Episode 8: Orang Cina Malaya
Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, Research Associate, Centre for Global History, University of Oxford
China’s response to the events and forces of the late 19th and early 20th century took the form of royalist, reformist, and revolutionary movements. The leaders of the latter two, Kang Youwei and Sun Yat Sen, came to Singapore to rally support and funding for their movements. They brought with them new ideas, built new structures and organisations, and left behind a changed political landscape. In this episode, PJ Thum explains how this combined with local demographic, economic, and social change; how it challenged the identity and beliefs of Malaya’s Chinese; how it interacted with local circumstances to begin transforming Malaya’s Chinese into Chinese Malayans, beginning Malayan nationalism among the Chinese; and how the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall in Balestier, Singapore, is actually a shrine to left-wing revolutionary socialism.
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