In 1968, just three years after Singapore’s traumatic separation from Malaysia – and despite the urgent, competing needs of a new nation – a committee was formed to study the feasibility of creating a national zoo. Ong Swee Law, the chairman of the Public Utilities Board (PUB), headed this committee. As discussed previously, many animal […]Read more "A Zoo in the Garden (City)"
As a regional and international trading nexus, Singapore has long been a point of transit for the exotic animal trade. This trade was so rampant and so widespread that the colonial government was forced to pass an ordinance in 1930 banning the trafficking of orangutans through Singapore. Exotic animal collections nonetheless flourished in Singapore. Many prominent […]Read more "Zoos in Singapore’s Past"
The practice of keeping and displaying animals has existed for millennia, from the “sacred menageries” of ancient Egypt to the “zoological gardens” of the nineteenth century. Over time, their role and function has varied significantly. Modern “zoological gardens”, with their emphasis on science, education, recreation and conservation are hence simply the latest incarnations of institutions […]Read more "Introductions: Studying Zoos"
In which a comet learns another way to travel back in time. We are very used to thinking as history as static, objective accounts. We are used to thinking that the history printed in textbooks, or performed at parades, or curated at exhibitions, as authoritative, definitive versions of the past. It must be true if it […]Read more "The Rocks & Rivers of History"
What does the history of a Zoological Garden have to do with the history of a Garden City? Over the course of the past months and weeks, several of my friends have been asking to read excerpts of the Honours Thesis which I have written. While I am deeply flattered by the attention, I cannot […]Read more "Other Singapore Stories"
My first encounter with wild animals occurred in the cramped confines of the HDB flat i was raised in. I grew up surrounded by stories, posters and books about wild animals. Long, hot afternoons were spent catching spiders and moths; evenings spent watching animal documentaries with grandpa. All my mealworms and goldfish died, but while […]Read more "Thesis Thoughts: Preludes & Prefaces"
It’s been about two weeks since i last posted, and I am running on perhaps four hours of sleep, but after a whole week locked on the same topic, with the mind a powerful engine that keeps running and running ceaselessly, mercilessly, there is a part of me that is itching to create; to write, […]Read more "Mantarui Blathers: Sleep-Deprived Thoughts from an Over-clocked Mind"