SINGAPORE — The Workers' Party (WP) has produced a documentary charting the history of Hougang, the constituency which it has held for 31 years.
The Straits Times reported that trailer for the documentary was released on Thursday (3 November), featuring snippets of interviews with residents, historians and former party chief Low Thia Khiang, who was the long-time Member of Parliament (MP) for Hougang from 1991 to 2011.
WP said it intends to release the documentary for public screenings in the coming months, in commemoration with the party's 65th anniversary.
According to The Straits Times, the party's media head Leon Perera said work on the film started in 2021, when the party realised there is a need for Hougang's story to be told in full.
"Hougang has played a unique part in Singapore’s history," said the MP for Aljunied GRC.
"Not only does its community predate Sir Stamford Raffles’ arrival, but the place also has a distinctive political identity as the longest-held opposition ward in Singapore. However, many Singaporeans do not know much about this rich piece of history.”
Tracing journey of Teochew immigrants to Hougang
WP said in a statement to The Straits Times that the documentary traces the journeys of Teochew immigrants from China to the Riau Islands, onward to Pulau Ubin and eventually Hougang, which is Chinese for "harbour in the back".
While campaigning for the constituency during the general elections, Low gave rallies in the Teochew dialect, amid the nationwide Speak Mandarin Campaign which sought to limit its use. This connected the former WP chief strongly to the residents, as he defeated incumbent People's Action Party MP Tan Guan Seng in the 1991 general election.
The documentary also charts the relocation of its residents from kampungs into Housing Board flats in the early days of independence, as well as the struggles Low faced in the early years as he tried to set up a new town council from scratch.
The film, which features dialogue in English, Mandarin, Teochew and Hokkien features interviews with local and international historians, as well as former Hougang MP Png Eng Huat and current representative Dennis Tan.
WP media team deputy head Louis Chua told The Straits Times that the documentary also seeks to tell Hougang's story from a grassroots perspective, and how its strength forms the social fabric of the country.
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