11 April 2015
As we enter the post-Lee Kuan Yew era, some “Alternate” historians and activists will seek to revise history in line with ideological and political concerns.
The 50th anniversary of Singapore’s independence from Malaysia, coupled with the passing of its first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew, appears to have ushered in a period of national reflection. This introspection is apparent on two related fronts. First, some netizens, academics, civil society activists, former detainees as well as foreign observers have intensified scrutiny of the “Singapore Story”, the master narrative purporting to chronicle the country’s historical trajectory down the decades.
Second, some of these voices have questioned yet again if Singapore’s political system should be brought more in line with the Western liberal democratic model. On the one hand, what I have called “Alternate” historians and their sympathisers allege that the incumbent PAP government’s consolidation of power in the early 1960s was done through unethical means.
… Kumar Ramakrishna is an Associate Professor and Head of Policy Studies in the Office of the Executive Deputy Chairman, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. His book, Original Sin? Revising the Revisionist Critique of the 1963 Operation Coldstore, has just been published by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 13/04/2015