In 2015, Singapore will turn 50. To mark the Golden Jubilee, a series of three sets of commemorative stamps will be launched from 2013 to 2015. This first set – celebrating 48 years of Singapore independence – showcases examples of what Singaporeans have shared, overcome and achieved together over these years.
Beating SARS together: the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak in 2003 was Singapore's most severe national health emergency since becoming independent. The normal order of life was disrupted – schools were closed, businesses were affected, people shunned public spaces. Despite the initial panic, Singaporeans quickly rallied together, displaying unity and a string fighting spirit. Faced with a crisis that would have crippled a country, Singaporeans became stronger, wiser and more prepared for future challenges.
Cleaning and greening the city: In 1963, then Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew launched Singapore's first tree-planting campaign. Following that, in the 1970s, plans were made to clean up a heavily polluted Singapore River. Through the years, Singaporeans have covered the island with green corridors, park connectors and the iconic Gardens by the Bay. The Singapore River is teeming with aquatic life and is a pleasant sight surrounded with water sports, fishing and river cruising. Today, the aim is to turn Singapore into a City in a Garden.
Conquering the water challenges: due to a lack of natural drinking sources, water has always been a challenge for Singapore. Recognizing the need to be sustainable in water, Singapore invested heavily in research and technology. Today, it has the Four National Taps. This robust system allows to draw drinkable water from diversified sources – local catchment areas, imported water, desalinated water and reclaimed water known as NEWater. Singapore's water story has earned an international recognition as an emerging global hydrohub as well as a model city for water management.
Living together in harmony: the racial riots of the 1960s in Singapore serve as a poignant reminder of how fragile social harmony can be. Since independence, proactive steps have been taken to promote tolerance and understanding. Today, on the 21st of July each year, Singaporeans schools mark the anniversary of the 1964 racial riots with Racial Harmony Day. Being Singaporean today means that everyone is treated fairly and equally, and nobody is either privileged or disadvantages because of their religion or skin color.
Forging a vibrant economy: when Singapore gained independence in 1965, few expected it to survive. However, Singapore became a global city and an economic hub.
More than that, its accolades also include a world-class airport, a renowned seaport, the reputation of being one of the world's most important financial centers, and a strong resilience against economic crisis and recession.