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.
This week, Jamie Fullerton visits an ethical elephant park in Vietnam, Victoria Milko brings us through the history and struggles of Myanmar’s ethnic minorities, and Adam Bemma talks about the cases of two high-profile refugees from the Middle East who found temporary shelter in Southeast Asia before being resettled in Canada.
Protests are often seen as disruptive and destructive, and are generally frowned upon in Singapore. Activists and performance artists have been arrested and charged under the Public Order Act in recent years, even for indoor forums and solo outdoor performances. In this episode, we sit down to talk to former student activist Tan Tee Seng and civil rights activist Jolovan Wham about activism, social change, and the rule of law in Singapore.
This week, Adam Bemma speaks to LGBT rights activists working to establish an advocacy network in Laos, Victoria Milko visits a peace park set up by the Karen ethnic group in conflict-embroiled Myanmar, Aidila Razak speaks to a trans woman who left her home country of Malaysia to seek asylum in the UK, and Aisyah Llewellyn talks about her experience covering the December 2018 tsunami from Lampung in South Sumatra.
New Naratif's Managing Director PJ Thum and Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Han sit down to talk about recent developments in Singapore, from the 4G leadership, to the Singapore-Malaysia maritime dispute, and the upcoming bicentennial of Raffles' landing on the island.
This week, Teodosia Dos Reis and Laura McDowell attend the anniversary of Timor-Leste’s Santa Cruz Massacre, Teguh Harahap looks at the future of Kuda Lumping dance seances in Indonesia, Tehmina Kaoosji talks to MP for Batu Kawan Kasthuri Patto about ICERD and Malaysia, and Victoria Milko reflects on the lack of protection for women against violence in Myanmar.
Singapore has an ageing population. It's a situation often described in anxious, alarmist tones, with the growing number of senior citizens framed as dependent on a shrinking pool of able-bodied working adults. Yet the country is doing well in terms of health life expectancies, indicating that Singapore's elderly aren't as helpless or infirm as they are often portrayed as being. Is it time for a fundamental overhaul of the way we think about ageing?
Our Chief Editor, Kirsten Han, sits down with Deputy Editor for Bahasa Indonesia, Aisyah Llewellyn, and Deputy Editor of Bahasa Malaysia, Pauline Wong, to talk about what they look for when commissioning stories, why they believe it’s important to push back against a media culture of breaking news, and their own experiences as women in journalism.
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.
This week, Victoria Milko talks to those fighting for freedom of expression in Myanmar, Adam Bemma hits the streets in Bangkok amid clean-up operations targeting street food vendors, Aisyah Llewellyn interviews Ian Morse about his experience covering the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi, and Kirsten Han argues that the mainstream media’s attitude hampers the push for press freedom in Singapore.
There are almost a million low-wage migrant workers in Singapore, but they often face physical and social segregation, and are excluded from data on Singapore’s resident population. We talk to Dr Stephanie Chok of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) and Debbie Fordyce of Transient Workers Count Too (TWC2) about the issues this invisible population face.
This week, Tehmina Kaoosji takes a look at the sustainability of the palm oil industry in Malaysia, Adam Bemma speaks to young Thai rappers pushing boundaries, Kirsten Han interviews a Singaporean performance artist upon his release from prison, and Stanley Widianto reflects on co-writing a piece about Indonesia’s notorious blasphemy law. Hosted by PJ Thum.
Singapore’s hawker centres have been described as a “cultural institution”, a source of pride as much as a source of good eats. Yet the hawker industry is in crisis today, with rents and overhead costs rising even as hawkers are pressured to keep their prices down. In this episode, PJ Thum heads to Chinatown Food Complex to speak to three hawkers about the difficulty of surviving, not as cultural symbols, but viable businesses.
This week, Adam Bemma speaks to the wife of a community worker disappeared in Laos six years ago, Mark Tilly talks to architects about the development and urbanisation of the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, Calum Stuart interviews Edmund Bon on the likelihood of Malaysia legalising medical marijuana and Aisyah Llewellyn looks at why it’s so difficult to sort out Indonesia’s violent football culture.
On 6 September, the Indian Supreme Court decriminalised homosexuality when it ruled on Section 377 of its penal code. The historic ruling on this colonial-era law gave a boost to Singapore’s LGBT movement, prompting a renewed push to repeal Section 377A of Singapore’s Penal Code. New Naratif sits down with Ready4Repeal co-author Johannes Hadi, Clement Tan of Pink Dot and PhD candidate Pamela Devan to talk about the anti-gay law and other LGBT issues in Singapore.
This week, Adam Bemma speaks with a Syrian refugee stuck in the transit lounge of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Victoria Milko visits churches in Yangon trying to keep ethnic languages alive, Calum Stuart talks to Michael Tatarski about online freedom and the cybersecurity law in Vietnam and Teguh Harahap reflects on his experience writing about LGBT “exorcisms”.
New Naratif turned one on 8 September 2018 and we marked the occasion with our members with a live recording of Political Agenda! Managing Director PJ Thum and Editor-in-Chief Kirsten Han reflect on a rollercoaster year and take questions from the audience.
In this week’s episode, Kirsten Han visits a modernist building in danger of demolition in Singapore, Samantha Cheh talks to PJ Thum about anti-LGBT pseudo-science in Malaysia, and Febriana Firdaus examines the challenges faced by local journalists in West Papua. Hosted by PJ Thum.
Crazy Rich Asians opened in the US a week-and-a-half ago and was welcomed as a milestone, a “moment” and a win for representation. But how does it portray Singapore, in which the story is set? We sit down with Ruby Thiagarajan of Mynah Magazine, Aisyah Amir of The Local Rebel and Yale-NUS undergraduate Faris Joraimi to talk about representation, inequality and Crazy Rich Asians from a Singaporean perspective.