As much as Dr Peter Ling would like to highlight the role played by and the presence of the Japanese in Singapore before World War II (Japanese present in S'pore long before WWII, Aug 24), I also presume that our historians have done their homework and would know best as to whether such information should be mentioned in the Bicentennial celebration.
Singapore went through a dark age of suffering and pain during the Japanese Occupation. These are painful memories still embedded in the minds of our citizens, particularly those who survived the Occupation. With that in mind, I believe it is best not to highlight anything about the Japanese while celebrating an auspicious Bicentennial.
Yes, we can graciously acknowledge the fact that the Japanese might have lived and played a role in Singapore long before WWII, but ultimately, it's our prerogative in accordance with national interest to decide if they should be highlighted in a celebration of Singapore's history.
Lim Heng Ann