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Posts Tagged ‘oral history’

Michael Fernandez and Tan Jing Quee at the ‘Detention-Writing-Healing’ Forum

Transcribed by Seet Wen Hao and Ong Pei Chey, edited by Loh Kah Seng


On 26 February 2006, an idea mooted by history teacher Lim Cheng Tju to his friends in the arts scene came to fruition: to have former political detainees break the silence and speak of their experiences at a public forum. (more…)

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Kevin Blackburn

This article was originally published in the Oral History Association of Australia Journal, no. 29, 2007.


On a Saturday afternoon, 26 February 2006, over 200, mostly young people, crowded into the Recital Studio of Singapore’s Esplanade Arts Centre to listen to ex-political detainees from the 1960s and 1970s give their side of Singapore’s history. (more…)

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Loh Kah Seng

National Archives of Singapore. Memories & Reflections: The Singapore Experience: Documenting a Nation’s History Through Oral History. 2nd edition. Singapore: Oral History Centre, 2007. vii, 194 pp.


The collection of social memories, in a forward-looking nation-state where the vast majority of households are nuclear families without grandparents living with them, is particularly important to ensure that the experiences of elderly Singaporeans are passed down to the younger generations. (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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