The Show with PJ Thum — Episode 3 — How Singapore’s Elections are Qualitatively Unfair.

Historian Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) comments on the oppression of peaceful climate change activists, Lee Hsien Loong’s continued teasing of us about an election amidst the coronavirus crisis, and continues his explanation of how the electoral system is deeply unfair. 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 (PAP). Lisa the Clairvoyant Malayan Sun Dog then predicts the result of the next Singapore General Election.

An Online Citizen (trailer):

A History of Backstabbing in the PAP:

Apologies for the error at 14:00 – The photo is of Phey Yew Kok, not Teh Cheang Wan. Both were PAP Ministers who were convicted of corruption and they wore similar blocky black glasses, so we confused the two. We regret the error.

N.B.: This video was filmed 28 January 2020. The introductory segment was filmed 2 April 2020.


Thum Ping Tjin

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and founding director of Project Southeast Asia, an interdisciplinary research centre on Southeast Asia at the University of Oxford. A Rhodes Scholar, Commonwealth Scholar, Olympic athlete, and the only Singaporean to swim the English Channel, his work centres on Southeast Asian governance and politics. His most recent work is Living with Myths in Singapore (Ethos: 2017, co-edited with Loh Kah Seng and Jack Chia). He is creator of “The History of Singapore” podcast, available on iTunes. Reach him at

Now that you're here, we have a favour to ask...

New Naratif is a movement for democracy, freedom of information, and freedom of speech in Southeast Asia (see our manifesto). Our articles report on issues that are often overlooked or suppressed by the mainstream media in Southeast Asia. We rely on our members for their support. Every cent of your membership fee goes to supporting our research, journalism, and community organisation activities. Your support enables us to be editorially independent and to conduct hard hitting independent research and journalism. It allows us to give a voice to the powerless and to hold the powerful accountable. Our members are active participants in our movement, helping us to create content and informing us about important issues, which shapes our coverage and content. Join our movement and let us, together, build a better Southeast Asia. Please subscribe to New Naratif—it’s just US$52/year (US$1/week) or US$5/month—and it only takes a minute. If you’d like to learn more, and read more articles, please start here! Thank you!


Get the Newest Naratif

Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter to get the scoop on matters concerning Southeast Asia

Join our newsletter