Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee. (SPH Media)

Chan Heng Chee: Amid chaos, our national interest is the only constant

The future world will neither be unipolar nor bipolar but multipolar; the structure will be fragmented, and the heights of the poles will be asymmetrical. Amid the tensions and pitfalls, how does Singapore cope in an increasingly complex world? Lianhe Zaobao associate editor Han Yong Hong speaks with Singapore’s ambassador-at-large and former ambassador to the US Chan Heng Chee about the challenges the world faces.
Dr Yee Wai Seng wanted the plaque in the gallery’s collection as soon as he came to know of its existence.

Yuan Shikai's calligraphy on century-old plaque of old Singapore pharmacy

Yuan Shikai may be known as more of a military man and the second provisional president of the Republic of China, but he was also an accomplished calligrapher. One of his works is a plaque written for a store called Woi Fung Sheong Tim in Singapore, and after a century, it has been included in the collection of the Kwong Wai Siew Peck San Theng Heritage Gallery.
A woman walks past a mural in Chinatown in Singapore on 26 January 2024. (Photo by Roslan Rahman/AFP)

What language should one speak to be Singaporean?

Former journalist Goh Choon Kang notes the shift in perceptions of what is considered a mother tongue, and how becoming a monolingual English-speaking society would affect Singapore’s current multilingual advantage and international positioning.
Graduates and guests at Nanyang University's first Convocation Day, Singapore, 2 April 1960. (SPH Media)

The Chinese-educated in Singapore in the 70s: Swept up in the winds of change

Singaporean writer Low Pooi Fong leaves watching Kelvin Tong’s film Year of No Significance rather disappointed — a film that was to have given voice to the Chinese-educated in Singapore in the late 1970s was not true enough to life. For audiences who were among the Chinese-educated in Singapore or who knew of those who led those lives, perhaps the story was just not hard-hitting enough. Might it take another film for this wealth of material to be mined as it deserves?
Movie still: A Year Of No Significance starring Peter Yu. (Singapore International Film Festival)

A Year of No Significance: Portraying the grey life of a Nantah graduate?

Lee Guan Kin, a Nanyang University (Nantah) graduate herself, was happy to see a local film made about the life and times of a Nantah graduate in the year 1979, when “Chinese” elements seemed to be fading from society. But she worries that the grey life depicted may miss the true plot: Nantah graduates with grit and spirit went on to become prominent people in society, not in spite of their education and upbringing, but because of it.
The construction site of the China Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL) electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Debrecen, Hungary, on 16 August 2023. (Akos Stiller/Bloomberg)

[Big read] Global fight for lithium battery raw materials heats up

Amid the global electric vehicle (EV) race, European countries and the US are doubling down on their efforts and investment towards building an even more localised vertically integrated battery supply chain. This comes amid China dominance over the global lithium-ion battery supply chain. As the race for raw materials continues, Southeast Asian countries such as Indonesia and Singapore can play an increasingly significant role. Lianhe Zaobao business correspondent Lai Oi Lai speaks with experts and business insiders to find out more.
The boorish behaviour of illegal mainland Chinese immigrant Ah Chan in Hong Kong TV drama The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (《网中人》) made his name a trendy insult. (SPH Media)

Feigning strength: Why we use derogatory terms on peoples and countries

Hua Language Centre director Chew Wee Kai points out that throughout history, people have come up with various terms to refer to “others”. Such forms of discrimination, while not physically harmful, can still be perpetuated and lead to discord and resentment. It is up to present generations to end the cycle.
Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong pictured in Singapore on 7 October 2022. (SPH Media)

DPM Lawrence Wong: Singapore-China cooperation in a turbulent world

Ahead of the 19th Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) held in Tianjin, Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong shares his thoughts on Singapore-China relations, highlighting the need to renew and expand economic links, reimagine industries and reinforce close ties between the two countries.
Lim Tze Peng in his studio, still trying out new ideas.

The 'late style' of 102-year-old artist Lim Tze Peng

Artist Lim Tze Peng, who turned 102 this year, was born and bred in Singapore. From having a firm grasp of traditional Chinese painting techniques, he continually experimented with different methods, adjusting his style and finding a new path. Writer Teo Han Wue was there to witness the artist’s pivotal change in style some 15 years ago, when the artist was in his 80s. This was when Lim experimented with using bold, cursive-style calligraphic brushstrokes to create near-abstract and completely abstract paintings, with trees as the main subject matter — a style which came to be known as hutuzi (糊涂字, “muddled writing”). Lim’s “late style” continues to evolve, even until today.