by Teo Soh Lung
While a “vast majority” of people read Dr Tan’s piece and understood it, Mr Shanmugam said what surprised him was the “almost a Pavlovian response” by a small group of people.
I don’t understand why the Minister should be surprised by the response of a “small group of people”. By the same token, he too is guilty of a Pavlovian response by speaking up for Tan Wu Meng.
I know Alfian Sa’at though I don’t claim to have read all his works which I must say is prolific. I have watched many of his plays and musicals, and enjoyed all of them. I have read some of his poems and short stories, and know how deeply he feels for his subjects.
His research on the history of Singapore and the region is truly admirable. I am sure he is much more widely read than Tan Wu Meng who I suspect, like many PAP IBs, merely prowl Facebook and blogs.
Alfian Sa’at has done Singapore proud. He is one of our national treasures and public intellectuals who has acquired international fame and is much loved by the world. He has put Singapore literature on the world map. I am sure many countries, including Malaysia, would be happy to accept him as a citizen.
But to the best of my knowledge, he has not even attempted to apply for citizenship of another country. By not doing so, he has clearly evinced his loyalty to Singapore. What more does the Minister and Tan Wu Meng want?
Or is the Minister hoping that by criticising and defaming Alfian Sa’at, and making his life difficult and miserable, Alfian would leave Singapore like so many talented and capable Singaporeans had done in the past? I will not rule this past the Minister. His predecessors had done that to many Singaporeans who reluctantly left Singapore to become well known professionals, academics, lawyers, economists, and intellectuals of other countries.