Magazine of Raffles Institution
Vol. 32 MAY 1958 No. I
School Notes •• 5
Staff List •• 8
• • 11
Extra-Curricular Activities .. .. .. . • . • • • • • •• • • • • 12
•• •• • 13
Why Cultures Decline .. .. .. .. • • • • • • • • •• •• 16
Sources of Energy .. .. ., .. .. .. .. • • • • . 17 • • 18
.. . • 20
The Call .. ..
.. .. . • 21
Chinese Roadside Drama ... .. .. .. . • • • • • .. .. 22
Sailing A Boat .. .. . • 23
.. .. 26
Childhood Memoirs .. .. .. .. • • . • • • • • .. ..
.. .. .. 27
Supernatural Beliefs Among Malays .. .. .. .. . • .. .. .. 28
.. 29 '
An Appeal to Old Rafflesians .. ., . . 33
The Essentials of Democracy .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 34
Trees .. 41
Twelve Days In Europe .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 44
Rudolf Diesel .. 47
; .. 48
Policemen .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Landmarks In Democracy .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 51
A Rafflesian Notebook 54
Homo Sapiens .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 55
Through the Mist of 70 Years 58
Report on the Fauna of the Universtiy Pond .. .. .. ..
An Apology .. .. .. .. . . .. .. .. ..
Astronomy .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. ..
Hindu Customs and Ceremonies .. . . .. .. .. ..
The Sun Sets ..
Jamboree J. I. M. 1957
Walking .. .. .. .. . . . . .. .. .. ..
Hockey Report 1957
Rugger Report 1957
Cambridge Oversea Higher School Certificate Results 1957
Cambridge Oversea School Certificate Results 1957
Cambridge Oversea School Certificate Results 1957 — Subject Analysis
Acknowledgments .. .. .. .. .. ' .. , . ..
The Rafftesidn has been a record of the activities,
views and prowess of the boys and old boys of the Raffles Insti-
tution for over 70 years. It is a record of development and
achievement, as well as of vicissitudes; of increasingly high
standards in learning and in sport, and of the ever-widening
interests and initiative of the students. It is a record of con-
siderable historic interest and one of which you can be proud —
as I am to have been invited to write this Foreword for your
The year ahead will be a momentous one for Singapore.
The Settlement which was founded by your Founder will be-
come a State with full control over its own internal affairs and,
therefore, fully dependent on its own citizens to provide the
leaders who will govern and the men and women who will carry
out their policies. Singapore has accepted a great responsibility
and it is the duty of all who have their home here to prove to
the World that they are fit and able to exercise it. In this,
Raffles Institution, as Singapore's oldest school with its fine
traditions of integrity, duty, service and liberal thought, will
have an important part to play as a training ground for men of
the calibre needed to tackle the problems of the future.
There is a time of tremendous opportunity before you,
opportunity which will be a challenge to your courage, good
sense and goodwill. It is a prospect in which Raffles would
have revelled as, I am sure, will the scholars of his Institution.
I wish you all good luck and success, both at school and
11. E. THE GOVERNOR.
GOVERNOR OF SINGAPORE.
[Singapore Information Services Photo].
II. E. Sir William Goode.
Sitting L. to R.: Mr. Philip Liau, Miss L. Rajaretnam, Mr. him Teng Law, Miss I. K. Stewart, Mr... Abdul Karim b. Bagoo, Mr. Y.
Ambiavagar (Principal), Mr. Chan Chieu Kiat, Mrs. M. E, Wheat'ley, Mr. R. T. Tambyah, Mr. J. T. Christie, Mr. Seah
Second Row: Messrs. M. K. Sharma, Chia Leong Quee, Tan Kim Chye, 0. Kumarasingham, V. Solomon, W. T. Andrea's, Cheong
Pah Lo, Kwek Seng Chai, Yang Chye Chew, S. Natarajan, Tan Woo Chow.
Third Row Messrs. M. Sankaralingam, J. B. J. Supramaniam, S. S. Sidhu, Henry Yeo Meng Seng, Gulam Mohd. Sadick, W. G.
Fourth Row: Messrs. R. M. de Cruz, E. M. Cherian, C. T. Arasu, K. P. S. Menon, Ng Kim Beng. P. V. Pestana.
Vol. 32 MAY I 958 No. I
President: The Principal. Adviser: Mr. W. T. Andrews. Editors:
Goh Kok Kheng, Joseph Vijeya, Low Lip Ping, Ee Chong Nam. Business
Managers: Lim Chin Jit, Cham Tao Soon, Dorothy Lee, Daisy Song. Typist:
Sheng Wai Nak.
"Here shall Rafflesians prove their utmost skill,
And. here display the true force of their will,
Here shall they join to show all that their school.
Shall glorious in the Straits forever rule."
We are living in a world dominated by science.
Nuclear energy is replacing conventional fuel as power;
developments in rockets and missiles have been rapid and in
addition to its own moon, the earth has had as many as four
satellites encircling it. This is a scientific era and as such our
outlook must be modified to fit into the new pattern of living.
Ideas and attitudes which were once in vogue are now outmoded.
We cannot be conservative and close our eyes to the changes
that are sweeping the world. We must adjust our ways to suit
It is therefore essential that ordinary people living in
this era should not be in the dark about science. We should all
become aware of the implications of science and of the nature
of its influence upon our daily lives.
The kind of education which used to be restricted to the
study of ancient art and the glory of Greece and Rome has thus
become obsolete and is of no practical value. This is also true of
the study of ancient cultures and languages, considering that
the problem before us is that we should learn to understand
our environment and to see the ways in which we can play our
part as citizens.
