Speech by Jeremy Hudson Graves (Secondary 4B)
This is an oBike. I’m sure that most of you know what an oBike is and what happened. But for those who don’t, here is a brief backstory. OBike first started operations in February 2017. The company reportedly had 14000 bikes several months later. At this moment, we are just about one and a half years into this oBike sharing scheme, and the company has permanently ‘pulled out of the race’. What's more! It isn’t hard to imagine why.
“It’s all oBike’s fault. They are the ones who came up with the idea, so they should bear the responsibility. I’m just a considerate user, not a regular abuser. If only that reality was true…
The fact is this: you can push the blame on anyone or anything you want, but it won’t change the fact that it’s now gone and closed.
Now what? Do we sulk in the absence of a misplaced convenience only to wait for the next best thing to roll around? What if there is no next best thing? To you, it might just be another company losing money and closing. To you, it might be the all too easy ‘That’s just the way Singaporeans are. They’re too rich for their own good’ mentality. To you, it might mean a cleaner, less yellow and grey Singapore. To me, it represents the human condition and the eerie consequence. If we don’t take care of what is freely given to us, it will be taken away.
You could apply that to almost anything that seems best, but I want to bring it closer to home. Home truly! Imagine the nation of Singapore as an oBike. Imagine us as the people, the next generation. Someday we’ll all grow up and this oBike situation will fall into our hands again. If we lose an oBike, we may sue here, and blame there, but at the end of the day, we’ll just get more steps on our Fitbit. But if we lose a nation, who then can we blame? And this time, it isn’t just a fifty-dollar deposit.
Whether you realise it yet or not, one day, we will be this nation and this nation ours. Will we then hold on to the things that make us Singaporeans? Racial harmony will only become harder and harder to maintain. Cultural heritage will fade in the shadow of western media’s limelight. Security will no longer be a convenience but a fight.
All of us seated here this morning will receive a bike in the future. Not a shiny, slick, fresh one but one that has taken a beating and needs maintenance. One that can potentially solve problems and which solved potential problems. Let us not allow the labels of apathy and entitlement define us and become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Let us not sit around to see what something can do for us. Let us not go through the motions and let our lives be on autoplay, feeding on whatever appears in the recommended section. Let us be something extraordinary, something excellent, something like what our nation should look like. Let us be the generation that we are looking for. Let us.