Monday, October 26, 2009

Book preview: The Barisan's downfall

This is the fifth and final book preview of Singapore: A Biography, which was launched in Singapore last week. The first four previews were 'Farquhar and Raffles fall out', 'The education of Singapore girls', 'Captain Mohan Singh's dark night of the soul' and 'Staging merdeka'.

This preview takes place amidst the politically heady years of the early 1960s. In 1961, members of the People's Action Party (PAP) left to form a new leftist political party, the Barisan Sosialis. The key issue that had prompted their split was the manner in which the Singapore government was then negotiating with Kuala Lumpur to join a new Federation of Malaysia. In September 1962, the people of Singapore voted in favour of the government's Merger proposal in the country's only referendum (so far). In February the following year, key members of the Barisan were detained under the Internal Security Act following Operation Coldstore.

The Barisan's downfall
Meanwhile, in late November 1962, Lee [Kuan Yew] began what became a one-man, 11-month election campaign, the likes of which Singaporeans had never before seen. David Marshall might have held ‘meet the people’ sessions as at his Chief Minister’s office in Empress Place, but no elected leader had ever taken to the road to visit every one of the island’s 51 constituencies (Lee went first to those that had registered the most blank votes in the referendum) nor pushed themselves so far out of their own comfort zone to talk to the people in their own languages. As the Prime Minister toured Singapore, giving speeches in English, Mandarin, Malay and sometimes stumbling Hokkien (occasionally with a few words of Tamil greeting thrown in) he appeared to his supporters a kind of Singapore ‘everyman’. Invariably, his message was simple and direct:
The government’s got to do the job. Homes must be built, clinics must be built, roads must be made, money must be saved – the people must be taken care of.

You’ll get more: better roads, better drains, better schools, and better jobs for your children. But most important of all … whatever our faults – and I don’t say we’ve got no faults – we have never put our fingers in the kitty and put a few gold coins in the pocket.
Looking back, Lee described these 11 months of constituency visits as ‘the most hectic’ in his life. Sometimes he was heckled, on occasions he was shoved, many times he was garlanded (especially when he honoured various temples with his presence); always, he made an impression. As Judy Bloodworth, a sound recordist with the TV crew that followed Lee on his visits, remembered:
[T]he people would cheer and boo and in the middle of all the noise he would be elated, push his way down among them, laugh at the lion dancers around him, careless of the roaring fireworks, never showing fear – he was burned in the face once but took no notice. We really felt like a team, like an army unit; we felt proud of him. You couldn’t help it.
Indeed, television, just as radio had been, proved fundamental to Lee’s success. He later recalled in a speech: ‘People watched on TV the spontaneous response of the crowds to the speeches made. The visits gathered steam;’ and in his memoirs he wrote, ‘I became a kind of political pop star!’ An unscripted, unrehearsed drama of national proportions was taking place and coming soon, to a community centre near you, was its on-screen idol – live in the flesh!

Of course, Lee’s televised encounters were not entirely spontaneous. Concerned with how fierce his rabble-rousing merdeka persona came across on screen, he sought advice from the famous BBC interviewer Hugh Burnett to help him appear more calm, collected and natural. By contrast, television transformed the Barisan’s speakers – still accustomed to projecting themselves from the podium out into the crowd – into demented wild men. When the camera zoomed in for close ups, it picked out their every exaggerated mannerism and contorted facial expression (much as it does today when inexperienced actors bring their theatrical techniques direct from the stage to the screen).

And not long after, those remaining Barisan leaders who had not been detained appeared to live up to their on-screen image. On 22 April 1963, the party marched on City Hall to protest their comrades’ detentions. A confrontation with the police ensued, following which 12 more Barisan leaders were arrested. Their court case began in early August and ended on the 29th, just a few days before Lee announced snap elections. Remembered Dr Lee Siew Choh (who was one of those arrested): ‘And, almost immediately … General Election! You see, we were completely occupied with the trial’.

The Plebian, the Barisan’s newsletter, called these elections ‘the most unfair and undemocratic in the history of Singapore’. The party again had trouble obtaining police permits for its rallies; on nomination day 17 potential Barisan candidates were held for questioning by Special Branch until it was too late for them to file their nomination papers (which then, as now, they had to do in person); three days earlier, three of the largest unions loyal to the Barisan had their bank accounts frozen to prevent their funds being used for political purposes. Finally, on the eve of the vote, Goh [Keng Swee] played on electoral anxieties once more by claiming that a Barisan victory would mean Malaysian troops in Singapore the following day.

