Saturday, July 31, 2010

What really happened on 21 July 1964 ? Part 1

Before I begin to describe some of the incidents that occured during the huge procession exactly 46 years ago, it is important to note that this attempt to briefly summarise the initial sparks that led to widespread outbreak of rioting and violence done for the sole purpose of getting at the Truth or near Truth. Some would term it aiming for "historical accuracy". I have no other reason other than what I've just stated as my rai'son d'e'tre.

Unk Dicko was also once a passionate History teacher and is still very much a History buff today. In any case, most of what had happened, what had been said by the parties involved( plenty! ), the research and investigation, the oral and recorded interviews, the reports that resulted etc...have all been pretty well documented. Many of the papers and reports, both of the Racial Riots and those tumultuous years ( 1963-1965 ), have been declassified and can be accessed through proper application.

Personally, I have read most of the exhaustive press reports, news analysis, commentories and many books over the last 4 and half decades on this subject alone.

For me, the book that clearly stands out as possibly the best and most well-researched book if one needs to understand, comprehend and get a fuller perspective a sort of " total overview or picture" of the 1964 Racial Riots....its cause, the root problems before and after etc... MUST READ the book I've highlighted below.

Title: A Moment of Anguish
Author: Albert Lau
Pages: 312 pages, 8 solid chapters.
Dated: 1998
Publisher: Times Academic Press

[This is the Front Cover of the book. ]

[ The Back Cover of the book. ]

The book author, Albert Lau, was a Senior Lecturer at the Department of History, National University of Singapore ( 1998 ).
What I find so different from many other books is that this author had access to many official sources and archives records, both local and overseas, that provided him with a wealth of information and material that were not seen previously in other works.
To get at the Truth or as I've said "near Truth" need such a book! The references and quotes are fully mentioned and well-documented.

This is clearly a serious study to capture and present an accurate historical account of what transpired between 1963 and 1965...and in the process, come out with the most detailed report of the 1964 Racial Riots.
I have yet to see a better report on what caused the riots than the full story as recorded in Chapter 6 of the book, page 161 to page 210.

In part 2 of this continuing post, I shall highlight some of the TRUTHs I discovered within the pages of the book.
There were many things that were going on at that time that were hidden from our eyes.
But TRUTH must prevail.

[ The Procession on 21 July 1964 as it moved towards Kallang Gasworks ]


Anonymous said...

Hi Uncle Dicko,
Thanks for reminding us of our roots. We Singaporeans should be thankful of where we are and not be influenced by irresponsible talks.
I chanced upon the 2011 Venice Bienale and was surprised that Singapore Artist won acclaim because he ran down Singapore talking about ISA, secret detention and how Mas Selamat escaped. Please view the video below.
The West is quick to support citizens who talked bad about their country.
Another point is why our National Art Council is suporting this type of artist?

Unk Dicko said...

Thanks for highlighting this video clip. This young man does not fully understand and know how fortunate he is to have a country he can truly call his homeland and come back to the safety, security and comfort of this little island.

Anonymous said...

Starting at 4:13, The Artist has to explain the 'Politico Social' Controversy surrounding Mas Selamat's Escape.
The Singapore Artist said Singapore has secret prisons that people do not know... Wow! Horendus Human Rights abuses! using ISA to detain people such as Mas Selamat who finally escaped thru his great Longkang video 'All Lines Flow Out!
Very creative indeed but it seems that we have to shoot our own feet to get recognition.

Unk Dicko said...

This chap has obviously taken on an "anti-Singapore " stance. His running down of our beloved country with his wild exaggerations and embellishments, is a great injustice to all good Singaporeans. I am glad you have highlighted his stance and posture. There may be more out there doing a great dis-service to our nation.

Anonymous said...

I think he has to hurt Singapore's image to get the orgainisers' attention and recognition. The West are not simply going to waste their time just supporting art. Chinese Artist Ai Wei Wei got his support from Tate Gallery because he is a dissident attacking China. They are supporting such artists' behaviours. Politically, like CSJ, who is getting attention because he runs down Singapore.
In the Interview, Charles Lim also said Govt had been acquiring coastal land resulting in the people being disconnected from the sea.
What is he implying?