What is “Operation Coldstore”––the 1963 arrest and detention without trial of over 112 opposition politicians, trade unionists, and political activists on grounds of a communist conspiracy––for its role in Malayan history, how it has shaped Singapore’s governance, and why it matters to the ruling party. The lecture then examines the current political economy of control in Singapore and what these controversies reveal about the nature of People’s Action Party governance today.
It’s been about a year since Singapore’s Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods held its open hearings. Although no Bills have yet been tabled, Singapore is expecting legislation to deal with “fake news” and foreign interference. But what would their impact be?
This week, Adam Bemma takes a look at the political parties running in Thailand’s general election, Laura McDowell profiles Timor-Leste’s first blind radio broadcaster, PJ Thum interviews Andreas Harsono of Human Rights Watch about Indonesia’s internet law, and Michael Tatarski reflects upon covering the Trump-Kim Summit in Hanoi.
Thum Ping Tjin sits down with James Minchin, author of “No Man Is An Island: A Portrait of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew”, to talk about his life in Singapore, his experience writing the book, his ban from Singapore, and his reflections on Singapore’s politics today.
This week, Kirsten Han invites us to lunch with Singapore’s Old Left, Mike Tatarski looks at the effects of Vietnam’s booming tourism industry, PJ Thum talks to Cambodian feminist Eng Chandy, and James Rose reflects upon efforts to clean up Thailand’s fishing industry.
In its 60 years in power, the People’s Action Party has used three, very starkly different, official historical narratives. In this lecture, PJ Thum explains this historiography and how the current narrative aims to legitimise the continued subjugation of Singaporeans, weaponise nationalism, and perpetuate colonial mindsets.
A lecture that our Managing Director PJ Thum delivered at Stanford University in October. He discusses Singapore’s political development and evolution under the ruling People’s Action Party, how this history has shaped and constrained the current government and politics in Singapore, and how this fits into contemporary Southeast Asia.
Singapore’s Vandalism Act (1966) was designed, from the beginning, as a political tool to humiliate those who fight to exercise their right to free speech and political expression.
PJ Thum explains the contours of the dispute between the Lee family siblings and why Lee Kuan Yew’s Oxley Road house matters so much to them.
With Singapore’s first racially reserved Presidential election looming, historian Thum Ping Tjin observes that the government’s much vaunted “Chinese-Malay-Indian-Others” model of managing race has historically increased racial tension and strife. So why do they cling to it?