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History

PM says Chinese immigrants came to seek fortunes but many were fleeing from poverty due to opium menace

This Monday (4 Feb), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong sent a Chinese New Year greeting message to all Singaporeans. “This year, we are commemorating the Singapore Bicentennial,” he said. “200 years ago, Stamford Raffles arrived in Singapore. That marked a crucial turning point in our history, including for our Chinese community. While Chinese junks had traded in Singapore as far …

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Real reason Raffles founded Singapore: To protect British interests in its lucrative opium trade with China

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong launched the Singapore Bicentennial celebration at the Asian Civilisation Museum on Mon (28 Jan). Straits Times reported it as 1819 marked the start of a modern and multicultural Singapore (‘1819 marked start of modern, multicultural Singapore: Lee Hsien Loong‘, 28 Jan). Although a thriving seaport existed in Singapore as early as the 14th Century, it …

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A Quest for Freedom by G Raman

by Toh Soh Lung I was at the launch of G Raman’s book, A Quest for Freedom at the Arts House recently. It was a pleasant evening among many lawyers. I was certainly pleased to see old friends. As I sat among the distinguished audience listening to glowing speeches about the poor kampong boy made good by his hard work, …

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Oxford historians saga and Operation Coldstore

by Teo Soh Lung The People’s Action Party (PAP) has historically been fond of seeing conspiracies in every word or phrase it dislikes. Its latest allegation that Oxford University historians have conspired to “subvert [our] parliamentary process” is not as exaggerated as what it has claimed against some Singaporeans. (Straits Times 1 May 2018). Singaporeans have been accused of conspiring …

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Lift ban on films on ex-detainees, says filmmaker

by See Tong Ming, Martyn In their opinion piece “History is not the preserve of historians” (ST, April 10), Mr Desmond Lee and Dr Janil Puthucheary emphasized that “the history of Singapore is a matter of concern to all Singaporeans because it is our story – citizens, journalists, politicians and historians.” I agree. Historical narrative cannot be the preserve of one …

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Poh Soh Kai: “We must learn from history and not myths, history that is grounded in the events and realities of the time”

Former Barisan Sosialis assistant secretary-general and ISA detainee, Dr Poh Soo Kai issued a response to the claim by Minister of Home Affairs and Law, K Shanmugam that Operation Coldstore was mounted on grounds of “national security” at the hearing before the Parliamentary Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods on 29 March 2018, challenging the assertion that he and his …

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‘The Past is not the Past’, an exhibition to remember

“The party is not the….”, a visitor beside me squints into a portrait, trying to make out the tiny words handwritten just below it. After the words, an ‘Erica’ is signed. “The past is not the past”, I correct him. He grins and then realises. That is the name of the exhibition, after all. === It is opening night for …

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Baey Yam Keng: NHB to publish first edition of the Heritage Plan in early 2018

Parliamentary Secretary for Culture, Community and Youth Baey Yam Keng spoke during Committee of Supply Debate on Thursday (9 March) that National Heritage Board (NHB) plans to publish the first edition of the Heritage Plan in early 2018, with an update every 5 years. The Minister said that NHB will be developing a comprehensive national blueprint for Singapore’s heritage sector. He …

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The need to reconsider how Singapore remembers WW2

By Vernon Chan Yes, the Syonan Gallery has been renamed to the less offensive and traumatising “Surviving the Japanese Occupation: War and its Legacies“. But have the professionals behind the formulating, marketing, chronicalising, and critiquing of Singapore history learnt from this episode? Should they seriously reconsider an approach and narrative that is not just stale, not just failed, but poisoning the Singapore …

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