The Fall of Singapore: Answers about Malaysia from the Past

By Julia Tan

May 2019 REVIEW
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It is 1938, Malayan Singapore. The last days of happiness for brother and sister pair, Zabir and Zubaida – so sings narrator Shafeeq Shajahan in the opening number of The Fall of Singapore. Shafeeq sets the background and tone of the story: Zabir and Zubaida’s father, Pak Amir, is a successful tradesman, and the family lived comfortably in the years before the Japanese Occupation.Pak Amir mysteriously dies, however, and conflict ensues: the British have denied the family the right to...

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Julia Tan

went to primary and secondary school at Convent Pulau Tikus before continuing sixth form at St. Xavier’s Institution; any other school was out of the question. She misses the fried rice at the school canteen, and laments the passing of the wan tan mee lady.