The National University of Singapore has declined to comment on academic, Dr Thum Ping Tjin’s claim that he had been penalised for conducting critical research on Singapore’s founding prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

Dr Thum – historian and Research Associate at Oxford University’s Centre for Global History – worked at NUS’ Asia Research Institute between 2012 and 2014. In an interview with Al Jazeera, the researcher claimed that after he began publishing and giving lectures about his research on the elder statesman, a senior staff member at the University privately informed him that he “would never be able to work in Singapore as an academic…again”.

The historian’s research had been critical of Lee, particularly for the use of defamation without trial. Dr Thum had asserted that his work has “proved that (Mr Lee) had lied about his use of detention without trial from the 1960s onward”.

NUS told reporters on Wednesday that it was “not aware” of the private exchange that allegedly occurred between Dr Thum and a senior staff member.

A spokesman for the institution also declined to comment on whether Dr Thum had been penalised for his critical research on Lee and only said that Dr Thum resigned from the Asia Research Institute in October 2014.

Dr Thum speaks about the private conversation with the NUS senior staff from 19:00 onwards.


  1. When I was young, I remembered reading ST that LKY flied to UK to meet someone.
    Without him flying there, SG seems to HAVE ALL KINDS of TROUBLE.
    Canada too became independent. Did they brag about how it became INDEPENDENT?
    Lots of COMMONWEALTH country became independent. Did they say their first
    PM liberalized them from UK? NO.! Singapore IS UNIQUE.

    • Yes, we are indebted to the Master. Without his vision, courage, sacrifice, his many attributes, Singapore is not where she is today. But having said this, the world we now face is very different and our society has been evolving.
      Thus, we must address and meet our new needs, challenges and demands. Therefore, the call for change is not without merit.

      • Indebted your foot. Stupid sinkies monies are taken to feed their obscene salaries and oversized egoes.
        The highest level of conmanship is just like kongheefatjoy, self serving, milk dry the cash, be idolized, live like a rich dictator and having every spoken lies taken as gospel truth.

  2. It is very simple to understand ………all the academics, talented personnel , professionals , civil activists that are has a different persuasion of the WTG has no place in this land ! But these true blue local born has no wants of this land ! on the contrary this land has the needs of them lots ! regrettably this WTG for self preservation would use all their machinery at their dispose to keep these true born talented people out of this land in doing so caused great damage to the people and the country !!!!

  3. The Lion is gone. Time to change.

    We can’t live on forever based on the dictates of one man, irrespective of how brilliant he might be.

    We can’t assume that without him Singapore could not have become what it is today because the reverse assumption can also be equally pliable.

    If we continue to be boxed into one mindset, then we have not learnt from our extraordinary past leaders!