Furthermore, the scope of modern education lies pro-
perly beyond the walls of classrooms and any restrictive
tendencies should be curbed. Education includes what is
learnt on the playing fields and by way of the extra-mural
activities of the school. Its effects are thus mental as well as
physical, and to emphasize any one aspect only would not be to
avail ourselves of the full benefits that the modern form of
education has to offer.
We are glad to mention that at least in this Institution the
tendency to be onesided has been checked and a proper balance
is being maintained. There is, however, some inclination
at present, owing to the great stress on scholastic ability, for
boys and girls to concentrate on producing only good examina-
tion results during their school careers. They contend that this
kind of education is all that is needed from a practical stand-
point. Fortunately this pernicious bent is steadily being
straightened by greater emphasis being laid upon physical
Nowadays, there are greater facilities in the Institution,
for playing games such as football, basketball, volleyball, net-
ball, cricket, badminton, tennis and table-tennis. This is of
course very encouraging for it is on the playing fields that
sportsmanship, selflessness and teamwork which contribute to
the finer art of living are learnt. We have also seen with in-
terest that it is the students who organise these games; the
teachers only guide them.. This again trains pupils to shoulder
responsibilities, to show initiative and also to assume civic
The ideal education is also designed to foster the
growth of the community spirit in the students. It inspires
the boys with the pride of belonging to the school so that when
they leave the school and step into the larger school of the
World, the same pride will continue in them and the spirit of
the community-above-self will prevail. In short, education aims
at citizenship training. Loyalty to the school can only be
maintained if the students are made to feel that they are inter-
gral parts of the school and this cannot be better achieved than
in school assemblies in which the whole school gathers together
as one entity.
As regards the academic aspect of education, we must
admit that it is no less important than the other aspects. It (en-
courages free thinking and puts in our minds basic geographical,
historical and scientific knowledge of the world which we
ought to know. The sole danger we must guard against is any
tendency to over emphasize this aspect alone and consequently
to interpret education in too narrow a sense. A parrot may be
taught to recite all the letters of the alphabet, but this does not
mean that it is well-educated. Even those who have been to
universities cannot always be considered as truly educated
We know the true implications of education. We know
the essentials. We know also that opportunities and facilities
for obtaining the full benefits of an all-round education are
available, at least in this Institution. Whether or not we have
become fully educated people by the time we leave school
depends on us.
Staff Changes: The Editor -— Young Malayan — Mr.
Mr. CHAN CHTEU KIM, Acting Principal RICHARD SIDNEY.
from 1st May 1957 to 23rcl November, and Pour Burmese Delegates:—
Senior Assistant Master, was transferred Lo
the Defence Branch as from January, 1958. Director of Information —
He is now in the United Kingdom undergoing U. KYAW SOL.
training in connection with his new duties.
Managing Editor of the Burma —
Mr. V. AMBIAVAGAR assumed duty as U. E. MAUNG.
Principal w.e.f. 24.11.57.
Editor in Chief of the Bharsi Daily —
With the beginning of the new year Mr. U. MYA THAN.
G. CATHERASOO left on promotion to post
of Principal, Dunearn Primary School; Messrs Editor of New Light of Burma —
T. J. EVANS, P. M. MENON, H. SUBRA- U. SOE MAUNG.
MANIAM and J. VILLANUEVA left on
transfer to other schools; Miss L. RAJA- A party of 14 Ceylonese Teachers.
RATNAM, Mrs. M. E. WHEATLEY, Messrs
CHEONG PAK LO, HASSAN b. THANI, Guest Speakers:
KWEK SENG CHAI, YANG CHYE CHEW. The school is grateful to the following
C. KUMARASINGAM, and TAN WOO
CHOW joined the staff. public spirited gentlemen for kindly giving of
their valuable time to address various school
At the end of the First Term Mrs. societies:—
WHEATLEY resigned from the service.
Examination Results: Dr. COLLIN
The School Certificate and the Higher Mr. P. AD' ALMEDO
School Certificate Examination results of 1957 Dr. LIM KOK ANN
were very gratifying. 178 candidates took the Mr. DAVID MARSHALL
School Certificate Examination; 176 passed Mr. LEE KUAN YEW
and 2 failed — Mr. GEORGE THOMSON.
85 obtained Grade I, Physical Eduction:
66 obtained Grade II, and This was re-introduced in January for
25 obtained Grade III certificates.
16 candidates took the Higher School Certifi- Forms II & III. On Sports Day all classes
cate Examination and 14 passed. in the two forms will give a display of Physi-
Chinese, Malay and Tamil:
With the posting of teachers of Chinese, Prefects:
At the school assembly held on 27th
Malay and Tamil on the full time staff, it is
now possible to include the teaching of these January, GOH KOK KHENG was appointed
languages in the regular time table. Head Prefect, SHAROM b. AHMAT — Vice
Head Prefect and PHYLLIS MAH PUAY
Distinguished Visitors: TIM — Girls' Representative. The following
Apart from several ministry officials who were also appointed to the prefectorial board:
visited the school on duty, the school had the SOH FOOK THIM
honour of visits from:— NG SENG CHEOW
ATITSANI b. AHMAD KARNI
PREFECTORIAL BOARD, 1958
Sitting L. to R.: Mah Puay Tim, Lim Chin Jit, Motilal Kashyap, Sharom b. Ahmat (Vice-Head Prefect), Mr. Abdul Karim b.
Bagoo (Prefects Master), Mr. V. Ambiaivagar (Principal), Goh Kok Kheng (Head Prefect), Abdul Gharri b. Suratman,
Low Lip Ping, Joseph Vijeya.
