Lecture Resources

'Multi-Ethnic Singapore: One for All and All for One' by Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo 

Looking back 200 years is daunting, especially when three quarters was colonial. The key factors of change have themselves reshaped and enlarged, exploring, consolidating and moving in numerous new directions. And the pace has accelerated enormously, especially in the last ten years. Moreover, the issues get even more complex when the main subject is the Arts in a multi-ethnic society such as ours, even if we only take just two factors of the many factors into account. The first would be our composition: Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian. The second is educating our people appropriately, in AI, the Internet and other technological programmes that can manage the best products of Silicon Valley and other front-line entrepreneurs. We have, since 1959, when granted self-government, chiefly through central planning and the use of English, as our working language , as we entered the future which is now fresh big tech based.                                                                                                  

I trace my own experience from the late forties and early fifties, as I responded to both personal formation as a SG-rean, growing up and living in a rapidly evolving society-nation. That is something we each faced as the core of our daily lives. What was especially vital in terms of subject, theme, issue and cause, grew around work as parent, civil servant, academic, writer, and one who headed/served on Government and ASEAN committees on various aspects of the Arts, from the late sixties and tailing off in the nineties. For me, SG seeks Satu Jiwa, Satu Identiti, Satu Negara, a sharing that required Dwi Bahasa, all attuned to inter-connected national, regional and global realities.

 

'My Two Singapores' by Professor Wang Gang Wu

I lived in Singapore in 1949 to 1959 (with a three year break in London) and saw the colonial port-city prepare for nationhood in Malaya. After that, I moved to Kuala Lumpur and saw Singapore from a different angle. From 1968 to 1996, I saw from afar the new nation reaching out for its place in the sun, first from Canberra and then from Hong Kong. Since comng here in 1996, I have been looking at the new Singapore up close. There are so many features in the changes that I have seen. Here I shall focus only on the city-status’s encounters with its heritage and its history.

 

 

Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo

Speaker
National University of Singapore, NUS Department of English Language and Literature

After ten years civil servicing, Edwin Thumboo joined the English Department, University of Singapore, now our National University, in June 1966, where he is currently Emeritus Professor (1997) and Professorial Fellow. While he retains interest in academic matters, his current energies are devoted to writing poems in English. His most recent publication is A Gathering of Themes (2018). His next volume composed while Poet in Residence, National Gallery Singapore, will appear later this year.

University Professor Wang Gungwu

Speaker
National University of Singapore

I lived in Singapore in 1949 to 1959 (with a three year break in London) and saw the colonial port-city prepare for nationhood in Malaya. After that, I moved to Kuala Lumpur and saw Singapore from a different angle. From 1968 to 1996, I saw from afar the new nation reaching out for its place in the sun, first from Canberra and then from Hong Kong. Since comng here in 1996, I have been looking at the new Singapore up close. There are so many features in the changes that I have seen. Here I shall focus only on the city-status’s encounters with its heritage and its history.

Mr Paul Tan

Speaker
Deputy Chief Executive, National Arts Council

Paul Tan is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the National Arts Council (NAC) Singapore which champions the arts by nurturing creative excellence and supporting broad audience engagement. Through comprehensive support from grants and partnerships to industry facilitation and arts housing, the NAC ensures that the arts inspire Singaporeans, connect communities and position Singapore internationally.

Paul joined NAC in 2011 as the Festival Director of the Singapore Writers Festival and Director, Literary Arts, and helmed four editions of the successful literary festival, while overseeing the development of the national literary arts landscape. He currently sits on the boards of the Singapore Chinese Orchestra, the Singapore Symphony Group and the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. 
  
Paul has also published five volumes of poetry; the most recent “When the Lights Went Off” which was launched in August 2018.

Thursday
19TH September 2019
Registration
Sharing by Emeritus Professor Edwin Thumboo, National University of Singapore
Sharing by Professor Wang Gung WuChairman, East Asian Institute and Professor, National University of Singapore
Q&A Session moderated by Mr Paul Tan, Deputy Chief Executive, National Arts Council
Tea Reception
End of Programme