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Category: Singapore

  • Lee Kuan Yew and Margaret Thatcher

    An amazing parallel runs through the political careers of Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of the Republic of Singapore, and Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first woman prime minister. Both began their political career at the same time and stepped down as prime minister on the same day. Both laid down their office on November […]

  • Cheong Yip Seng: Inside The Straits Times

    There is a tide in the affairs of menWhich, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune. Those lines from Julius Caesar certainly apply to Cheung Yip Seng, who loves Shakespeare. His musician father brought the family over on a ship from Penang to Singapore, where in 1963 Cheung, then 20 years old, got a […]

  • Joseph Conrad and Singapore newspapers

    I was pleasantly surprised to see the Straits Times mentioned in Joseph Conrad’s first novel, Almayer’s Folly. It’s at the beginning of Chapter 4: That year, towards the breaking up of the south-west monsoon, disquieting rumours reached Sambir. Captain Ford, coming up to Almayer’s house for an evening’s chat, brought late numbers of the Straits […]

  • Chulia Kampong, Singapore

    Looking at Chulia Street off Raffles Place and Boat Quay now, no one would know what it was like before. Chulia Kampong, unlike Kampong Glam, has vanished from the map of Singapore. So I was intrigued by the description given by the Indian writer Amitav Ghosh in his novel, River of Smoke. The book, set […]

  • Lost and found at Changi airport

    After landing at Changi airport, I got into a taxi and was on my way home when I realized my laptop wasn’t with me. I asked the driver to pull over and opened the boot, but the computer wasn’t there. With a sinking feeling, I then remembered I had put the computer bag down on […]

  • Two lovely poems and a Singapore state of mind

    People talk of a New York state of mind (below are the lyrics of the song by Billy Joel). Surely, there’s a Singapore state of mind, too.

  • Gong xi fa cai! And a poem on Singapore

    Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his Chinese New Year message says: Ultimately we all want to make Singapore the best home in the world for ourselves, our families and our children. We all want ours to remain an inclusive, meritocratic society where every child has the chance to realise his dreams and aspirations. […]

  • Flash floods, Paul Theroux and loving Singapore

    Flash floods hit Liat Towers and other parts of Orchard Road, reported AsiaOne, but PUB, whose tasks include flood prevention, begged to differ. No floods in Orchard Road, just “ponding”: Pub, said the headline in Today. “Flooding” did occur in a section of Cambridge Road/Owen Road, according to the PUB website, but not in the […]

  • A Singlish poem

    I just came across this Singlish poem in an article that appeared in Salon way back in 2007. Wah! I heard we all now got big big debate.They said future of proper English is at stake. All because stupid Singlish spoil the market,want to change now donno whether too late. Aiyoh! Ang mo hear us […]

  • Melvyn Bragg on Singlish

    This may be my last post for about a month. I hope to be blogging again from the middle of November. So, before the hiatus, one last post about Singapore. Here is Melvyn Bragg writing about Singapore English. He is an eminent British journalist, who edited the recent issue of The New Statesman magazine, which […]