However both sides played equally hard, such were the high stakes on offer. Earlier, while canvassing in Hong Lim, Lee Kuan Yew found himself drowned out by music blaring from the offices of a Barisan-loyal trade union located above him. Later, Toh Chin Chye and his colleagues were barracked by opponents who reportedly yelled: ‘Don’t let them get away. You! The day of your death has arrived!’ In areas where Barisan support was strong, PAP canvassers were reportedly insulted, threatened and sometimes physically assaulted.

Importantly, the imprisonment of the Barisan’s ‘first team’ leadership was not the inevitable death knell for the party as it has sometimes been portrayed. As photographs of the Barisan's election campaign reveal, massive portraits of Lim Chin Siong adorned practically every party event. Lim was a hero, a martyr, his unjust incarceration the party’s cause célèbre. Behind bars, he remained a major threat to the PAP’s hold on power.

In the lead-up to what was without doubt the most important election in Singapore’s history thus far, the outcome seemed too close to call. The Australian High Commission told Canberra that the Barisan privately expected to win 35 seats, while the PAP believed it would win 30; British officials in Singapore began to seriously contemplate how to deal with a new Barisan government. However, on 21 September 1963, the PAP won a resounding 37 seats and the Barisan just 13 (the final seat in the Assembly went to the belligerent candidate for Hong Lim, Ong Eng Guan). For the PAP the result was a vindication for its social revolution – the jobs, hospitals, schools and utilities it brought to Singapore – as well its successful negotiation of Merger.

For the Barisan the result was shattering.

© Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow 2009. Singapore: A Biography was published in October 2009 by National Museum of Singapore & Editions Didier Millet.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Book preview: Staging merdeka

This is the fourth book preview of Singapore: A Biography, which is being launched next week. The first three previews were 'Farquhar and Raffles fall out', 'The education of Singapore girls' and 'Captain Mohan Singh's dark night of the soul'. A new preview will be published on this website every Monday in October.

This preview introduces David Marshall, who was elected Singapore's first Chief Minister in 1955.

Staging merdeka
On 21 March 1956, a tall, Mediterranean-looking man, who carried a pipe and whose bushy eyebrows seemed to attempt an escape from his forehead each time he emphasised a point, spoke into a microphone in front of a crowd of supporters. He was standing underneath the 'apple tree' at Empress Place (next to what is today Old Parliament House) from where his words were broadcast live by Radio Malaya. In a present age, in which politicians try hard to appear natural and approachable, his performance serves as something of a master class:
Merdeka! People of Singapore! Last year, this time, in the month of March: a time of agony. I came before you, day after day at lunchtime, to speak to you of the dangers that the future held and to put before you a blueprint for a miracle. I did not dream, I did not dare believe, that you would give us an opportunity to make that miracle possible.
The man was David Marshall, a brilliant lawyer, a Sephardic Jew and one of the most colourful personalities Singapore politics has ever known. Then in his late 30s, Marshall had served for the previous year as the island’s first elected Chief Minister. He now appeared before his supporters to declare his government’s achievements, to relate the hurdles that it had overcome, and to explain the dangers that it faced in the future:
I think you know, when I was first elected and appointed Chief Minister, I was told I had no office, no clerk, no thambi [a boy or male servant]. And oh they couldn’t give me any office – it took a long time – government offices were extremely overloaded – and there was a lot of difficulty. I had to threaten to bring a desk here and set it up here or in my flat [laughter] before I could get an office!

I was told that, of course, the heaven-born, including the Chief Secretary, was the man who would coordinate government policy; that I was just the, the sort of the – the senior thambi among the thambis! [more laughter] I made it very clear and very soon that I was either Chief Minister or not. Finally, they accepted the position that I could coordinate policy.
Superior colonial officials were not the only obstacle Marshall and his government faced. Recalling another source of opposition, the Chief Minister felt clearly in his element:
To read the English press, we are a group of baboons who are trying to impose independence on you against your will. The Standard came out on Sunday with an article – not written by a Malayan, thank god. Well, he said, please don’t give us independence: we want Papa and Mama colonialism! [loud laughter, then Marshall imitates a child] Mama colonialism! Mama! A lost boy!
Finally, Marshall laid the jokes aside to conclude with a more serious message:
The communists are the ultimate danger to this country. And whether it is today or it is tomorrow, whatever the threat to my own personal safety may be and to my friends and to my colleagues, we intend to act with all the firmness possible against those disruptive elements that call themselves communists.

