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Title: The suppression of the autonomous self in Singapore.
Authors: Li, Hansen.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::Singapore
Issue Date: 2012
Abstract: The purpose of the essay is to examine the historical constraints resulting in Singapore's current governing style and policies, and examine part of the suppression the individual in Singapore has to undergo. The essay will focus on the importance of literature, and then examine some other issues like language and education in Singapore. Rem Koolhaas, in his architectural essay “Singapore Songlines”, asserts that: Singapore is clearly not free, but at the same time it is difficult to identify what precisely is unfree, how and where the exact repression occurs, to what extent its magnetic field … is imposed or, more ambiguously, [is] the result of a “deal,” a perceived common interest: liberties suspended in return for the unlimited benefits of a roller-coaster of development that, in 30 years, has only gone up. (Koolhaas 1015 emphasis in original) As Koolhaas astutely points out, the emphasis on development in terms of national and economic progress has been a prominent consideration influencing Singapore’s policy-making and governing approach since the birth of the nation-state. Suddenly thrust with independence in 1965, “the island [Lee Kuan Yew] and his party inherit[ed] … [was] a mess: clumps of stylish colonial enclave … shabby military bases, a port, embedded in a huge, overcrowded Chinatown with a neglected hinterland of marsh … largely covered by squatter encampments” (1019). In addition, C.M. Turnbull in A History of Modern Singapore reveals that the official memorandum submitted to the United Nations Committee on Colonialism in 1962 “had insisted … [that Singapore was] not viable by itself” (Turnbull 299).
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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