Style and Sincerity: Some Thoughts on Singapore’s Ethnic PSA Videos

I'm a bit late to the party, but I only just chanced upon this series of Tamil PSAs on CHAS and "Adapt and Grow" skills upgrading programmes. Since these PSAs aired during the recent Deepavali festive season, they were conceptualised as riffs off the Indian palace drama genre, much like how the Health Promotion Board … Continue reading Style and Sincerity: Some Thoughts on Singapore’s Ethnic PSA Videos

“Runaway” (2019): Penat, Yearning and Loss in Black and White

Singapore will languish if its lovers are uncritical and its critics are unloving. What Singapore needs is not sycophants but loving critics and critical lovers.Tommy Koh As of writing, Singapore has been mired in a debate about what it means to be a patriotic citizen. In a society where dissent is eyed with suspicion and … Continue reading “Runaway” (2019): Penat, Yearning and Loss in Black and White

Moving Onwards, Moving Back: Nostalgia and National Policy in “Semoga Bahagia” (2019)

Blink and you might miss it. In Gov.sg's 2019 cover of "Semoga Bahagia", our official Children's Day song composed by musical legend Zubir Said, a CPF advertisement suddenly punctures a sepia-toned daydream. A poster of an elderly citizen fades into focus as Hilmi walks out of the lift, and we're left to contemplate what "raising … Continue reading Moving Onwards, Moving Back: Nostalgia and National Policy in “Semoga Bahagia” (2019)