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mrbrown slams tourist who asks Singaporeans to remember colonial Britain’s contributions, says, “piss off, ya bloody tosser”

Dr. Daniel Emlyn-Jones had written that he was surprised by the lack of acknowledgement for Britain’s contributions during the bicentennial celebrations, a statement that drew much flak from netizens and blogger 'Mr Brown'

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A tourist who wrote in to the Straits Times forum asking Singaporeans to remember colonial Britain’s role in shaping Singapore received much flak from locals and popular blogger mrbrown.

Dr. Daniel Emlyn-Jones wrote in to the paper, and his first letter was published on August 24.

In his initial letter, he wrote that he was surprised by the lack of acknowledgement for Britain’s contributions in the midst of our bicentennial celebrations.

He also added that the colonial masters had their shortcomings, were “utterly incompetent” in defending Singapore against the Japanese, and had committed “atrocities” such as the Batang Kali massacre.

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Nevertheless, he expressed that credit should be given to the British as Singapore’s founding father, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, was educated under its system.

Mr Lee had studied at Raffles Institution, which was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, as well as Cambridge University in Britain.

Popular blogger and YouTuber Lee Kin Mun, also known as mrbrown shared the man’s letter and wrote, “Oh piss off, ya bloody tosser”, in agitated response.

Here is the letter in full:

As a visitor to Singapore from the United Kingdom this summer, I am struck by the lack of attention given in this bicentennial year to the role of colonial Britain in shaping Singapore.

It is true that the British messed things up in so many ways.

They treated other races like second-class citizens, they were utterly incompetent in defending the island from the Japanese and they committed atrocities such as the Batang Kali massacre. But it wasn’t all bad.

Mr Lee Kuan Yew is often credited with being the founding father of Singapore, but where was that great mind trained? At Raffles Institution, a British school founded by Sir Stamford Raffles, at the London School of Economics and at Cambridge University in Britain.

Singapore is right to be a proud and independent multiracial state free of the shackles of colonialism, but it is now big and powerful enough to give credit where credit is due.

Daniel Emlyn-Jones (Dr)

 

Following the backlash, Dr Emlyn-Jones then wrote another letter, published earlier today (August 29) apologizing for his initial reaction.

He explained that his first letter was simple “suggesting” colonial Britain should be given more credit.

In rather dramatic fashion, he also added, “To use an extreme analogy, Adolf Hitler introduced motorways to Germany, but it would be incendiary to suggest he should be celebrated for this, given what else he did”. /TISG

His full letter:

Wrong to suggest giving more credit to colonial Britain
I wrote a letter suggesting that colonial Britain should be given more credit for shaping Singapore.

I thank Forum contributors for their responses to this letter, from which I have learnt a great deal.

To use an extreme analogy, Adolf Hitler introduced motorways to Germany, but it would be incendiary to suggest he should be celebrated for this, given what else he did.

It is true that Britain does like to forget the darker side of its colonial past. For example, the victims of the Batang Kali massacre in 1948 still have not received justice from the British Government, despite years of campaigning by survivors and family members. I applaud Mr Ng Qi Siang’s call to decolonise the curricula of British universities (More critical view of Britain’s colonial project needed, Aug 28).

The best way for different cultures and nations to learn more about one another is through friendship, and I sincerely hope that once the embarrassing mess of Brexit is over, Britain and Singapore can forget the past and deepen their friendship as they move together into the future.

Daniel Emlyn-Jones (Dr)

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