People in Bishan and Ang Mo Kio will be so pleased that Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong recorded his National Day message at the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park this year. He even mentioned it by name. He said:
Singapore must be a home that all of us love. We have built a unique home on our little island, striking a balance between preserving the old and embracing the new. Let us make it even better. A beautiful home with green spaces, blue skies and clear waters, just like here in Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park. A cherished home where we build treasured memories and lifelong friendships. A safe home which we will defend.
Yes, Singapore is beautiful and so is the park – one of the biggest in the city – with ponds and bridges and lush greenery, favoured by cyclists and joggers. There’s even a McDonald’s where the young chill out in the evenings.
It seems fitting that the Prime Minister of Singapore, often called a “garden city”, recorded his National Day message at a park.
By Gilbert Koh
Let there be trees, the man said, and lo and behold,
there were trees – rain trees, angsanas, flames of the forest,
causarinas, traveller’s palms and more – springing up against
the steel and concrete of the expanding city.
Even as the true towers of the city climbed higher
and higher for the heavens, the trees were planted, replanted,
transplanted, watered, fertilised, and groomed to grow
and grow. They appeared overnight, abandoned the
chaos of jungle, bent to the will of man, grew in straight lines,
in squares and rectangles, in allocated corners,
in car parks, along highways, outside banks and buildings,
faithful to the commandments of urban developers.
The hard lines of architecture were softened,
the rain did fall, the green did gently, gently grow,
and in his seventieth year, the man was pleased,
as he rested, as he viewed his work, as he felt the weight
of a nation’s soil run slowly through his old green hands.