Listening to (another) Singapore

A glimpse of the not-so-distant past

It's very surreal to, on the eve of one's birthday, stumble upon political speeches made on the same date as that birthday, only distantly relocated to different times --- and different worlds.

Sixty years ago, the world was picking itself up from the shambles of World War Two and the British Empire was fretting over the shortages still suffered in its colonies (or that's what they claimed in at least one of their speeches, anyway), to the point that an actual conference was held in Singapore to consider how best to address the situation. It's queer to think that speechmakers the world over have been thanking people who come to their conferences in exactly the same words: for taking precious time out of their busy schedules/affairs to attend to the matter at hand.

Fifty-one years ago,the political parties contesting Singapore's first elections for an internal self-government were pulling out all the stops to woo the voters. Top on everyone's mind was not only the People's Action Party, but also the now defunct Labour Front and Progressive Party. Who'd've thunk it that listening to radio election speeches could be so rousing?

I wonder what will happen tomorrow that unborn generations might someday want to listen to or view in the nation's archives ...


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At 3/27/2006 6:58 pm , Blogger Ondine said...

What made me smile was that SBC logo that I haven't seen in like forever!

At 3/27/2006 9:29 pm , Blogger cour marly said...

I was just going to post the same!

Wouldja believe it took me like forever to realise the logo was composed of the letters S, B, and C?


At 3/27/2006 10:42 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hahahaha... was going to comment on the ancient SBC logo too... :P

At 3/28/2006 6:06 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

did u know that the old POSB logo turned upside down read DBS?

At 3/29/2006 6:16 am , Blogger ragingyoghurt said...

happy birthday, lady.

At 3/29/2006 10:50 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many belated happy returns!

Hmm. The SBC logo always appeared like a woman's smiling head to me. Somehow. This was when my age was still in the single digits. Haha.

At 3/30/2006 2:20 am , Blogger pinkyjumbo said...

watched your parents on CNA yesterday afternoon. happy to be able to put a face to TYM & yuhui too! now i know why your students call you ms bala :)

At 3/30/2006 4:42 am , Blogger Tym said...

Thanks for all the birthday greetings. And it's good to know that I"m not the only person for whom that logo evokes something :)

pinkyjumbo > That is some fine detective work. How did you make the link from there to this blog??

At 3/31/2006 2:30 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey there, i'm very intruiged by your post. is there anyway a simple citizen like me might get access to these historic speeches and records?

btw, i'm a fan of your writing, great work!

At 3/31/2006 10:34 pm , Blogger Tym said...

feralferrier > The National Archives of Singapore is open to the public. It functions sorta as a massive library, in a sense.

And thanks for the compliment!

At 4/07/2006 11:37 pm , Blogger pinkyjumbo said...

well....elementary, my dear watson :). i read your ex-students comments & they address you as ms bala. at first i thought you were married to an indian. then i saw terz's photo somewhere so scratch that. so i figured your father then. when i watched THAT show, it all clicked into place, which by the way also explained why yuhui is yuhui bc. i happened to take a sick day so it was by chance really. hope i didn't scare you! love your blog.

At 4/08/2006 3:54 am , Blogger Tym said...

*applause* on the excellent detecting!


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