Why Our Great Leader was Not So Great and Not Much of a Leader by Neil Humphreys

Why Our Great Leader was Not So Great and Not Much of a Leader

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by Neil Humphreys


For many Singaporeans, Sir Stamford Raffles was Great Leader and White Saviour all rolled into one. The one man, one country narrative allowed a simplistic telling of a complex tale concerning Singapore’s birth to take root. But Raffles was a deeply flawed man.

Whether he was palming off most the heavy lifting to Farqhuar – and then publicly taking all the credit whilst privately criticising his man on the ground – or providing women for his sex-obsessed friend Alexander Hare, the governor of Banjarmasin, Raffles had almost 50 shades of grey to his character. He wasn’t particularly impressed with the locals either, clumsily dividing them into racial ghettos and practically starving the military.

But he was kind to animals. In fact, he had quite a few stuffed and brought back to his beloved London Zoo.

For any revisionist historian, Raffles’ role in Singapore’s founding is complicated. He was, after all, a white imperialist subjugating an island of indigenous people in service of an empire’s economic interests. But for a revisionist humourist like Neil Humphreys, Raffles is a godsend

About the Author

Neil Humphreys is Singapore’s best-selling author with 21 titles to his name. His works on Singapore include Notes from an Even Smaller Island (2001) to Saving a Sexier Island: Notes from an Old Singapore (2015), which are among the most popular titles in the past decade. He also penned the award-winning Inspector Low crime thriller series—Marina Bay Sins (2014) and Rich Kill Poor Kill (2016), which is being adapted for TV.

Humphreys has written two children’s book series—Abbie Rose and the Magic Suitcase for pre-schoolers and Princess Incognito for middle-grade readers. He also writes extensively for international newspapers, magazines and online publications and remains one of Singapore’s most popular columnists.

And, yes, he played Stamford Raffles in Talking Cock the Movie (2001).

About the Artist

DCM is a veteran cartoonist and illustrator for various publications. His works have also been syndicated and published in the world’s top publications such as Newsweek, Courrier International and the International Herald Tribune. He has done book illustrations for his friend Adeline Foo and for other book writers including Yeow Kai Chai. Doing the illustrations for this e-book written by Neil Humphreys is a novel experience for him.

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ISBN: 978-981-14-2704-6 (e-book)
Published: 2020

Extent: 29



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