Queen Elizabeth II passed away early September. We previously reported about activists in Singapore criticizing those who mourn her death. Even Workers’ Party Jamus Lim was not spared.
What did Jamus Lim say?
Jamus Lim made a Facebook post nothing that Queen Elizabeth had been the head of state of Singapore when she was a crown colony, as well as presided over Singapore’s transition to an independent state. He also listed the ways Singapore has benefited from its colonial history.
“As a country, Singapore has benefited from its colonial history in a number of ways: we enjoyed investment from Great Britain that helped us develop from a fishing village to an important global port, missionaries started schools that transferred education and knowledge (and many remain among the most esteemed on the island today), and we inherited institutions—such as a Westminster parliamentary system, a common law legal framework, and a well-structured bureaucracy—that helped us massively in our development journey. We also inherited a number of colonial-era hangovers, such as CPF, racial structures (think CMIO), and the soon-to-be-debated 377A—that we’ve had to contend with and, at the very least, adapt to our own needs.”Jamus Lim
In gist, Jamus says that Singapore is one of the lucky colonies that received many good things.
Subhas Nair says this is a “stupid take”
Activist Subhas Nair posted a TikTok video pointing out that Jamus’ view comes from privilege, calling the latter an “arrogant fool”. Seems like Jamus forgot all the downsides of colonialism when making his tribute post. He conveniently ignored the things we have to deal with as a result of the British Rule. For example, 377A, media censorship, and CMIO categories.
Here’s a snippet of Subhas’ rap —
How can you be so be so educated and have such a stupid take?
Talking cockles to talking cock, how’d you get that way?
Did you read your manifesto or did you skip that page?
One minute of silence you should stay that way.
Somebody tell Jamus that I ain’t tryna involve in that.
All the simpin for the white men that’s cap.
Focus on government service tax, or if Anchorvale’s pavements crack.
Please read up redact, you should be honored to be in this rap.
Let me brush you up on facts.
That was not benevolent rule, you arrogant fool,
just cos you went UK for school, don’t make colonialism cool.
Privileged people like you, from my point of view,
benefit in so many ways.
But what do you have to say, to the land that was stolen from Malays?
What do you have to say to people in Sierra Leone,
Think they would tell you to keep your takes about the throne at home.
I’m sure they don’t teach about Jallianwala Bagh in Raffles
But how you don’t know about the crimes committed worldwide it baffles.
Jamus Lim Responds
In the comment section, Jamus rebutted by saying that Subhas was oversimplifying things. Arguing that Singapore received a net benefit from colonization, he thinks Subhas should not forget the good things that come from colonization.
He also says Subhas picked the wrong country to compare, because Singapore and Australia are settlement colonies, while Sierra Leone or Congo are extractive colonies.
In the latest update, Subhas points out that Jamus is acting like a colonizer.
Everything Jamus said are excuses used by colonizers to explain why they stole and took advantage of our ancestors. For example, “would you say it’s better if we leave the land uncolonized?” He also reminds us that the ends do not justify the means.
Jamus, why are you trying so hard to defend the British? It is a fact that their rule brought us a lot of issues that have yet to be resolved! The “good things” they brought to us really does not justify all the cost of their rule that we’re still not done paying for!