Voices Of Youth

Good to remember our nation's roots

I may not have lived in the colonial era, but I have been taught the different views of it in school.

I agree that we should not be ashamed to commemorate our colonial past (Inappropriate to mark anniversary of colonisation, by Mr Anthony Oei, May 26; and Bicentennial of S'pore's founding offers teachable moment, by Mr Michael Seah Swee Lim, May 22).

Singapore benefited from Britain.

Without the British making a treaty with the Temenggong, Singapore may have remained a fishing village under Johor.

If there was no maritime economy built on colonisation, our forefathers likely would not have settled in Singapore.

Our colonial history plays a big role in our nationhood.

It is part of our national narrative and is taught in school and remembered in museums.

Obscuring it would be like forgetting the roots of our nation.

We need not glorify and whitewash our colonial past. Our history can be presented in a balanced manner, reflecting the true situation that people faced during that era.

Teng Hau Wei, 19, Diploma student

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 31, 2017, with the headline 'Good to remember our nation's roots'. Print Edition | Subscribe