You don’t want, I don’t want, the people of Singapore don’t want a yanko merdeka. We want a Malayan merdeka! [Loud applause] And we will get it!
For all these fine words three months later Marshall was to resign, his dreams of steering Singapore to independence in tatters. His rapid rise and then equally sudden demise tell us much about the high drama (and sometimes high farce) of what was then a new style of politics on the island. But his story is equally important because of the leading players who shared his stage. For it was these other rising stars in the political firmament – the young Hakka Chinese lawyer Lee Kuan Yew and the even younger Hokkien Chinese bus worker Lim Chin Siong – who not only matched Marshall for charisma, but who ultimately presented him with far greater challenges than the British.

The outsider comes in
Looking back over his career in an oral history interview, Marshall claimed that the main motivation that drove him to enter politics was anger: ‘Anger at the leprous concept of racial superiority and it had been mounting in my belly since my schooldays’. He explained that he was never ‘anti-British’; rather, he wanted to ‘break through the sonic barrier against Asians and especially Jews’. Nor, he admitted, was he especially ideological. Though he moved in Singapore’s socialist circles during the early 1950s he never became especially grounded in socialist dogma. His personal understanding of socialism was that it simply meant ‘an effort to create the foundations of the opportunity of all our people to attain conditions of living compatible with human dignity’.

Marshall received his clarion call when in mid-1953 the British governor John Nicoll, in an effort to speed up Singapore’s progress towards self-government, announced the formation of a new constitutional commission. The outcome of the 1954 Rendel Commission (named after its chief convener Sir John Rendel) was that popular elections would be held the following year for a newly constituted Legislative Assembly made up of 32 members, 25 of whom would be elected. For Marshall, the political dawn that beckoned was so exciting as to be almost palpable:
‘Hey we are human beings! Hey, we’ve got the right to vote! Hey, we’ve got a right to elect our own representative! We’ve got a right to a voice in how we are to live.’ Now that is something you don’t understand today. But that was very, very radical at that time. You know it’s like the four-legged animal suddenly finding himself standing straight and looking upwards instead of looking to the ground. It really was a radical change of psychological atmosphere … ‘Hey we are standing on two legs!’
© Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow 2009. Singapore: A Biography was published in October 2009 by National Museum of Singapore & Editions Didier Millet.

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Book preview: Captain Mohan Singh’s dark night of the soul

This is the third book preview of Singapore: A Biography, which will be launched next week. The first two previews were 'Farquhar and Raffles fall out' and 'The education of Singapore girls'. A new preview will be published on this website every Monday in October.

This preview is from the World War II section, where we recount the Battle of Malaya through the eyes of soldiers in the field. The following story begins just three days after the
Japanese launched their ground-based assault on the Malay Peninsula, after the fall of Jitra.

Captain Mohan Singh’s dark night of the soul
For Captain Mohan Singh, a Sikh officer with the 14th Punjab regiment in Malaya, the defeat at Jitra proved to be the major turning point in his life. In his memoirs, he recalled that on 11 December the heavy Japanese bombardment and the withdrawal of his regiment’s transport sowed immediate confusion. ‘Some men jumped into the trucks to escape. I lost my temper, got hold of a stick and used it freely on any man trying to slip away’. Shortly afterwards, Japanese tanks burst into sight, tanks which Mohan Singh’s British commanding officer had assured him the enemy did not possess. The defenders dispersed ‘in utter confusion’ in a case of ‘everyone for himself’. By the time night fell,
Blind firing had started from all directions. Panic and chaos spread like wild fire … The morning of the 12th found British and Japanese troops terribly mixed up all over the place … So fell Jitra, the Maginot line of Malaya …
Over the next three days, tired and demoralised, Mohan Singh and his men staggered through jungle, padi field and leech-infested swamp as they tried to rejoin the main force of the retreating Allied army. For the Sikh captain personally, the circumstances of the defeat triggered an additional ‘intense inner struggle’. It was clear that while the Japanese ‘had come fully prepared and were ready to pay the price for their objective, a definite mission to do or die’, British-led forces ‘had no patriotic motives to fight with their backs to the wall’. But this realisation merely brought to mind an even deeper concern:
Throughout night, a panorama of those four days’ fighting was repeatedly appearing before my eyes … The horrible scenes of the drama of death and destruction witnessed during those few days deeply distressed my soul. I began to ponder over the real worth of life. Within a second or two, one could be no more. Like a bubble, the life of an individual could be pricked in a moment and it would vanish forever …

