Japan’s major daily newspaper interviewed me on the future of Singapore’s politics
Mr Junichi Fukasawa, Editor of South East Asia for The Yomiuri Shimbun, Japan’s major daily newspaper with 10 million copies sold daily, interviewed me on Friday 30 Dec 2011. He wanted to talk about the state of democracy in Singapore and the growing sense of citizens for democracy as it was felt that the general and presidential elections this year have demonstrated the wishes of a large segment of the electorate for change; he wanted to know the reasons for Singaporeans’ unhappiness with the government. I explained how the economic and social policies of the government have divided the nation and caused great distress to ordinary citizens who have now openly expressed how they feel. He asked what this would lead to in the future. I told them the voters have shown their sentiments against single party dominance and preference for diversity in the same way that the Japanese have rejected the dominance of the LDP in favour of diversity of political parties.The day may come when Singaporeans welcome a coalition government like more than 75 other countries in the world today.
Hi everyone! A Nation Awakes is now available at
b) Select Bookstore
c) Popular Bookstore
d) Mary Martin Bookstore
e) Wardah Books
You can also buy them online at ethosbooks.com.sg. Thank you all for your support!
I was honoured to be interviewed by The Online Citizen for our book, “A Nation Awakes”.
Press Release – Launch of Book “A Nation Awakes” about Singapore’s 2011 GE & PE
My fellow authors and I are pleased to invite you to the launch of our book about this year’s General and Presidential Elections. The launch will take place this Friday 16 December 2011 at 6.00 pm; it will be preceded by a press conference an hour earlier at 5.00 pm. The venue is at 38 Orchard Road Singapore 238836, just next door to Macdonald House above Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station – the press conference is on Level 2 and the launch on the ground floor.
Additional information about the book is available in the attached press statement announcing the launch. Look forward to your presence. Thanks.
Date & Time : 6.00 pm Friday 16 December 2011
Venue : 38 Orchard Road Singapore 238836
(next to Citibank at Macdonald House, Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station)
Press conference: 5.00 pm Friday 16 December 2011
Press enquiries : firstname.lastname@example.org
About the book
Few nations if any, have ever held two national elections in a span of four months. Fewer still are key players who took part in both. This book is the story of extraordinary men and women who fought Singapore ‘s 2011 General Election in May and the Presidential Election in August. Together with their loyal and dedicated supporters, they displayed great courage and conviction, and in so doing changed the political landscape forever.
The writers of this book represent a broad spectrum of Singapore society – student, teacher, university researcher, social worker, doctor, economist, lawyer, advertising, media and IT personnel, blogger, housewife and retiree. They cut across all age groups from their twenties to their sixties. They have come together in this book to relate and share their personal journey with Singaporeans. Unlike most post-election commentaries written by third-party observers, this book is unique as it allows readers to hear from the horse’s mouth how in four short months, Singapore’s single dominant party system has given way to the emergence of a politics of diversity with positive implications for the country’s future system of government.
What others say about the book “ A Nation Awakes”
“It gives me great pleasure to introduce and commend this fascinating and stirring book about Singapore’s recent presidential and general elections.. ….By revealing the feelings, thoughts and motives of a diverse group of hard-working professional Singaporeans…. , this book is testimony to the vital importance and benefits of active citizenship, vigorous democracy and public-spirited leadership. Many of the individual accounts of involvement in the elections are a moving reminder of the personal sacrifices that people are willing to make to further their vision of a better society. To support an opposition candidate in a country accustomed to continuous single-party rule is to risk job security, business prospects, family life, personal privacy and social acceptance. Although the contributors to this book would never make the claim themselves, they are all modest heroes.
….The founder of the modern Olympics said that “the most important thing is not winning but taking part”. This is the message that shines out from the contributors to this book. The presidential election was one of those elections in which the official winner was in many ways the loser and the official loser was in many ways the winner. By showing that it was possible to launch a major challenge against the dominant party, Jee Say Tan and his friends and supporters bestowed a great service to the people of Singapore, not only this year but for the future. ”
——extract from the Foreword by Sir Ivor Crewe, Master of University College, Oxford. He has published and broadcast extensively on British and American politics mainly in the subjects of elections, parties, public opinion and public policy.
“The courageous spirit and vision of Tan Jee Say and other bravehearts from Singapore ’s opposition parties and civil society in the 2011 elections resembles a collective ‘Singa’s roar’ which continues to reverberate across this city-state in Southeast Asia. The ‘Singa’s roar’ resonates with other popular movements striving for democracy in Southeast Asia, the Middle East and around the world”.
—— Associate Professor Lily Zubaidah Rahim, Department of Government and International Relations, University of Sydney . She is an author of several books and articles on Singapore and Southeast Asia .
“I met Jee Say in Singapore a few months after his historic candidacy for the Presidency, nearly 40 years after we had been students together at University College Oxford. The ideals of fairness and justice of his youthful days had clearly survived a very distinguished career in the public service and in finance, along with passion and courage.”
——Professor Rajiva Wijesinha, Member of Parliament and adviser on national reconciliation in Sri Lanka ; he contested the Presidency of Sri Lanka in 1999. He is currently the Chairman of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats.
“This book brings out the robust and diverse nature of Singapore, and these attributes are positive for the development of Singapore as a financial centre.”
——Tim Tacchi, Senior Partner, TT International, a global fund manager with head office in London.
Delightful surprise meeting after 38 years
What a cheery surprise it was that I met Rajiva Wijeysinha at last night’s dinner ceremony for the award of the Liberals International Prize for Freedom to Dr Chee Soon Juan. Some 38 years ago when I turned up at University College Oxford as a freshman, I was honoured to be welcomed by him as President of the college’s JCR Committee (a student representative body). I am proud and happy that he has progressed this far in the political arena both internationally and at home in Sri Lanka where he heads the committee for national reconciliation after decades of civil war. I told him I have fond memories of his beautiful country which I visited officially in 1981 as aide to Deputy Prime Minister Dr Goh Keng Swee who was appointed economic adviser to Sri Lankan President Jeyawardna. I am sure Rajiva will do a fantastic job in forging national reconciliation and help put his country on the path of peaceful economic progress. I hope we will meet up more often – there is just so much we can do together for our two countries.
And I feel specially honoured that he spoke about me in the first paragraph of his speech -
Dr Chee exposed pretensions of PAP, said chairman of CALD