Was Lim Bo Seng truly a Singaporean war hero?

A longer, deeper lens on Singapore's military history should go beyond the overused stories of World War II heroism

In much of post-war South-east Asia, the central role played by militaries in the struggle for independence such as in Indonesia earned the armed forces a place in the national narrative.

For centuries, Vietnamese nationalism drew strength from its past of armed resistance against imperial authority. In the absence of a war of armed resistance to colonial authority, it is perhaps understandable that Singapore's military history draws upon its involvement in British colonial rule as a convenient starting point. There are, however, limits to appropriating Singapore's colonial military history as Singaporean.

TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE

Thank you for reading The Straits Times

You have reached one of our Premium stories. To continue reading, get access now or log in if you are a subscriber.

What is Premium?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 11, 2019, with the headline 'Was Lim Bo Seng truly a Singaporean war hero?'. Print Edition | Subscribe