DID G commit a faux pas? The purpose of a gallery is to remember, not to honour. Somehow, naming of the gallery has triggered numerous negative reactions – the name Syonan is not appropriate 😦
Two quick thoughts on the renaming of the gallery.
First, Singaporean voices matter. G is moving away from a top down approach; you can call it the GE2011 effect. They got the feedback/backlash and made the changes. Seems that calling a spade a spade is not right in this case.
Second, G is not afraid to do correct her misstep.
Minister Dr Yaccob indicated: “But this particular exhibition name provoked a strong reaction. Over the past two days, I have read the comments made on this issue, and received many letters from Singaporeans of all races.
While they agreed that we need to teach Singaporeans about the Japanese Occupation, they also shared that the words ‘Syonan Gallery’ had evoked deep hurt in them”.
G will change their position, given it is the right thing. We hope that this does not signal a change where they now bow to populist pressures and choose the easier wrong over the harder right.
No government is perfect and in this case, another learning lesson for G. At least G listens.
Social media has changed the game.
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