Standing L. to R.: Balbir Singh, Ng Shin Chong, Henry Ong, Ee Chong Nam, Cham Tao Soon, Robert Tan, Ng Seng Cheow,
How Yew Chen, Chia Eng Liang, Soh Fook Thim, Athsani b. Ahmad Kami, Lam Guam, Liou, Ibrahim b. Burhan, Gheong
Mr. CHAN CHIEU KIM Mr. Chan Chieu Kim was our Acting Principal for
the greater part of last year. He left the school at the
end of October 1951 on being seconded to the Defence
Branch of the Chief Secretary's Office.
Mr. Chan, an Old Rafflesian, obtained his Diploma
in Arts in 1931. He joined the Singapore Education-
Service in 19S9, and taught successively at Outram School
and Can Eng Seng School. In 1945 he ivas posted to
Serangoon English School where he was a specialist
teacher of English till the end of 1956. In 1951 he teas
appointed as the senior master and the senior English
master at Raffles Institution. In May of the same year
he became the Acting Principal of the school after the
Principal, Mr. John Young had left on retirement.
Mr. Chan Chieu Kim is at present on a Civil Defence
training course in the United, Kingdom. We offer our
sincere thanks for all that he has done for the school and
ice wish him success in his new post.
TAN KENG WEE GOH TIAK THENG NG THIN TENG
8 Distinctions in the School
Winners of Colombo Plan Scholarships.
CHEONG HENG YUEN Miscellaneous:
RICHARD CHIA ENG LIANG A spontaneous collection of $220/- was
JIMMY HOW YEW CHEN.
made by pupils from staff and pupils and
School Assembly: donated to the relief of the victims of the
Regular bi-weekly assembly was also re- KAMPONG KOO CHAI fire.
introduced. Besides the Principal, several Raffles Players put on a very successful
members of the staff and two pupils gave production of Henry V on six nights at the
short talks. Cultural Centre.
Principal: Mr. V. Ambiavagar, Dip. Arts, 17. Mr. Natarajan, S., B.Sc. (Travancore)
18. Mr. Ng Rim Beng, Cert, T.T.C.
1. Mr. Abdul Karim b. Bagoo, B.A. Hons.
(Malaya) 19. Mr. Pestana, P. V., Cert, T.T.C.
2. Mr. Andrews, W. T., M.A. (Cantab) 20. Miss Rajaretnam, L., B.Sc. Hons.
3. Mr. Arasu, C T., Normal, T.T.C.
21. Mr. Sankaralingam, M., B. Sc., B. T.
4. Mr. Brohier, W. G., Cert., T.T.C. (Madras)
5. Mr. Chan Chieu Kiat, Dip. Sc., Raffles 22. Mr. Seah Yun Khong, B.A. Hons.
6. Mr. Cheong Pak Lo, B.Sc. Hons. 23. Mr. Sharma, M. K., Cert, T.T.C.
24. Mr. Sidhu, S. S., Cert, T.T.C.
7. Mr. Cherian, K. M., B.Sc.
(Travancore) 25. Mr. Solomon, V.. B.Sc. (Travancore)
8. Mr. Chia Leong Quee, Cert., T . T . C . 26. Miss Stewart, I. K., M.A.
9. Mr. Christie, J. T., B.A. Hons.
(Malaya) 27. Mr. Supramaniam, J. B. J., Dip. Arts,
10. Mr. de Cruz, R. M., B.A. Hons.
(Malaya) 28. Mr. Tambyah, R. T., B.A.
11. Mr. Gulam Mohd. Sadick, Cert, T.T.C.
29. Mr. Tan Kim Chye, Cert, T . T . C .
12. Mr. Hassan bin Thani, Normal, T.T.C.
30. Mrs. Wheatley, M.E., B.A. Hons.
13. Mr. Kumarasingham, C, Normal, (Bristol)
31. Mr. Yeo Meng Swee, B . A . Hons.
14. Mr. Liau, Philip, B.A. Hons. (Malaya)
32. Mr. Kwek Seng Chai
15. Mr. Lim Teng Law, Dip. Arts,
Raffles College 33. Mr. Yang Chye Chew ;:
34. Mr. Tan Woo Chow
16. Mr. Menon, K. P. S., B.Sc. (Madras)
EXTRA-CURRICULAR DUTIES 1958
Mr. Abdul Karim bin Bagoo
Mr. Lim Teng Law
Mr. Abdul Karim bin Bagoo
Mr. P. V. Pestana
Mr. M. Sankaralingam
Mr. Cheong Pak Lo
Mr. J. B. J. Supramaniam
Mr. C. T. Arasu
Mr. Gulam Mohd. Sadick
Mr. V. Solomon
Mr. J. T. Christie
Mr. W. G. Brohier
Mr. K. P. S. Menon
Mr. Ng Kim Beng
Mr. R. M. de Cruz
Mr. S. Natarajan
Mr. Hassan bin Thani
Mr. C. Kumarasingham
Mr. R. T. Tambyah
Mr. K. M. Cherian
Mr. Chia Leong Quee
Mr. M. K. Sharma
Captain Abdul Karim bin Bagoo
Mr. Gulam Mohd. Sadick
Mr. Ng Kim Beng
Mr. M. Sankaralingam
Mr. M. K. Sharma
Mr. Hassan bin Thani
Mr. C. Kumarasingham
Mr. J. T. Christie
Mr. R. M. de Cruz
Mr. R. T. Tambyah
Mr. S. Natarajan
Mr. W. T. Andrews
Mr. P. V. Pestana
Mr. Ng Kim Beng
Mr. W. T. Andrews
Mr. Seah Yun Khong
Mrs. M. E. Wheatley
Mr. Henry Yeo Meng Swee
Mr. Philip Liau
Mr. P. V. Pestana
Miss I. K. Stewart
Mrs. M. E. Wheatley
Miss L. Rajeretnam
Mr. M. K. Sharma
Mr. K. P. S. Menon
Mr. Ng Kim Peng
Mr. Chan Ohieu Kiat
Mr. Cheong Pak Lo
Miss L. Rajaretnam
Mr. S. S. Sidhu
Mr. Tan Kim Ohye
Mr. J. B. J. Supramaniam
Mr. 0. T. Arasu
Mr. K. P. S. Menon
Mr. S. S: Sidhu
Mr. C. T. Arasu
Mr. W. G. Brohier
Mr. Tan Kim Ohye
Mr. Seah Yun Khong
Mr. Tan Kim Chye
Mr. J. T. Christie
Mr. W. G. Brohier
Mr. P. V. Pestana
Mr. K. M. Cherian
Mr. Henry Yeo Meng Swee
Mr. Cheong Pak Lo
Mr. W. T. Andrews
Mr. Yang Chye Chew
Miss L. Rajaretnam
Mr. Kwek Seng Chai
Mr. Tan Woo Chow
Mr. Chia Leong Quee
Mr. J. B. J. Supramaniam
Mr. Chan Chieu Kiat
Mr. R. M. de Cruz
WHY CULTURES DECLINE
T H E history of the world has seen the This is what happens: when two nations
emergence of hundreds of cultures, but engage each other in battle, one must even-
tually lose and be defeated. What happens
what strikes us is that the majority of these to this defeated nation? The conquering
