Singapore's Bicentennial: Our colonial conundrum

I'll be honest: I hate the statue; the haughty "I came, I saw, I conquered" pose. I've always fantasised about someone splashing paint over his ugly fake marble face. Seeing it actually done was quite cathartic.

I'm talking about the Bicentennial's "disappearing Raffles" stunt, of course. Just 30 years ago, that would have been nigh sacrilegious. Part of the statue's sanctity comes from the equally sacrosanct myth engraved on its plinth: "(Raffles) with genius and perception changed the destiny of Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a great seaport and modern metropolis."


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 13, 2019, with the headline ' Singapore's Bicentennial: Our colonial conundrum'. Print Edition | Subscribe