Southeast Asian Affairs 2009 This essay is on the Singapore of my dreams. My dreams have obviously changed over the years. I will begin with my school boy's dreams. A School Boy's Dreams I grew up in colonial Singapore. After the Second World War, my parents sent me to a Chinese primary school. After a few years, because of my unsatisfactory progress, my parents decided to switch me to the English stream. I spent a bridging year in a Catholic school and then joined the Outram School, which was then a government primary school. I completed my secondary education at Raffles Institution (RI). What were my school boy's dreams for Singapore? First, I dreamt that one day Singapore would be independent and we would be able to rule ourselves. I was greatly influenced by the anti-colonial struggles and nationalist movements then taking place in Asia and Africa. I remember debating the merits and demerits of colonialism with one of my expatriate teachers in RI. Second, I dreamt that one day Singapore would be without slums and all Singaporeans would have access to good housing, clean water and modern sanitation. I had relatives living in Bukit Ho Swee1 and
Southeast Asian Affairs – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies
Published: Jan 23, 2010
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