16 February 2014 | factgasm
One or two Singapore Slings too many.
Given that the series is a co-production between HBO Asia and others, what a shame that HBO Asia's very own synopsis writer clearly needs some lessons in history: "The world is changing, the global balance of power is shifting . . ." This ignores the fact that the early to mid-sixties was the height of the Cold War - a tense stand off between the West and the Communist Bloc. Only one year before this series is set the world had been taken to the brink of global nuclear warfare in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Power wasn't shifting, rather an irresistible force had gone up against an immovable object.
"The colonial rule of the British has finally come to an end and independence is on the horizon." Actually, Singaporean independence wasn't on the horizon - quite the opposite. Starting as early as 1955, as a result of post war austerity the British had been handing over power to Singapore in an orderly and gradual withdrawal. Far from seeking independence, by 1964, when the series is set, Singapore, fearing the loss of British protection, had become firmly entrenched as part of the Malaysian Federation.
"It's an exciting time where the island state can finally forge its own identity." Again, untrue. In 1965 Singapore was, very much against its wishes, expelled from the Malaysian Federation. Singapore had independence thrust upon it, independence it had not sought. Singaporeans had not led some brave freedom fighting campaign in a bid to rid itself of evil oppressors, it had been stood up - twice.
Perhaps it might be more prudent in future for HBO Asia to employ an historian to write its historical synopses rather than a Stepford Wife.