Maddox, William P.
April 1962
Foreign Affairs;Apr62, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p479
Academic Journal
This article focuses on the island of Singapore which occupies a strategic position in southeastern Asia. Undisturbed by British colonial authorities in respect to language, schooling and customs, the Singapore Chinese established an exclusive cultural community and readily absorbed new hordes of immigrants over the years. Other factors besides the cultural proclivities of the Chinese population make the Singapore problem important for the West. Like other Asiatic areas, Singapore has been caught up in the revolutionary currents which have accelerated the collapse of colonial empires and shaken the foundations of feudal and capitalistic economies everywhere. The emerging Malayan nationalism of the region failed to take root in Singapore because it lacked an ethnic and cultural basis, but anti-colonialism and socialism did actively appear there and gave a powerful impulse to demands for far-reaching social and political change. Socialism, ranging from vague sentimentalism to doctrinaire Marxism, found strong favor especially among students in the Chinese-medium schools and among trade unionists.


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