA (Singapore Airlines) and the Singapore Changi Airport, win international awards and accolades, Singaporeans are proud of them too.
Every Singaporean contributes to Singapore in his or her own way. As an artist and a writer, I work hard in my own way for Singapore too.