Singaporean historian launches weekly podcast


Dr Thum Ping Tjin, a Singaporean historian who is a Research Associate at the Centre for Global History and co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia at the University of Oxford, has launched a weekly radio show and podcast entitled The History of Singapore.

Planned as a series of 40 episodes, the podcast will cover Singapore’s founding as a British port in 1819 up to separation from Malaysia in 1963. Each episode is about 20 – 30 minutes long, and will begin airing on 7 August at 3pm on the Malaysian BFM89.9, The Business Station. It will also be made available online and via iTunes.

Thum hopes that his podcast will educate and entertain, bringing listeners on Singapore’s journey based on his own research.

“As I keep saying, this is a very interesting time, exciting time for Singapore history. There are so many new sources for Singapore history, every year new sources of history emerge,” said Thum in the first podcast, entitled Episode 0: Trailer – The History of Singapore. “And we keep finding that we have to rewrite Singapore history in response to this new information.”

Chua Ern Teck, series producer for BFM89.9, cited an interview that Thum had done in March on the legacy of Lee Kuan Yew – which was downloaded almost 100,000 times – as the trigger for their interest in his podcast. “We realised there was a deep thirst for learning more about Singapore history,” he said. “We are excited to be collaborating with Dr Thum.”

Thum is currently working on the podcast on his own steam without funding, hoping that this project will build a community of people who are interested in Singapore’s history. But some support will not come amiss; he has set up a Patreon page for those interested in supporting and helping him improve the podcast. If he is able to raise enough money, Thum will consider making a second season of the series, or compiling the series into a book.

Episodes of The History of Singapore will be available online here. iTunes users can subscribe to the podcast here. If you’re interested in supporting the project, you can pledge to help fund it here.

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