Introducing a talented young performer and a spoken word performance that sums up our Singapore existence much better than a thousand written words from me. This is Benjamin Chow’s take on Majulah. It’s hilarious, poignant, biting and compassionate. You can check out the live performances from the very brave souls at open mic event called Destination :INK. It’s held every second Monday of the month at 8pm on the top floor of Blu Jaz, 11 Bali Lane Singapore, 189848. Benjamin is usually present for those and tells me that the work that gets shared there has been getting steadily more and more developed over the years. Entry is $4 but for those of you who can’t make it in person, I’ve embedded Majulah here:
I'm a Singaporean economist who became an opposition activist. I blog to provide an alternative to the porkies that the Pinkies tell. It just so happens that my alternative is the truth. That's why I've never been sued in any civil or criminal court no matter how hard hitting my criticism.
I'm quoted and interviewed and asked to speak across the world but largely censored in Singapore in an effort to silence my political opinions.
The left hate me because they think I split their vote and because I eschew their outmoded economic models. Models that don't work.
The Right and the Conservatives hate me because I'm a liberal.
I'm not sure what the middle think of me. I don't think there are more than a handful of people in the middle, here in Singapore.
I'm a Singaporean born and bred, dual heritage, my parents Singaporean established here before the State of Singapore was created. I'm not Eurasian.
I read economics at Cambridge and could be broadly described as from the Keynesian school but I believe in interventions. I was formerly a successful hedge fund manager. After economics and politics my greatest interests are history, film and Makan. I run but I run so I can eat like a Singaporean.
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Does Singapore stand up for its citizens? Singapore allows the NZ Chief Executive of the NZ Ministry of Social Development to discriminate against Singaporean Permanent Residents of NZ and leaves it to the individual to file a complaint with the Human Rights Review Tribunal. Watch this on YouTube – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzKmweCzn4Y&feature=youtu.be
The Chingay parade held over the past two days was “Majulah” magnified a million times. Recent Chingay parades have been unbelievable exercises in state propaganda, with performers kowtowing to LHL and his wife and other party luminaries such as GCT and TCH as they pass the VIP stands. It is an elitist exercise in which millions of dollars are spent each year to reward party faithfuls in a closed-door, tightly scripted exercise. The resources of Singapore Pools, Toto, the Turf Club and various GLCs are thrown behind the event. The majority of Singaporeans no longer gets to see the live performances.
Like everything else under the PAP, Chingay has become elitist. A future government, please return Chingay to the streets, so that ordinary Singaporeans can enjoy it and truly feel it belongs to hem. That will do more to bring people together than puerile and facile propaganda exercises such a “We are Majulah”. “Majulah” is an insult to our intelligence.