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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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

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 […]