have declined. Some cultures small and in- nation will sap that nation's wealth, labour
significant (of which we know very little) ; resources and ultimately reduce the economy
others of much grandeur and splendour (like of that nation. Its culture will deteriorate
the ancient civilization of Egypt) ; others of very rapidly: its administration system will
which we know nothing (and may continue to not be under its own control; art and litera-
know nothing for many more years) ; — all ture will not advance; the productivity of the
seem to have completely disappeared from the country will tend to decrease; and in no time,
face of the earth. Why did these cultures the original culture of that defeated nation
decline? Why were these civilizations not will vanish.
able to progress and continue to progress
without eventually having to crumble or be An excellent example of culture deterio-
destroyed ? rating because of war can be found in Rome.
The invasion of Eome by the Barbarians was
By culture, I refer generally to both the perhaps most significant in Rome's decaying
material and non-material, for obviously when process. (Of course, the decaying process had
material culture declines there will be a set in before the Barbarians captured Rome;
corresponding decline in non-material culture. but the culmination of the process was, in
And the decline of non-material culture, of fact, the fall of Rome). In fact we need not
course, suggests that material culture is de- have to go so far back: we have more recent
clining too. examples in World War I and I I . World
War I definitely brought about a change in
It is not an easy task to tabulate or "Western Culture" especially. Of this war,
enumerate all the causes of, or reasons Elmer Davis says "Spiritually and morally,
for, the decline of any culture or cultures. civilization collapsed on August 1, 1914 — the
Usually, there was a complexity of causes, culture which with all its forthcomings did
which in the beginning seemed hypothetical, give more satisfaction to more peoples than
but were later accepted as true when archaeo- any other yet evolved.''* And even though that
logy revealed much evidence in support of culture continues to survive today — what a
them. setback it received! Similarly with World
War I I : even today, certain countries like
In the decline of cultures, the most Germany and Japan, having recovered from
important of all the considerations is the their initial shock, are still in a state of con-
destructive effect of war. This does not mean valescence. Examining Germany more close-
only large-scale wars between two countries ly, we see that the German people cannot boast
or nations. Equally destructive are battles, of their culture now. The main reason is
fights and feuds between different communities that they have four different rulers — America,
different races, different tribes, different reli- France, Britain and Russia. Those Germans
gious sects, etc. The element of war is most living in the American sector definitely have
important in the obliteration of cultures, their culture influenced tremendously by the
because we know that man throughout his Americans. So it is in all the other sectors.
history has never lived peacefully with his
neighbours. And we can well imagine that *Elmer Davis: We Lose the Next War.
the battles from the earliest times to the
present must have destroyed countless num-
bers of cultures, ancient and recent.
The original culture of the Germans (as we plagues and epidemics, floods and drought as
know it before Germany was occupied) is fast in Rome, France and Africa. Sometimes
disappearing, and is being inextricably mixed floods, fires, or earth movements can even
with the various cultures of Germany's con- bring ajbout the death of a culture. The best
querors . example we have is of course Pompeii, where
such a wonderful and flourishing culture was
We have till now only dealt with the just covered up by ashes and lava. Then
effects of war. Turning to other considera- again we may consider the culture of the
tions, we see that sudden and relentlessly- legendary lost continent of Atlantis. His-
imposed restraints can cause the decline and torians throughout many ages have claimed
also the death of the cultures of tribes and that when Atlantis (a continent supposed by
communities. This has been proved by the geographers to have occupied a great part of
ultimate fate of many peoples e.g. the the present Atlantic Ocean) sank almost sud-
Melanesians, Polynesians and Fijians. The denly into the depths of the ocean owing to
usual 'conventional' explanation is that ex- violent earth movements, it also brought a
posure to unaccustomed infections brought by flourishing and advanced civilization to its
white races accounts for the decline of these doom in the subterranean depths. That this
peoples. This, of course, is rather controver- is not a legend has still to be proved.
