Title

“A tolerant society is the way forward”: Exposing Chinese chauvinism in Singapore, 1959–1979

Publication Name

Translocal Chinese: East Asian Perspectives

Abstract

Official narratives in Singapore have included the crackdown by the ruling People’s Action Party (pap) government under Lee Kuan Yew against the Chinese chauvinists on the city-state’s road to nationhood. From 1959 to 1976, the Lee government believed that Chinese chauvinism came from three sources: a population that was majority ethnic Chinese in Singapore, pro-communist organizations that exploited Chinese chauvinism for their own ends, and individuals or organizations that praised the People’s Republic of China at the expense of Singapore. Using newspaper articles, speeches by government ministers, oral history interviews, and declassified government records held in Singapore and overseas, this article assesses the threat of Chinese chauvinism in Singapore between the years 1959 and 1976. It argues that the Lee government made statements about Chinese chauvinists that were grounded either on truism, or on excoriating individuals, for its own political gain.

Open Access Status

This publication is not available as open access

Volume

15

Issue

1

First Page

67

Last Page

92

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Link to publisher version (DOI)

http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/24522015-15010004