A fortnightly discussion on Singapore politics and current affairs, featuring PJ Thum and guests, brought to you by New Naratif.
Race and Solidarity in Singapore
Mysara Aljaru talks to PJ Thum about her research into narratives about Singapore's Malay community in the mainstream media in Singapore. They discuss racial stereotypes, the challenges facing the Malay community, the systemic and historical underpinnings of racism, and how racism can be overcome.
In particular, they argue about whether racism is a cause or a symptom of the oppression of Malays in Singapore, the role of neoliberal capitalism and nationalism in that oppression, and whether it is possible to end discrimination over identity.
"Save Nagaenthran”: Advocates Call for Death Sentence Pardon in Singapore
In defiance of its own laws and the UN Convention of Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Singapore government intends to hang a man with borderline intellectual functioning for smuggling 42.72 grams of diamorphine—a form of heroin used to treat severe pain. PJ Thum speaks to Emmy Charissa, a disability rights activist; Kokila Annamalai, an anti-death penalty activist; and Mila Rockey, sister of death row prisoner Syed Suhail and also an anti-death penalty activist, about Mr Nagaenthran’s case, the lack of a fair trial that accommodated his disabilities, and drug trafficking and the death penalty in Singapore.
Things you can do to help #SaveNagaenthran:
Sign this petition
Write to President Halimah Yacob
Write to your local MPs
Support the Transformative Justice Collective
What the FICA?
What is the Foreign Interference (Countermeasures) Bill? How will it impact our lives? How do we avoid running afoul of it? Why is this law so important? Lawyer Carol Yuen, NCMP Leong Mun Wai, and Progress Singapore Party Women's Wing leader Wendy Low will discuss this mammoth, complicated law with New Naratif managing director PJ Thum and unpack its far reaching implications. This interview was recorded live on 30 September 2021.
"Raffles Renounced" with Faris Joraimi
On today's episode, PJ Thum speaks to Faris Joraimi about his book, Raffles Renounced. They talk about how the book came about, how it rejects the orthodoxy of Singapore’s history, its national myth, and how it challenges the Raffles-centric view of the country’s history. They also discuss race and what it means to be Malay in a hyper-racialised society.
This interview was recorded on 8 May 2021 and has been edited for clarity. Please visit New Naratif's Youtube channel for the full interview.
Purchase Raffles Renounced at https://www.ethosbooks.com.sg/products/rafflesrenounced
The Online Citizen Banned: Discussion with Editor-in-Chief Terry Xu
The Online Citizen has been banned in Singapore via the government's suspension of its class license under the Broadcasting Act. Editor-in-Chief Terry Xu joins New Naratif managing director PJ Thum to discuss the banning of TOC, what Terry plans to do next, and the proposed new anti-foreign interference law and how it will impact both TOC and New Naratif. This interview was recorded live on 15 September 2021.
Prison Abolition and Islam
Ryaihanny Sahrom is a legal professional and a freelance writer with a passion in human rights for marginalised genders. Speaking to PJ Thum and Sean Francis Han, she argues that effectively addressing crime requires a societal shift in how we define justice, moving from retribution towards abolishing the environmental conditions that create it in the first place. This, she argues, is also an Islamic approach to transformative justice.
Resources to start your journey on abolitionist politics:
Are Prisons Obsolete?
Why I Believe Prison Abolition is a Muslim Issue