Singapore’s 2019 Bicentennial initiative, which comprised exhibitions, heritage tours, light art installations and musical shows, celebrated the transformation of Singapore from an obscure fishing village to a modern metropolis, with emphasis being placed on the role of ordinary citizens and their predecessors in nation building. However, not all appreciated these efforts.
One British tourist, for example, wrote a letter to The Straits Times’ Forum page ) in which he urged Singaporeans to not forget the role of colonial Britain, especially since Singapore’s founding father, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, received a British education.
Read the article entitled “More Critical View Of Britain’s Colonial Project Needed” by Ng Qi Siang in response to this letter, and write a critique of the text, incorporating the following:
- a) An introductory paragraph that identifies Ng’s thesis (using your own words as far as possible). This can consist of a few short sentences, or a single all-encompassing sentence that encapsulates the writer’s reason and conclusion, and the focus of his work. (5 marks)
- b) Your introductory paragraph should contain a summary of Ng’s claims. You should state these briefly, enumerating them using signals such as firstly, secondly, etc. You also need to state whether you agree or disagree with Ng’s viewpoint on the issue, and provide a brief reasoning for your stand. (20 marks)
- c) Your own assertions about the ideas and issues in Ng’s article, supported by your own arguments and evidence drawn from at least three external resources, which agree or disagree with specific points in the reading. This incorporates and synthesises the views of others into your writing. Naturally, your critique will be more robust if you cite more resources. Please recognise ONE agreement point and THREE disagreement points. You should present Ng’s claim, reasons, evidence and assumptions. Develop your position and assertions pertaining to the key issues using the concession and refutation process. (40 marks)
- d) A paragraph recognising the overall strength and weakness of Ng’s arguments based on your evaluation in Question 1(c). Please provide ONE area of strength and ONE area of weakness in the main article. You should also suggest how Evans could make her arguments more convincing. (10 marks)
- e) A concluding paragraph that sums up your main points and gives a sense of cohesion to the whole essay. You should state briefly the flaws of Ng’s arguments and reiterate your stance. (5 marks)
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