sial, for there are many other primitive tribes
who have not died off — e.g. the Indians of As mentioned in the beginning, several of
North America, and the Maoris of New the causes put forward to explain the decline
Zealand. Yet it is a fact that these primitive of cultures are purely hypothetical. For
cultures are fast declining too, but owing to instance, a great number of historians and
a different reason. sociologists believe that an important consi-
deration in the decline of a culture lies in the
When more advanced peoples infiltrate fact that however much it progresses, it will
into the land of less advanced peoples (I do reach a state where it can progress no further
not mean as a. result of war, but by coloniza- when the culture becomes static and slowly
tion, settlement, etc.), the culture of the disintegrates. This is true of Egypt, where
natives of the land declines. It is not that the power and prestige of the selfish priest-
the natives die off completely. But either hood (together with the enervating and
these natives are pushed farther and farther paralysing influence of rigorous customs and
into the interior so that they have no religion) created a static tendency which was
opportunity for progress or they are so much a powerful element in the decline of ancient
influenced by the foreigners that they lose Egypt.
their original primitive culture and 'adopt'
the more advanced culture of the foreigners. Finally we have to consider a compara-
The American Indians and the New Zealand tively recent but increasingly important
Maoris are good examples. The settlers in contribution to the decline of culture — the
both these countries were more advanced introduction of ideologies which are not at all
scientifically and intellectually and they very compatible with the progress and development
soon spread out and controlled the land. The of any culture. There are, to date, a few
natives, being primitive, were used as labourers examples, the best of which is Communism.
and had no say in the administration. If they After having taken control of the Russian
continue to be in this position, their culture peoples, it began to dominate China with the
must definitely begin to decline. result that the 'Culture of China' is rapidly
changing its characteristics. Communism, as
Decline in culture can also be brought we generally know it, does not permit freedom
about by natural causes — such as famines, of thought and expression, and this restriction
will surely bring about the decay of art and cracy became inefficient, and Roman political
literature: for art and literature are basically and legal institutions could not supply the
concerned with life and with expressing life. real unity that was needed.
Though material culture might progress, non-
material culture will sink fast. Soon material In the closing centuries of the empire,
culture will not stand on its own and will there was a distinct diminution of loyalty and
decline too. patriotism towards Roman institutions. This
lack of patriotism and lack of public interest
So far we have just discussed the various also undermined the culture. Together with
ways in which decline in culture can be this, we must consider the decline of the
brought about. To have a clearer idea and to peasantry. The Empire was unable to set up
see how the decay actually sets in, we need a strong and prosperous free peasantry. As
to briefly study the decline of one culture. a result the peasantry sank into a condition
One of the best examples is perhaps the an- of complete servility and their morale was
cient Roman Culture. shattered. This led to a great reduction in
the production of the soil.
This decline was a slow and gradual
process spread over many years. Most im- All the above-mentioned factors led to the
portant were the technological causses: the widespread graft and corruption in the Roman
failure of science and technology to keep pace government, making honest administration
with institutional development; the inade- impossible. Even the Emperor took large
quacy of the Roman weapons, implements and portions of the taxes and accepted bribes!
transportation devices for a great empire and Furthermore all these factors sharply reduced
civilization extending over three continents. the more substantial elements of society.
The rudimentary implements and the cumber- Population and culture declined as a result of
some agricultural methods made it impossible the insanitary condition of cities, of famines,
to produce enough food; and furthermore the plagues and epidemics. Eventually there
inadequate transport facilities over land and was a marked reduction in the birth rate and
sea increased the difficulties in bringing food both the upper and lower classes were dying
from abroad. Just as these factors harried out at about the same rate.
the well-being of the people, they were also
fatal to successful administration. The decay was accelerated by racial mix-
ture (the Latin Peoples, after inter-mixing
The fact that the Roman Empire was extensively with foreigners, became unstable
overgrown was also important. Its great size and inferior) ; and of course by constant wars
and diversity of peoples constituted a serious and invasions. The process of decay culmi-
weakness: the empire had grown too vast for nated in the Barbarian invasion of Rome,
the Roman administrative body, and govern- which ushered in the Dark Ages.
ment became too complicated. The economy
of the empire could not support the wasteful 8. Jayakumar,
sand corrupt imperial structure: the bureau-
SOURCES OF ENERGY
T H E most important commodity in this sively as it is inexhaustible and cheap. Hydro-
world is energy, whether it be the energy electricity is cheaply and abundantly produced
in Sweden. Again this source is limited by
we obtain from the food we eat to do work, the presence of water-ways. Places without:
or the energy which enables machines to per- rivers cannot tap this source of energy.
form work. We are living in a highly Though the wind also supplies free energy,
mechanised world in which power is all- and equipment for the utilization of wind-
important. In fact, the development of a power is inexpensive, it is irregular and there-
country is determined by the power available. fore unreliable. Lightning is a potential
source of electrical energy, about which man
For centuries power has been obtained as yet knows little because it is not, always
mainly from the fossil fuels, coal and oil, and available. Possibilities of its usa as power in
each year sees their increasing consumption. industries are thus limited though we cannot
Man has made use of such large quantities of be certain that this source of power is beyond
these that the reserves of these fuels have now man's muster.
decreased considerably. It is speculated that
it will not be many years from now before Scientists have probed into the deepest
effects of the shortage of these fuels for power precincts of the atom and they have
will be felt. When this happens the activities found that these small particles possess vast
of this civilization will come almost to a stand- amounts of energy. The atom consists of a
still. Fortunately, there are other possible nucleus of neutrons and protons with tiny
sources of energy which may be utilized. Man particles, called electrons, revolving round it.
