Catherine Lim still can’t believe the fuss she caused. The idea that she helped provoke a quiet revolution in this city-state – one that 17 years later has shaken the ruling People’s Action Party to its foundations – reduces the pixyish 68-year-old to shoulder-shaking giggles.
“Who says that?” she says in her breathlessly rapid-fire English when she stops laughing. She doesn’t wait for an answer. “Even today, I’m still trying to absorb the impact of that little article.”
That little article was published in the fall of 1994 in Singapore’s Straits-Times newspaper. In it, Ms. Lim – until then best known as a novelist – committed the shocking act of pointing out that while the long-ruling PAP had done a good job running Singapore’s economy, it had done little to endear itself to those it governed. “There is very little in the way of affectionate regard,” she wrote. More...