She celebrates National Day for first time as Singapore citizen
She has recited the pledge and sung the National Anthem countless times during her school days.
But the experience was different last night for Miss Jacqueline Chin, 26, who celebrated Singapore's National Day for the first time as a Singapore citizen.
Miss Chin, who became a citizen late last year, was at the National Day Parade at the National Stadium, where she sang the National Anthem and took the pledge in unison with a 55,000-strong crowd.
The daughter of two Malaysians said: "I was born and raised in Singapore but all my life, I've held a blue identity card. Now, with my pink IC, it is a totally different feeling when I take the pledge or sing the National Anthem.
"It makes me feel secure and valued to be a part of this country that I love."
The events and marketing manager applied for Singapore citizenship in 2014 and got approved this year.
Last month, she attended a citizenship ceremony where she was presented with her pink IC and, for the first time in her life, sang the National Anthem and took the pledge as a Singaporean.
"It gave me the goosebumps. I told myself, 'Finally, after 26 years, I belong to this country,'" she told The New Paper yesterday.
Miss Chin scored tickets to the parade on the first day the balloting results for tickets were released.
She attended the parade last night with her mother, Madam Tong Ah Loi, a 48-year-old cook.
I BELONG: New citizen Jacqueline Chin (waving flag) with her mother, Madam Tong Ah Loi, watch the parade last night.
Her parents are Singapore permanent residents, and she has three siblings. Her brother, 24, became a citizen after completing his national service. Her two sisters, 21 and 19, will be applying for citizenship in the near future.
Miss Chin said she applied for citizenship because she has always considered herself a local, having gone to local schools and is Singaporean "through and through".
She is also an active grassroots volunteer with the Kaki Bukit Green Residents Committee.
"Before my pink IC, it felt like I was just helping out. But now, after becoming a citizen, I feel like I am contributing to the society whenever I volunteer at the events," said Miss Chin.
She and her mother were in high spirits watching the parade, and they sang along to the familiar NDP songs.
Madam Tong, who was also attending the parade for the first time, said: "I really enjoyed myself. I am so happy that my daughter is now a citizen of this country where her future can be bright and secure."