has started to explore these possibilities and To bind all these particles toge-her, a tremen-
to search for a perfect source of energy which dous amount of energy is expended, the more
may prove high-yielding, cheap and yet inex- their number the greater the energy needed.
haustible. So when the atom is split, this energy is re-
leased in the form of heat. This is the basic
One great source of energy is the sun. principle of reactions that are taking place in
In every second it converts tons of its mass the huge atomic power-stations of the world.
into energy which is radiated into space. The The energy in the form of heat is used for
earth, which is nearly eight; light-minutes away, generating steam which in turn drives the
receives only a minute fraction of this radiant turbines and ultimately the dynamos. Just
energy. What with its atmosphere absorbing how tremendous the energy obtained from this
large quantities of it, the amount that reaches source is can be illustrated by the fact that
the earth is only a few billionths of that pro- one ton of uranium yields energy equivalent
duced by that huge, dazzling body. Research to that supplied by two million tons of coal.
in this field is being carried on and many But just as coal is plentiful in quantity but
devices utilizing solar energy have been in- poor in energy potential, atomic 'fuels' are
vented for cooking, heating, a.nd distilling rich in energy potential but limited in quan-
water for drinking. However, this energy is tity. The future of atomic energy thus
insufficient for large-scale industrial employ- depends on the quantity of fissionable radio-
ment. Besides, it is not available at night. active elements obtainable. Nevertheless it
Man cannot depend entirely on solar energy to has proved a better source of power than coal
run his machines and power his factories. and oil.
Other possible sources of energy are Two new sources of energy have been dis-
running-water, wind, lightning, and volcanic covered but processes for their successful
activity. The first is being exploited exten-
tapping are still in their early experimental speeds, possess enormous kinetic energy which
stages. The first is sea-water. Energy from can be converted into other forms of energy.
this source is developed by the 'Zeta' in The thick atmosphere and dust particles
Britain. In this the nuclei of heavy hydrogen, allow only a small proportion of the particles
derived from "heavy water", a. pound of which to reach the surface of the earth so that this
occurs in every five thousand pounds of water, energy can only be tapped from the upper
are fused, giving temperatures of up to a few layers of the atmosphere about which little
million degrees centigrade. The difficulty is known. The satellites projected into space
facing scientists concerns the effective control have revealed important facts concerning
of the fission and the vast quantity of energy these cosmic rays in space, but more data is
released. Once this difficulty has been over- required before any substantial project can be
come, man will be assured of an inexhaustible carried out. No one has visualized a practical
supply of energy, and sea-water will most cosmic power plant, but it is a possibility of
probably replace petroleum as a source of the future.
power. Much progress has been made recently
and it has been estimated that in twenty or Though the supply of coal and petroleum,
thirty years, this new source of power will be once the only source of energy, has dwindled,
put to large-scale commercial application. there are other sources from which power can
be obtained. Thus civilization need not suffer
Research has also been made on cosmic as a result of this shortage of conventional
rays and the possibilities of using cosmic fuel, which has challenged mankind to get
energy. The Earth is constantly being bom- power from elsewhere. Other sources of
barded by tiny, swift-moving particles of power, if properly mastered, can yield greater
protons, the nuclei of the element Helium amounts of energy than coal and petroleum.
and other heavier elements from outer space
and the sun. These, moving with great Ismail bin Rashid,
The racy sea-breeze blows and the muffled
Sea-waves roar as they beat against the shore;
Foamy crests rise and fall, only to rise and
Fall again in the bottle-green sea;
The little steamer waits at the quay
For youth to obey its call to purple
Lands beyond where he will break his shackles
And his Spirit will romp the wide world.
hum Jan Sing,
CHINESE ROADSIDE DRAMA
T H E music starts. It grows louder and termed witch-doctors and shamans. Slowly
louder until it becomes a cacophony of the plays became more integrated with im-
perial ritual and thus became more elaborate.
clattering gongs and blaring trumpets. The Then, military plays flourished. Today, both
audience murmurs. The show is about to mythological and military plays are performed.
begin. As the curtain rises, we see more and Military plays may be said to be survivals of
more of the scene — a beautiful grassland ancient military ceremonies or customs.
with trees and a river! running through During the Chow Dynasty (1122-314 B . C . )
it. We are now in ancient China. Such is dance drama was already developed. In the
the marvel, the beauty and the art of the Han Dynasty (206 B . C . ) there were masques
Chinese wayang. with actors dressing up as gods or animals.
To-day's wayang originated from a pecu- At this time also, there was a tendency
liar form of drama. Two thousand years ago, towards fantastic mythological plays. The
the Chinese entertained themselves with dra- conquests of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.)
matics. Their form resembled the "shadow influenced the wayang considerably. The
play". Figures of leather were projected on plays became more sophisticated and satirical
a screen by means of a fire light. This form dialogue was introduced. Thus by the end of
of drama underwent much changes until the the Tang Dynasty, there were three main types
modern version materialized. of plays: the military heroics; the legendary
plays; and the civilian plays (comedies and
A wayang in the old days was a great and satires on social conditions).
joyous occasion for the Chinese community.
