Minister grants father’s dying wish
Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan helped a father grant his dying wish of seeing his son become a Singaporean. Find out more here.
Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Vivian Balakrishnan is in charge of the Holland – Bukit Panjang GRC and in his many Meet-The-People sessions, he comes across a range of residents who all have their unique stories to share.
One particular resident’s wish really got to him and Minister Balakrishnan shared the story on his Facebook wall.
Excerpt is taken from Minister Vivian Balakrishnan’s Facebook:
His father’s most urgent wish was for him to be a citizen.
I met this cherubic boy and his father in September 2011. The father had just been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. Amongst the many concerns he had, the most urgent was to make sure his son became a citizen – so that he could continue to live in Singapore no matter what happened.
I asked the little boy what he wanted. He coughed loudly, and I looked puzzled at his parents. He told me he was coughing because his father was coughing a lot (due to the cancer), and he wanted to be just like his father.
He brought tears to many eyes that night. We managed to appeal for citizenship for him, and his father passed away in March 2012 reassured that his son will always be a Singaporean.
A timely reminder of how precious life and citizenship is. I felt really good when I met him again at my Meet-the-People session last night.
Singapore for my son
What this particular example shows is how much being a Singaporean meant to the father. So much so that it became his dying wish for his son. Why then is living in Singapore such an important thing for the dad? After all Singapore is not a welfare state, neither is it the cheapest country in the world to live in and it is due to become one of the densest countries to live in. So why then, especially since so many want to leave this tiny red dot.
In the haze of discontent and ill feeling when people talk about the Singapore spirit and identity, we tend to forget just how lucky we really are to be born in sunny Singapore where getting clean, potable water is as easy as turning on a tap or hiding under tables in the event of an earthquake is not part of the school safety curriculum.
Let us then take a minute to reflect on what we have and come home early to spend time with the family because life is fleeting and like this father, you could be struck down by an illness or accident at any moment. So treasure the moments you have now and remember that being Singaporean is not just about that pink i/c. It’s so much more.
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