Colonialism without Borders

I've spent a large part of my adult life trying to understand Singapore and Singaporeans. It is ultimately a search for self-identity in the context of the country in which I was born and raised.
Why do we do the things we do? Where most countries would be proud of being showcased on an international stage, why do some vocal Singaporeans seemingly want the Youth Olympic Games to be seen as a failure? Why do we sit back and complain, waiting for someone else to solve problems we see rather than take an entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving?
I've come to an understanding (not conclusive, by any means) that the rhetoric used on us has a large part to play in the way we perceive ourselves. While we look back at history with pride at being able to break away from British colonialism, I fear we still live under the same yoke.
We are often told that Singapore has no natural resource except her people. We are called "workers" and the mainstream media constantly bombards us with coverage of political speeches seeking to "increase our productivity". We are told that the sacrifice of personal freedoms such as public demonstrations are necessary to create a stable environment for foreign investment.
All well and good, but why does it always seem like we're working for someone else? Why are we a resource for others to mine? Why are we always working "faster, cheaper and better" to compete as a source of skilled labour for foreign parties to exploit?
Could it be, that having lived under this label all of her 45 years, Singapore has become less human and more commodity to be sold or traded? Where once we stood for incorruptibility (a facade to some, perhaps), we have traded it for the glamour and cold hard cash of mega-casinos. It is all business, and everything is for sale.
And the perception is that the politicians are the ones doing the peddling.
Shouldn't we be inspired with loftier dreams? Shouldn't we talk of entrepreneurship, hiring rather than being hired? Shouldn't we take the bull by its horns and seize our own destinies? True, the reality is that most will end up as "workers", but hope is the fuel upon which entrepreneurship feeds. And a spirit of entrepreneurship (I mean for it to be more than just the running of a business) is essential in creating a national identity we can be proud of.
Singapore should be a force for good in the world, directed by the strength of our character, and driven by our innovation and hard work.
We are much more than lambs to the slaughter, and brains for plunder.

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