Urban folks and rural peasants celebrated the In the Yuan Dynasty, the Mongols had a
Festivals of the Gods and the coming of Spring military government with the result that
by setting up these wayangs. Upon such an scholars were expelled from government jobs.
occasion, the toiling farmer dropped his toois These unfortunates were left without work.
and led his gay children to join the host of So they became playwrights and this Dynasty
chattering women, noisy pedlars, hawkers, saw the birth of numerous plays. The Ming
plump and barrel-waisted businessmen, and Dynasty, famous for its arts, saw the Wayang
scantily clad labourers at the wayang. rise to new heights. Over six hundred plays
Everyone looked forward to such a time. from this Dynasty are known but instead of
That popularized the wayang. Theatres were the Shaksperian brevity of Yuan Dynasty
erected in the bigger towns, and performances plays, the Ming playwrights wrote plays of
were staged regularly. More playwrights over twenty acts. Then in the Ching Dynasty
appeared and they wrote with great zeal and (1644-1911), the tendency was towards his-
fervour. Historical events, romances, feats torical tragedies. The chief development of
of glory and imaginative tales were modified this Dynasty was the dramatizing of famous
and put on the stage. The early plays were novels like "Three Kingdoms" and "The Dream
serious but later became humorous a,s the of the Red Chamber". From the Ching
audience would have laughter and fun. Dynasty, until recently, women were banned
from the Chinese stage.
But this development was influenced by
political, historical and cultural factors. Two Thus did the Chinese wayang develop.
thousand years before Christ, the wayang was
more or less a performance of religious rites. Nowadays, these stage acts are usually
The actors were supposed to have had super- hired by temples and villages. On the first
natural powers and could invoke benign day, some actors and actresses representing the
spiritual influences for favours. These are now
entire cast will come down from the stage to golden robe and a head-dress with a fringe on
pray to the gods, either in the temple or at the top. The prince has his hair tied up in
a make-shift altar erected by those who have a bob on the top of the head and wears a head-
hired them. dress with two long feathers drooping down
his back. The ministers wear long robes with
Some performers have specific parts. For a hoop round their body and hats which have
example an actress may specialise in playing two wings at the sides. Warriors have
sad parts, an actor may always adopt the role flags and long feathers attached to their backs
of comedian, and another performer may for- and they usually carry swords. The weapons
ever be cast as a wicked character, full of are old-fashioned, namely spears, clubs, axes,
schemes and plots. In an act, there are iron rods and chains. The horses are repre-
usually two opposing sides: the wicked and sented by the wooden rod with fringes on one
the good. The ministers of the wicked side side. The chariots are indicated by two pieces
usually marry their daughters to the emperor of cloth, painted with wheels and sewn to
in order to gain favour and to plan a downfall wooden sticks. The chariot "moves" when
of the innocent ministers and their families. the man holding these move them. To show
In one play, the influence of the emperor's that the spirits of the winds are causing
wicked wife may be so great that the good a tempest, several stage hands wave black
ministers and their families are destroyed. banners. White banners indicate the river or
But whatever part a performer may play, he sea into which the hero has thrown himself.
always wears a mask or uses make-up. A red and blue beard indicates treason. Old
age is indicated by a black and white one.
The colour and design of these forms of Every movement or speech is accompanied by
make-up have great significance. A red one a melody supplied by the orchestra.
implies courage. Roughness and violence are
represented by black. Blue represents cruelty. The orchestra consists of two sections, the
But a mixture of gay colours like red, blue military and the civil sections, one involving
and green is only for attractiveness. So much the use of drums and gongs, and the other of
make-up is used that an actress may seem ex- strings and woodwind instruments. There
tremely beautiful on the stage whereas she is are four to eight musicians and they do not
in actual fact as ngly as a hag. In sad scenes have a conductor. Instead they base their
she puts a sort of liniment on her face to show music on a drummer. However, a thing pecu-
that she has been crying. Sometimes this liar about them is that they walk about the
liniment is painful and may cause genuine stage at random during a play: they may even
tears. If she is good and acts her part well, stop playing in order to have a "puff" at their
she may be able to stir the sympathetic feel- pipes. Therefore the audience usually ignores
ings of her audience and even men may shed them.
tears at such a tender and touching scene.
Their instruments create strange sound
The actresses wear wigs which are abun- effects. The "Erh-Hu" is played during a
dantly studded with imitation jewellery. The tender scene. This is a two-stringed violin.
costumes depict ancient modes of dress. The It is made from a bamboo knot covered with
women wear long and loose clothes, and the the skin of a snake.' The "Sona" (Chinese
men adorn long flowing robes with high-soled oboe) accompanies attacks and invasions.
shoes. The costumes of maidens and em- This pipe has a little reed mouth piece. The
perors are very beautifully made. They are "Cheng" is like a harmonica but it is far
sewn with silver and gold thread in addition larger. It is played by alternately inhaling
to being studded with the sparkling imitation and blowing. But it is a dangerous instru-
jewellery. The emperor usually wears a ment causing inflammation of the lungs so
that the players are short-lived. Another After having been chosen, they are given their
popular instrument is the "P'i-p'a". This is parts to read and the memorising of these
a four-stringed guitar, said to have had its takes a long time. The main players are well-
origin in the second century A . D . "The San treated but the supporting cast, usually con-
Hsien" is a three-stringed guitar. Besides sisting of small boys and girls, are sometimes
these there are gongs, drums and cymbals. bullied by the man in charge of rehearsals.
