Colonialism has left us for some time but, here in Singapore, we are still “celebrating” the deeds of the people who impoverished Asia of its Wealth and the Malay World of its Greatness.
Raffles is portrayed today as a Man of Learning when, in reality, the man was an Orientalist par excellence endowed with a Prejudiced Mind unsurpassed by even the most vehement of imperialists in his time.
Nothing is said about his complicity in the killing of the natives of Bencoolen, about his jaundiced views pertaining to religions in Southeast Asia, about his stereotypical depictions of Malays, Chinese, Indians and whatever races he deemed as inferior than the whites. And yes, they also forgot about his role in spreading an imperialist and exploitative variant of Freemansonry in the region; one that ensured that trade in the Malay World was under the thumb of European trading companies.
All these are simply removed from the luxurious exhibits to cover up the flaws of a personality whom even revisionist historians in our midst regard as a Founder of Modern Singapore.
The more things change, the more the love for colonialism remain the same, perhaps even stronger now than ever. Is this what we want our children to learn in schools? That the future generation should smile in awe for having been colonized?