History a dialogue between present and past

Historian E.H. Carr's famous treatise, What is History, gives useful pointers on deciphering the Thum debate

Reading the reports about historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin and his six-hour grilling by a government minister made me recall my first encounters with history and historiography at the age of 17.

I was sitting for the GCE Special level paper in History. The “S” level as it was called, was a tad higher than the A level. As no Singapore student had ever done this paper before, even the history teachers at my junior college hesitated to coach us. Into the breach stepped the Raffles JC principal, the late Rudy Mosbergen, a former historian.


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