The Invisible Force: Singapore Gurkhas by Chong Zi Liang and Zakaria Zainal front cover
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The Invisible Force: Singapore Gurkhas

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by Chong Zi Liang and Zakaria Zainal

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The Gurkhas need no introduction, with their storied reputation built up over two centuries of battlefield exploits around the world. A unit of these Nepalese warriors have been serving Singapore for more than 65 years, yet precious little is known about them. Indeed, the Gurkha Contingent clashed with communists and militant unions in its early days and continues to protect the island state's most important places and people even today.

Discover the untold story of the Singapore Gurkha through the eyes of different generations who carried the famed kukri blade: The rigorous, punishing training that forges elite soldiers; the family lives of these paramilitary policemen; and the lengths their sons go to follow in their fathers's footsteps.

Above all, The Invisible Force reveals the loyalty and gratitude the Gurkha has for Singapore, and the struggles he and his family face upon retirement, including an unresolved request for better employment terms.

Visit for a collection of projects related to the Singapore Gurkhas by the authors.

About the Authors

Chong Zi Liang is a sub-editor with The Straits Times whose features, columns and photo essays appear in Singapore's national broadsheet.In 2009, he worked for the Nepali Times in Nepal, where he first got to know the retired Singapore Gurkhas. The experience inspired him to base his Final Year Project in university on the Gurkha Contingent of Singapore. He graduated from the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University in 2010 with an Honours degree in Communication Studies.

Zakaria Zainal
makes meaning of the world through his photographs. Enticed by the visceral changes of a former monarchy's transition to a federal republic in Nepal, he first picked up his camera. His first monograph, "Our Gurkhas: Singapore Through Their Eyes" is an anthology of portraits and anecdotes of the retired Singapore Gurkhas as they reminisce about life in the Lion City, from the 1950s till today. His latest work, Riot Recollections, is a collaboration with Prabhu Silvam, interviewing voices from the ground at Little India regarding the Little India Riot in 2013. His photographs and stories have appeared in various publications both in Singapore and Asia. He graduated from the NTU's School of Communication, where he also teaches campus journalism. While he continues making pictures, Zakaria has been moving away from traditional documentary work to photographing closer to home -- or even closer to his heart.

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ISBN: 978-981-09-1099-0
Published: 2014
Dimension: 230mm x 230mm
Extent: 88
Finish: Hardback



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