Queen Elizabeth II died “peacefully” at her home at Balmoral Castle in Scotland in the afternoon of September 8, 2022. Many Singaporeans are sending their condolences and mourning her death. Did we forget about how her empire treated their colonies?
Most of Singapore’s dark side is a result of our colonial past.
Exiled journalist and historian Thum Ping Tjin observes that the “official narrative deliberately romanticizes (colonialism) for political reasons while suppressing other perspectives” because Singapore’s current methods of governance follows the values and institutions of colonialism.
For example, the Criminal Law (Temporary Provisions) Act which allowed for detaining people without trial. Another high profile example would be Section 377A which criminalized homosexuality until it was recently repealed.
Some also observed that the marginalization of Singapore’s minority is also a result of the celebrated colonialism.
We need to call a spade a spade.
The way the queen’s rule has been portrayed in the media is basically rewriting history. The decades of suppression that colonies have had to endure should not be forgotten.
Everyone must be reminded of the violence and discrimination the British brought to our shores.
The amount of things stolen from the British colonies in the name of the queen should also not be erased from the historical records.
Instead of celebrating her life or mourning her death, we need to look at what we can change in our society.
To some, this means removing those who started the problem in the first place.