ST Book Club's fourth edition draws over 200

The Straits Times' Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong (left) and senior executive content producer Denise Chong, the event moderator, taking questions from the audience at the ST Book Club session yesterday.
The Straits Times' Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong (left) and senior executive content producer Denise Chong, the event moderator, taking questions from the audience at the ST Book Club session yesterday.ST PHOTO: TIMOTHY DAVID

The fourth edition of The Straits Times Book Club attracted its largest crowd to date, with 213 people packing the National Library headquarters' programme zone last night to hear ST Opinion editor Chua Mui Hoong discuss her new book Singapore, Disrupted.

Ms Chua, a political journalist with the paper since 1991, spoke with the event's moderator, ST senior executive content producer Denise Chong, about the essays in her book.

The subjects range from observations about Singapore's late founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew and his family to the class divide in Singapore.

The book had sold more than 2,200 copies in the past six weeks since its publication, and was on the ST bestseller list for non-fiction for three weeks.

Audience members peppered Ms Chua, 49, with questions, from whether universal basic income could be feasible in Singapore to whether the phrase "every school is a good school" really holds true.

"I am glad the Singapore system has allowed tens of thousands of us to enjoy a better life," she said. "The responsibility is on us, who have benefited from the system, to speak up when things are not going quite right and to remind the younger generation, who may take things for granted, that things may not always turn out this way."

This means pushing back against inequality when one sees it, she added.

Members of the audience said the session covered even more topics than they had expected from the book.

"What she wrote resonated with what we experience in everyday life," said marketing manager Michelle Oh, 50.

The rebranded book club takes over ST's non-fiction book club The Big Read Meet and runs every last Wednesday of the month.

The next session on July 25 will feature poet and author Felix Cheong, who will speak with ST assistant sports editor Rohit Brijnath on his writing journey and his new children's picture book Use Your Head.

Readers can register at str.sg/oMiE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2018, with the headline 'ST Book Club's fourth edition draws over 200'. Print Edition | Subscribe