It’s a great, new world : rethinking the Singapore story and Singapore’s development through its amusement parks in the inter-war years
Sim, Jie Kai
Date of Issue2017-03-23
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
The official state narrative of Singapore, the Singapore Story, presently has its focus on big men and big events. The timeline of the Story begins in 1819, with the founding of the island by Sir Stamford Raffles and subsequently, fast forwarded to the Japanese Occupation. Subsequent events like the attainment of self-governance and independence are big events that are highlighted while the formation of the PAP government marks “the present” of Singapore. As such, a large part of Singapore’s history which could provide a more holistic view, is forgotten. This selective use of history results in a historical narrative that reads like propaganda, negating the effect that it was intended to have. One of the time frames presently neglected in the Story is the inter-war years, which is the time frame this paper is focused on. By looking at the development of physical and social infrastructures brought about by the amusement parks in Singapore, or the Worlds, during the inter-war years, this paper argues that there is merit behind the inclusion of timeframes that are presently neglected. Such an inclusion would allow for a more holistic narrative, shaped by not just the government but the laypeople of Singapore as well.