- Chinese Newspapers in Singapore, 1945-1963: Mediators of Elite and Popular Tastes in Culture and Politics
- Journal of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society
- Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society
- Volume 83, Part 1, June 2010, No. 298
- pp. 53-76
- View Citation
- Additional Information
In post-World War II Singapore, the vast majority of Singapore's population communicated using Chinese, forming a distinct social, cultural and political sphere that existed autonomously from, but occasionally interlinked with, the dominant English language world of the colonial elite. The historian needs to access this Chinese domain to fully understand the transformations taking place in Singapore between 1945 and 1963. A study of the Chinese newspapers offers insight into this domain in several ways. Firstly, how important events were reported affected public perception. Secondly, the opinions and views expressed in the newspapers' editorials and articles were influential in Chinese society, and the public responded in various literary forms. The back pages of the newspapers formed a space for public debate. Thirdly, the newspapers existed as cultural artefacts. Standing at the nexus of the political, cultural, and social spheres, it was on the pages of the newspapers that many new ideas were put forward, and traditional concepts were contested. The newspapers acted as mediators between the old and the new, developing the new concepts and language of decolonization and independence. The evolution of Chinese thought in Singapore can be traced within the pages of the newspapers.