On Tuesday, 16 February 2021, Jolovan Wham was jailed for 22 days and fined SGD8,000 for three charges, including organising the 2017 MRT protest commemorating the 30th anniversary of Operation Spectrum. Fellow participant Sean Francis Han sat down with PJ Thum to talk about his role in the protest, how he first learned about Operation Spectrum, why he chose to take part, and how it transformed his life. They discuss how the incident permanently changed his view of the Singapore government, and his feelings of betrayal and anger. They also discuss the laws that Jolovan was convicted under and the nature of rule of law in Singapore.
Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is Managing Director of New Naratif and a historian 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). Reach him at email@example.com.More by Thum Ping Tjin