This body of work represents the last four years of my writing. Like Seen and unseen: a century of stories from Asia and the Pacific, it delves into the past. So, it is not confined to the last four years.
Living in Singapore presents an opportunity for reflection from a vantage point, a globalised space on the margin of the Asian continent. It also provides an excellent view of the south, Nusantara, Melanesia and my own continent. Being here has also given new perspectives on New Zealand, particularly its connections with the Malayo-Polynesian languages of this region.
This is a growing body of work. It’s not all that I’ve written but what I feel are some of the more important observations I’ve been able to make.
These observations come the perspective of a foreigner living in Singapore, someone who has now spent 23 years living in the region and is looking for a new synthesis. I do not write as an ‘expat’, from the point of view of one still carrying the ‘Whiteman’s Burden’. I reject the term ‘expat’ as such terms that still carry the taint of colonialism.
What follows are the stories inspired during my time in Singapore