… If life could be abruptly snapped in a split second, as seen on the battlefield, would it not be better to direct and dedicate it to something better and nobler?
When Japanese planes dropped leaflets, ‘expressing their war aims in pithy slogans, assuring the coloured races of their immediate liberation and beseeching them to join hands in that mighty undertaking’, Mohan Singh felt ‘violently shaken’:
In a normal situation, no one would have given any serious heed to the shibboleths [sic] of the invading hordes, but at that moment their effect on me was tremendous. I felt as if they were voicing my inner feelings …
He emerged from three days in the swamp-filled jungle with a mission. He intended to approach the Japanese to obtain their help ‘to start a movement for Indian independence’, one that would ‘cut deep at the roots of the British policy of exploiting Indians for their wars all over the world.’ On the 14th, having drawn other Indian stragglers to his cause, he sent a local Indian to make contact with the Japanese on his behalf.

Mohan Singh admitted that his decision was not an easy one: ‘It was, indeed, a long drawn-out struggle between two loyalties—one to my own Commission, which meant allegiance to the British Crown, and the other, unwritten yet much more biding—my duty to my beloved country.’ In the end he joined the enemy ‘simply because, as an Indian, I felt that it was my duty to contribute my humble share to the service of my country’. On 15 December, he met with Japanese military officials at Alor Star and a few days later with Yamashita himself, who assured him that the Japanese had no territorial ambitions in India.

‘I was now going to raise an army for India’s liberation,’ wrote Mohan Singh. ‘In the very first week of our joining the Japanese side, I had decided that the name of this force would be ‘THE INDIAN NATIONAL ARMY’.

© Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow 2009. Singapore: A Biography will be published in mid-October 2009 by National Museum of Singapore, Editions Didier Millet & Hong Kong University Press.

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Monday, October 5, 2009

Book preview: The education of Singapore girls

This is the second book preview of Singapore: A Biography, which will be launched in mid-Oct 2009. Last week's preview was 'Farquhar and Raffles fall out'. A new preview will be published on this website every Monday in October.

The education of Singapore girls
Modern female education in Singapore had begun in 1887, when an Australian Methodist missionary by the name of Sophia Blackmore opened the Methodist Girls’ School in a shop-house on Short Street. Two and a half years later, Blackmore joined forces with the American Methodist Mission to target the Nonya daughters of the Straits Chinese. She herself went door-to-door in Straits Chinese neighbourhoods to recruit new students. As she later recalled:
One mother would say, ‘We do not want our girls to ‘makan gaji’ (earn their livelihood). Another woman told me that if her daughter studied from the same book as her son, the girl would get all the learning out of it; there would be none for the boy, and he would be ‘bodoh’ (stupid). The girl might be stupid—that did not matter, but the boy must be clever.
Certain Nonya were even suspicious that Blackmore might be a government spy sent to investigate household gambling (still, at that time, illegal). Others, once her identity as a missionary had been established, were more concerned that she was unmarried when she was already a woman in her 30s. Such attitudes were typical of the cloistered, tradition-governed world that Blackmore and other educationalists sought to enter and overturn.

