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Archive for the ‘02 archives & memory’ Category

Editorial


Welcome to the second issue of s/pores. This issue focuses on the theme of Memory and History. (more…)

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Philip Holden


Wang Gungwu is best known as a historian of the Chinese diaspora in Southeast Asia, and for a stellar academic career commencing at the University of Malaya in Singapore and culminating in periods as Vice Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong, and Director of the East Asia Institute, National University of Singapore. Like many of his contemporaries, however, Wang was a young adult at a turbulent time when modern Southeast Asia was being made during the period of decolonization immediately following the Second World War. (more…)

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Wang Gungwu

The Singapore Heritage Society presented a public talk by Professor Wang Gungwu, then Director of the East Asia Institute, on 10 April 2006 at the National Library, entitled “Learning Me Your Language”. Professor Wang discussed the politics of decolonization and English language writing in Singapore/Malaya in the early 1950s, a period when he was a student at the University of Malaya and was involved in campus magazines like The Malayan Undergrad and The New Cauldron. (more…)

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Wang Gungwu

From The Malayan Undergrad, Vol 9 No 5 July 1958


When I was a schoolboy a little more than ten years ago, no one talked of such a thing as Malayan poetry. It was not even known if there was any poetry written by people who lived in Malaya. (more…)

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Three Faces of Night

Wang Gungwu


Quavers quiver along the violin strings
And fingers grasp the: whale-skin threads,
Trace the image of hallowed things.
Hark the bass dum dum
Followed by the swish swish feet;
And the talking jerky with the swinging beat. (more…)

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Moon Thoughts

Wang Gungwu


The moon, impure as ever, like tea-leaves,
Coffee dregs, on a cup of cream, cleaves
On to drooping leaves of rubber trees,
Scatters bright thieves to steal the keys
That open to mem’ries of home.
(more…)

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Sai Siew Min, with Lim Cheng Tju


CC Chin: I have my ways. After all, history is not something that can be monopolized by a few individuals. Hundreds of thousands of people were involved in this movement. If I include supporters and sympathizers, there could be a million people involved over such a long time period. Even if you were Chin Peng, there would be a limit to how much you would know. This was a mass-based movement. So the only solution was to return to the grassroots, the people, the masses and the ordinary Party members.

(more…)

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Loh Kah Seng


In the interviews I did in 2005 at the Singapore Leprosy Relief Association (Silra) Home with individuals who formerly suffered from leprosy is a statement which keeps returning to me, reminding me of the complex relationship between history and memory. The words came from two of the Home’s residents, good friends Lim Ah Hin, 70, and Chia Puay Song, 80. They told me, individually, in Mandarin, ‘我们命坏,运好’, and in Hokkien, ‘wun nang mia pai, gun ho’ [‘our lives are bad but our luck is good’]. (more…)

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Edgar Liao


Few young Singaporeans today would know of Dennis Joseph Enright, a name that might ring only faint bells to some from older generation. As Professor of English at the University of Malaya in Singapore, he had taught for a decade between 1960 and 1970. Enright is inadvertently remembered for his role as key antagonist in the conflict with PAP ministers Ahmad Ibrahim, S. Rajaratnam, and eventually Lee Kuan Yew, over his alleged criticisms of the newly-enthroned PAP government’s cultural policies in November 1960, published in then colonial-owned Straits Times. (more…)

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Usman Awang in Singapore

Tan Jing Quee
December 2001


The passing away of Usman Awang in November 2001 was in many ways, a watershed in the literary history of Malaysia and Singapore. He was perhaps one of the few literary giants who are known on both sides of the Causeway, read by a diverse section of the reading public. He is easily the most accessible of the major writers of the Malay language, partly because his writings have been widely translated into English, Chinese and several other languages. The fact that this is so perhaps says something of the universality of his appeal. (more…)

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