One of the slogans used for Singapore national day parade in the 90s was “My Singapore, my home”. Having had the privilege to layover frequently in Singapore in those times, I still have vivid and unforgettable souvenirs of the campaigns around this nation-building theme. For instance, buildings and houses were proudly adorned with colorful flags and banners wearing the motto, and audiocassettes with recordings glorifying civic and patriotic values were distributed freely. I even grabbed one cassette which I gave to a local MP, as an example of nation-building tool. I confess regretting the loss of this souvenir and the idea that the tape might have been left aside with no follow up enhances this feeling.
My Singapore, my home is not an empty slogan in Singapore, it is a way of life, which pervades all spheres of society. Individual responsibility and, above all, LOVE of one’s country is celebrated and encouraged because only LOVE can transform a house into a home with the warmth, safety and care it entails.
Singaporean style of “home” stewardship is criticized, sometimes understandably, but it has harvested astounding results. Let us take the safety aspect – unsurprisingly in 2015, Singapore ranked 2nd out of 107 countries which provided enough information to consultancy firm, Valuepenguin, “safest countries in the world” report .  The results were based on the seven following criteria: (1) traffic deaths rate, (2) assault rate, (3) theft rate, (4) police personnel, (5) CO2 emission, (6) population and (7) life expectancy.
Our home, Mauritius, has been under some tough safety challenges for some years, which have contributed to its poor 89th place in the report. Fortunately, the police force has recently taken some innovative initiatives like “police field hour” which aims at making policemen more visible on the battlefield to  « sanitize areas of concern besides provide assistance to those in need, especially elderly, women and children » as declared by CP Mario Nobin.
However, this police presence and efficiency would be void without our participation. Community policing is working marvelously well in Singapore which, by the way, has only about 15,000 sworn in police officers for a population of 5.7 million! We are a largely luckier than this nation city as far as policeman to population ratio is concerned with a generous 12,456 officers for a 1.27 million strong population (2014 figures)! Hence, a more active public participation and a reinforced presence; we can largely improve the situation given that the deterrents are stronger than the rewards earned from committing crime.
In the blossoming of our families there can be no compromise on safety. Mauritius is not only home it is also yours. So let us hold hands together to climb the ladder and earn a much better ranking. What about setting the target of 40th place on the Valuepenguin scale in 2020 on the occasion of our 55th Independence anniversary?
Meanwhile, let’s humbly learn from those who have succeeded in protecting their homes effectively. We might not enjoy the same conditions but we all want our homes to be havens of peace and order.
Happy anniversary Singapore and long live My Mauritius, my home!