The big chill

Date Published:
February 28, 1995

This article was just months after leaving Singapore under a cloud, having lost my visa and also after months when having secured a job my work visa application was rejected by the Home Affairs Ministry. I had no distance from the politics and events I was describing but I wrote it anyway. The Catherine Lim Affair, as it was later referred to and the events surrounding the scuttling of the NUSS’s Commentary issue on Performance Art and Forum Theatre were intimately linked. Short story writer Catherine Lim’s elegant but critical prose touched a raw nerve and the then Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong came out punching figuratively but using a boxing metaphor nevertheless.

Perhaps there is a danger in writing about events so close to one while adopting a language that conveys distance. I somehow doubt my editors would have wanted a deeply personal piece. My review of Francis Seow’s book as well as an obituary of Jamit Singh were some of the Singapore related pieces I wrote at that time. The obituary earned me a note of thanks from Lim Chin Siong.

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