PJ explains Singapore’s Oxley Road dispute between Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his siblings, Lee Wei Ling and Lee Hsien Yang; how Lee Kuan Yew’s legacy is crucial to the PAP continuing to win elections and monopolising power; how this demonstrates the weakness of public institutions in Singapore; and how Singapore has the appearance of the form of public accountability and transparency but not the substance.
PJ speaks with Zakir Hossain Khokan, a migrant worker from Bangladesh and founder of “Migrant Writers of Singapore”, who is currently ill with COVID-19 (but recovering), and Jay and Michelle, two Singaporeans who volunteer with his organisation, about their work and other initiatives; about the ongoing COVID-19 crisis among migrant workers; and about broader structural and systemic issues facing migrant workers in Singapore
PJ explains how Singapore’s economy has evolved over time, how it is heavily dependent on foreign funding, and how the PAP tried to wean Singapore off foreign funding and failed miserably, leading to Singapore’s current economic quandary.
PJ explains how the People’s Action Party in Singapore uses/abuses the concept of the “Rule of Law” to control all forms of political activity, by criminalising all behaviour but selectively investigating, harassing, and charging only its critics and opponents. Also, he tries to sell you some cologne.
PJ Thum talks to two young Singaporean Climate Strikers about their strike, themselves, their activism, their goals, and their hopes for the future.
Historian Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) explains how the People’s Action Party in Singapore, through purposeful social design since the 1960s, has created a system through which the state is able to intimately interfere in peoples lives and create public dependence on the state; and how this dependence on the state then makes people afraid to speak up or oppose the government.
PJ explains how the historic use of arrests and lawsuits, the threats of punishment, and the slanted media coverage create an atmosphere of fear in which people are afraid of voting against the governing People’s Action Party. Also, Lisa the Clairvoyant Malayan Sun Dog predicts the result of the next Singapore General Election.
In The Show with PJ Thum episode 2, historian Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) explains how Singapore’s electoral system is deeply unfair. It is designed to maximise the seats and votes for the governing People’s Action Party (PAP), and the point of the system is to legitimise PAP rule, not to reflect popular will or ensure democracy.
Singapore’s long history of elections is characterised by a tension between, on the one hand, a demand by the broader electorate for a responsive, accountable, government; and on the other, the desire of the government of the day to restrict the choice available to the electorate in order to achieve its desired outcomes while still retaining a veneer of popular legitimacy.
Thum Ping Tjin talks to Tan Wah Piow about childhood, his time in the University of Singapore, his activism, his fraudulent conviction and the PAP government’s attempted abuse of the National Service Act, his subsequent flight and exile from Singapore, all the people who helped him along the way, and his reflections on Singapore’s politics and political activism today.