Impressed by their efforts, Straits Chinese progressives led a campaign for female education themselves. In 1899, Lim Boon Keng and Song Ong Siang established the Straits Chinese Girls’ School (later called the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School), to ‘encourage and provide every facility for a suitable education for the Chinese girls … under the direction and control of their own people.’ ‘Direction’ and ‘control’ were the operative words here since such ‘suitable’ education had little to do with female empowerment – the objective was to make Straits Chinese girls into better wives and mothers. As an article in the Straits Chinese Magazine made clear:
[The mother’s] duty is to see that the children do not play the truant; to help them with their lessons so that they may not lag behind in the class; to instill into them the truths of morality and religion; and to inculcate the duty due to the family, to the State and to mankind. … As a wife, if she is well educated, the husband will always find in her a delightful companion who is ever ready to give him her advice, persuasion or warning with intelligence and reason …
Partly, the Straits Chinese Girls’ School was founded because of the embarrassment felt by progressive young Baba at the public impression made by their womenfolk. While letters to the Straits Times characterised as ‘reprehensible’ the penchant many Nonya had for popular forms of gambling such as chap-ji-ki and che-ki, articles in the Straits Chinese Magazine castigated them for their general ignorance (even though the latter was largely a result of their domestic confinement). The clearly exasperated outpouring of the colonial Director of Public Instruction in 1906 was typical of such criticism:
There is no more absolutely ignorant, prejudiced and superstitious class of people in the world than the Straits-born Chinese women. It is about hopeless to expect to be able really satisfactorily to educate the boys while their mothers remain stumbling blocks to real enlightenment.
Lim and Song’s remedy for such ignorance and superstition was a curriculum that included basic mathematics, reading and writing (in both English and Mandarin), as well as what we would today call ‘domestic science’: sewing, cooking, hygiene and childcare skills. Lim hoped that the educated Nonya would emerge from school having ‘learnt the importance of cleanliness and the proper way to conduct herself in the different spheres of life she will eventually enter—as daughter-in-law, wife and mother.’ Echoing the concern of the Director of Public Instruction, he also wanted students at the Straits Chinese Girls’ School to raise enlightened Chinese sons who would ultimately (as we saw him exhort earlier) reap their rewards as both ‘sons of Han’ and British imperial subjects.

Not everyone in the Straits Chinese community was supportive of this new direction. Lim noted that ‘with a few honourable exceptions’ elder Baba refused to give their patronage to the Straits Chinese Girls’ School, and that even the fathers and grandfathers of those girls already enrolled at the school adhered to the same ‘conservative and unreasonably prejudiced policy’. Yet a generation later, the efforts of Lim, Song and other female educators had largely vanquished such conservatism. The Methodist Girls’ School, the Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and a host of other English and Chinese-language girls’ schools were all flourishing. In 1935, Sophia Blackmore could affirm that the days when women ‘were kept behind closed doors and only saw what was going on outside through a “peep hole”’ had well and truly passed.

© Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow 2009. Singapore: A Biography will be published in mid-October 2009 by National Museum of Singapore, Editions Didier Millet & Hong Kong University Press.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Book preview: Farquhar and Raffles fall out

In the run-up to the launch of our book Singapore: A Biography in mid-October 2009, we'll be releasing a short book preview on this website every Monday. Today's preview is from the 'Settlement' section, which covers the years 1819 to 1824.

In 1819 Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles founded a British port in Singapore. But ‘like a man who sets a house on fire and then runs away’ (as one contemporary observed, but read our book for more details), Raffles returned to his post in Bencoolen, Sumatra, leaving the settlement to its first Resident Major William Farquhar. Farquhar was Raffles's trusted aide, but things didn't quite work out smoothly. Our story picks up in 1823, on Raffles's last visit to Singapore.

Farquhar and Raffles fall out
Within a year of Raffles’s return, relations had soured between both men to the extent that not even Farquhar’s near-fatal stabbing at the hands of Sayid Yassin could salvage them. In January 1823, Raffles wrote a letter to his East India Company (EIC) superiors in which he felt compelled to tell them that he considered Farquhar ‘totally unequal to the charge of so important and peculiar a charge as that of Singapore has now become’. He then struck out at Farquhar’s undesirably close involvement with the locals. In a thinly-veiled reference to Farquhar’s Melakan wife Nonio Clement, Raffles argued that the Resident’s ‘Malay connexion’ afforded ‘an opening for such an undue combination of peculiar interests as not only to impede the progress of order and regularity but may lay the foundation of future inconvenience which may hereafter be difficult to overcome’.

