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?
Both the British colonial government and the post-independence People’s Action Party government have used the same three myths to justify their policies. But how true are these myths?