Nationally Speaking: An Alternative Guide to Nation Building

by Justin Lim (16A01B), and Md Khairillah (16A01B)

nationally speaking final header

The bestowment of an exclusive SG50 Lego set has reaped its benefits, resurrecting Rafflesians from the abyss of studies into the utopia of their ‘Ideal Singapore’. In a show of fervent patriotism, these ‘future leaders of Singapore’ have gone above and beyond in their depiction of the Singaporean they want (and which they will presumably create). Here, Raffles Press presents our the 10 most quirky, innovative, and pensive creations born out of the SG50 Lego set.

All credit goes to the Rafflesians who created these wonderful designs. (Un)fortunately, we have not managed to identify the exact names and classes of the genii behind these creations.

An uncommon sight: an Electronic Road Pricing gantry.

Not an uncommon sight: an Electronic Road Pricing gantry.

A stellar example of how pragmatic policies were essential in building the metropolis we live in today. This student’s appreciation for our country’s economic genius is certainly admirable! Perhaps most stunning is the detail put into this piece: the letters seem mildly disorienting, similar to the effect experiencing when driving at higher speeds, or when one is being made to pay ERP tolls.

Is this the future Parliament house, or something more ominous?

Is this the future Parliament house, or something more ominous?

Is this the new Parliament House? The futuristic exterior is accented by what seems to be guardhouses and a regal, clean white entrance. The only concern we have is over the two cranes that seems to be carrying two helpless civilians by the structure’s sides, surely this must be a new innovative construction service? (Or a thinly veiled political reference.)

A futuristic piece that's open for interpretation.

A futuristic piece that’s open for interpretation.

This says a lot, about what– we’re not sure. This could be a statement of the harsh rule by law in Singapore’s budding years. Or it could be a less eerie one of how we would always be connected to our Singaporean roots regardless of time and place. We, however, like to think that’s it’s a statement about our education system’s reliance on examinations. Remember, behind every enrichment trip or long holiday is the sobering fact that A Levels isn’t going away anytime soon.

An infrastructural safety hazard more than anything.

An infrastructural safety hazard more than anything.

We see the evolution of surveillance technology in this piece where spider-like cameras rotate over what we expect to be highways by its side. Though the writers at Raffles Press aren’t exactly Physics experts, isn’t it rather dangerous to have large, heavy structures hanging above a highway?

An eerily white man with rather ethnically inaccurate eyes

An eerily white man with rather ethnically inaccurate eyes

As the pivotal General Elections approach, this student is clearly using our “Nation-Building” Lego sets to pay homage to the ruling party for their efforts in building our nation– as connoted in the person’s all-white uniform in the photo which mirrors that of our leaders. What’s rather disturbing is the man’s stark, yellow eyes that suggest a certain vigilance and fear about the atmosphere: politics sure is confusing!

The future Singaporean.

The future Singaporean.

There’s no doubt over our “Garden City” title. But what of the future? This student believes that the next step would be the “Garden People” initiative: one where mechanisation, nature, and humankind unite to form a sentient, self-sufficient cyborg as we unite the abilities of photosynthesis, and the computational abilities of robotics with our human senses. Who says the human race faces extinction as technology, what we truly face is integration.

Finally one nation that seems to stick close to the instructions

Finally one nation that seems to stick close to the instructions

This piece makes a bold statement about how interconnected we are in Singapore. Notice how Gardens by the Bay, Changi Airport, and what appears to be a lorry are all in close proximity to each other. Is this representative of the convenience in travelling we experience in Singapore, or perhaps some larger question of land insecurity?

A simple, yet bold statement.

A simple, yet bold statement.

Only poignancy comes to mind as we are reminded of the few “parang attacks” that occurred in Downtown East in 2012, and Cathay Cineleisure in 2013. Despite our high safety standards, we are reminded to remain vigilant as no nation is perfectly safe: but Singapore sure comes close.

The student who made this clearly has a penchant for robots.

The student who made this clearly has a penchant for robots.

As a mechanised future approaches, it’s clear this student is embracing it in full force. The Wall-E like robots are seen in what appears to be a repair station, perhaps suggesting that we may face new forms of breakdowns on top of the transport-related ones we currently lament over.

A sight most identifiable by Rafflesians: our canteen!

A sight most identifiable by Rafflesians: our canteen!

Closer to home, these students sought to recreate our school’s canteen– complete with its second level “HP canteen” counterpart. We’re a little disappointed at the accuracy of this piece as it needs significantly more Lego people in it, since when was the canteen this deserted? Or was this perhaps meant to represent the school during the long Jubilee weekend?

These were only 10 of the many other creative creations that we’ve found. Do scroll through the slideshow below to see all of them! 

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To those who say that teenagers have no stake or interest in current affairs, Raffles Press is happy to note that these designs trounce that claim as Rafflesians showcase a keen knowledge and interest in Singaporean affairs. Reflecting key moments to reflect on in our Singaporean history, and projecting into the future in their innovative futuristic designs: we present to you our Singapore.

Should any reader wish to contribute their own photos of lego designs to our slide show, please email us at press.raffles@gmail.com with an email entitled ‘My Ideal Singapore’.

In conjunction with National Day, Raffles Press is launching Nationally Speaking. Posts under this column analyze and comment on affairs and discussions of national significance. Submissions are welcome at press.raffles@gmail.com. To view other posts under this column, click here.

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