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Squatters into Citizens


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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements 1. Fire: A Catalyst for Modern Singapore 2. Hopeful Migrants in the Urban Kampongs 3. A 'Black Area' 4. 'A Roar from the Oppressed People' 5. Fires and Experiments with Emergency Housing 6. The Inferno 7. State of Emergency 8. Nine Months 9. Bukit Ho Swee Estate 10. Memory, Myth and Identity Conclusion Bibliography Index

About the Author

Loh Kah Seng is Assistant Professor at the Institute of East Asian Studies, Sogang University. He grew up in one-room HDB rental flats built in Bukit Ho Swee after the fire.


"This excellent book makes a major contribution to our understanding of the social history of post-war/postcolonial Singapore, and more generally to the interdisciplinary field of disaster studies. The author's study of the 1961 Kampong Bukit Ho Swee fire demonstrates the role of this event and its aftermath in establishing Singapore as a high-modernist nation-state. Loh Kah Seng makes extensive use of oral history interviews in this important book, located at the intersection of history, ethnography and sociology, to provide new perspectives on Singapore's housing system - one of the most distinctive in the world." (James Francis Warren, Murdoch University, author of 'Rickshaw Coolie: A People's History of Singapore, 1880 - 1940')

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