The growing distaste that Raffles felt towards Farquhar even extended to the Resident’s appearance. In March 1823, Raffles commented to Farquhar on his ‘departure from the usual etiquette in dispensing with the Military Dress of his rank’. The next month, he told Farquhar that he had written to Calcutta on the matter and was awaiting the Company’s judgment. Farquhar’s response was to claim that he was only required to wear his uniform when he acted in his capacity as military Commandant. Presumably, he felt that when acting as Resident he should be allowed to forego clothes that made him uncomfortable in the local humidity. However, the matter of the Resident’s dress was perhaps symptomatic in Raffles's mind of a general lack of discipline. By the end of the month, Raffles had Farquhar informed (by proxy!) that he was to be relieved from his official duties.

The way Raffles treated Farquhar certainly invites condemnation. But to be fair to Raffles, he returned to Singapore in 1822 practically a broken man, worn down by his grief and seemingly subject to the onset of brain disease. To find his ‘almost only child’, as he called Singapore during his final visit, in a less than ideal state, bustling with activity, yet unkempt and vice-ridden – apparently through the decisions of a colleague who seemed to have let himself go a little too ‘native’ – was an added pressure on an overwrought mind. And, in one respect, Raffles was justified in his condemnation of Farquhar. The Scot had chosen to turn a blind eye to slave-trading and thus to a practice outlawed across the British Empire. One slave-trader had been so delighted to carry out his business undisturbed in Farquhar’s Singapore that he sent both Raffles and Farquhar the gift of a couple of slaves as a mark of gratitude.

The acrimony between both men continued after they returned to Britain – and in Farquhar’s case even went on after Raffles’s death. Though the EIC formally decided in Raffles’s favour over Raffles’s assertion that he was the sole founder of the settlement at Singapore, Farquhar continued to fight for equal recognition, publicly criticising Sophia Raffles’s Memoir for the way it accorded Raffles ‘exclusive merit’ for Singapore’s establishment. Indeed, Farquhar might be said to have literally carried his case to the grave. When he died in Scotland in 1839, his tombstone read:
During 20 years of his valuable life he was appointed to offices of high responsibility under the civil government of India having in addition to his military duties served as Resident in Melaka and afterwards at Singapore which latter settlement he founded…
Unfortunately for Farquhar, it took at least another century for historians to sit up and take notice. Sophia Raffles’s heroic narrative, combined with the prevailing ‘great man’ theory of history (in which, with his untidy appearance and Eurasian mistress, Farquhar must have appeared a raggedy misfit) ensured that Raffles continued to receive the sole credit as modern Singapore’s founder. Today, the island city-state bears no street or place or edifice which remembers Farquhar, whereas those dedicated to Raffles are numerous. Ironically, the one street that did bear Farquhar’s name used to lie in the Malay suburb of Kampong Glam, but it was demolished by the inheritors of Raffles’s urban legacy – Singapore’s modern town-planners.

Yet modern scholars have begun to re-appraise Farquhar’s contributions. If Raffles was the founding father of the Singapore settlement then, as historian Ernest Chew puts it, ‘it was really Farquhar who had to play the role of mother and nurse to the infant during its first four years’. Or as another scholar Karl Hack argues, it was Farquhar’s knowledge of the Malay rulers and their dynastic disputes that provided Raffles with his vital ‘entry-point’. Though Raffles was brilliant he was also ‘utterly impractical’ and it would have been ‘a disaster’ if he had set about the establishment of the modern entrepôt by himself. Indeed, the trust that local people had in the Raja Melaka was what brought many of them to Singapore in the first place, and ensured the settlement’s survival.

We perhaps gain a glimpse into the judgment of the time when we compare what we know about both men’s departures from the island. Munshi Abdullah tells us that Raffles departed Singapore on 9 June 1823 with tears in his eyes, sent on his way by ‘hundreds’. Mr Farquhar eventually left six months later and in Abdullah’s account was bade adieu with much greater fanfare. Thousands came to say farewell, bearing different kinds of gifts, including ‘some who did not have a dry eye for the whole of those two days’. As Farquhar’s ship pulled out of harbour ‘people of all races put out in their boats’, gaily decorated with ‘flags flying’ and with ‘bands playing’, trying to follow him as he set sail for the horizon.

© Mark Ravinder Frost & Yu-Mei Balasingamchow 2009. Singapore: A Biography will be published in mid-October 2009 by National Museum of Singapore, Editions Didier Millet & Hong Kong University Press.

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