I read with interest Peter's and other's comments on his photograph of Kallang Airport. He commented: "As SG50 ie. Merdeka draws near there is an over-weaning narrative in our national media that Singapore was just a lousy fishing village until the ruling party took power. On the contrary as I hope this photo partly illustrates, Singapore was already a well-established regional powerhouse in trade, commerce, finance, shipping and culture well before WWII."
I do agree and share his sentiment. I think history is open to all sorts of interpretations by all sorts of people. Old photographs, film footages, oral interviews that has been archived are all great resources for anyone who would want to study history in depth.
I have trawled through many film footages, old photographs and other paraphernalia related to old time Singapore and I have to say that it's hard to categorize Singapore simply as a swampy fishing village.
The Kallang Airport (aerodrome) that was built in 1937 shows that Singapore then was already a thriving city. The land it was built on was a swampy land that was reclaimed. The airport had to close in 1955 because it became too small to support the ever increasing number of people coming to Singapore by air. The Singapore International Airport at Paya Lebar replaced it.
So I am not surprised if anyone gave a big sigh whenever they keep reading or hearing the same old rhetoric that Singapore was a 3rd world swampy fishing village before independence. Get educated!