Nowadays only one drum is played in the type They are often bruised by beatings. In many
of dramas portrayed here. instances their parents have kept quiet for fear
that they might be retrenched. However,
But how does the company obtain enough some mothers have already reported such cases
money to maintain these musicians as well as to officials of the Labour Department. The
make the expensive costumes and scenes? company would be fined if the allegations
were true. These fines have lately lessened
From an estimate of the expenditure we brutalities during rehearsals.
will arrive at the answer. First, as regards
the salaries of the employees: the majority Great skill and perfect timing is required
receive about a hundred dollars a month; some for performing those scenes in which the skill
receive much less, while others obtain much of using weapons is to be depicted. Skill is
more than a hundred and fifty. Then there needed to handle the heavy weapons and good
is the expense of costumes, make-up and timing is necessary in order to avoid serious
many necessary items of equipment. Finally, injuries to legs or hands from the sharp blades.
government tax has to be met. To cope with
all these expenses, the company tries to put So that is the story of the Chinese wayang.
up as many performances as possible. During We are now back in the audience, entranced
the seventh and twelfth months in the Chinese by the movements of two lovers on the stage.
calendar, the company is invited to perform at At last the man laughs. The girl laughs, too,
roadsides, near temples. An able company but behind her sleeve. They begin to sing.
under such circumstances may reap from five They prolong the last word and then turn to
to six hundred dollars in a single day. A less face us before disappearing amidst the deafen-
capable company may obtain about three ing music of the orchestra.
hundred. During periods when street-side
drama is not in demand, the company stages The curtain comes down. The show is
plays in a theatre. The profit here is not so over.
good but it does help the company to make
ends meet. Tun Lian Teck,
Ng Khoon Hwa,
Now to treat a less pleasant aspect of Chng Kee Meng,
the Chinese wayang. A Chinese play takes a Lee Tsu Hong,
long time to rehearse, but once it is ready the
company shows it very often. There is great Form Five.
difficulty in picking the appropriate players.
SAILING A BOAT
SAILING, though a pleasant sport nowadays, perienced the dangers of sailing. On a
is very dangerous if the persons sailing Tuesday, at half-past one in the afternoon,
fifteen of us under Petty Officer Gilchrist left
are not agile in thought and action. The the Royal Malayan Naval Barracks for the
situation is most exciting when one is 'close- Rotterdam Jetty beside which was anchored
hauled', that is, when the boat is going against, H.M.M.S. 'Malaya'. From the H.M.M.S.
the direction of the wind, but the fastest 'Malaya' we embarked on a cutter which had
sailing is done when the boat is 'reaching', been rigged for us. We were towed out to
that is, having the wind from one quarter. sea, away from the ship, by a motor boat.
The difficulty comes when one has to tack,
for one has to change one's tack constantly When we set sail, the sky was cloudy and
as a result of being pushed out of one's course the sound of thunder could be heard occa-
by the wind. sionally. It was quite dark, but we did not
expect a thunderstorm since the sun was still
Though dangerous, sailing always has shining. I was detailed to take charge of
something new to offer if one has the time to the main sheets.
participate in it. There are three main divi-
sions of sailing: 'running', or sailing before As the wind was quite strong and we
the wind; 'reaching' or sailing with the wind were 'reaching,' we sailed on the water at a
on the beam; and sailing 'close-hauled', or great speed. Several times we changed course
against the direction of the wind. When and tried every division of sailing. We were
'running' the sensation of sailing at speed is enjoying every minute of the time when, after
diminished, as a result of which energetic we had been out for an hour, rain suddenly
youths shun conditions of the weather began to fall in torrents. A strong wind blew
favouring this division. On the other hand, from the south-eastern quarter of our stern
those who love the comparative silence and and the boat suddenly lurched to the port side
restfulness of sailing always go out on a and shot forward. The orders, "Brail main
placid, sunny day, for this peaceful atmosphere sails. Let fly fore-sheets and lower all sails"
is best produced by 'running' in pleasant were heard dimly amidst the roar of waves.
weather conditions. Those who want excite- Everyone was near to panic and we grabbed
ment prefer sailing 'close-hauled'. This type our life belts first before proceeding to obey
of sailing is most suited to racing. Sailing the orders. However, we found that the main
'close-hauled,' which like hunting presents a sail had already been brailed and that the
challenge to the hunter and hunted, is most fore-sheets were free, the fore-sail having been
exciting because it is very dangerous and tests lowered. Yet the danger was not over for
one's ability to move fast. As it is impos- the main sail, though brailed, had not been
sible to sail directly against the wind, lowered. A cadet, who had been near the
'zigzagging' or 'tacking' is necessary and the main shroud, had, while untying it, created
changing of tacks must be accomplished fast such confusion that it could not be taken
or one is liable to find oneself out of one's down. The danger of capsizing was, however,
intended course. Thus the different kinds of averted by the prompt action of a third re-
sailing arouse different emotions in the parti- gular naval who instantly cut the main shroud.
It was at the Eoyal Malayan Naval The main sail fell down with a thud. If
Barracks at the Naval Base, during a Sea the three regular naval ratings had not imme-
Cadet Corps camp held in the August diately carried out the orders while we cadets
holidays of last year, that I actually ex- were grabbing for our life-belts, then the boat
would certainly have capsized and some of us sailing, but now the incident seems merely an
might perhaps have been drowned. adventure. Two days later we went out sail-
ing again with an expectancy that new thrills
Soaked to the skin, and shivering a little were in store.
with cold, we had to row part of the way back.
Fortunately we were towed the rest of the Laikh Raj,
way back by a motorboat. This was the first Form Four.
time that I had encountered the dangers of
When thoughts turn to
Those happy days
When all Nature smiled at me,
When worry was
A stranger, I recollect
The bliss of Childhood.
All things looked
So kind and friendly,
An innocent mind
With a deep curiosity:
Friends were many
Dogs, cats, butterflies and birds!
How I loved them then.
There were times
I roamed on the banks of crystal rivulets,
My mind lost in Nature's nursery
And enthralled by Nature's songs.
Oft-times spiders battled on my palms,
Grasshoppers were trapped in bottles.
How stern cruelty!
Now my mind is strained by labour and age.
When time is crammed
I gaze back in ecstasy
At the joyous, innocent childhood.
SUPERNATURAL BELIEFS AMONG MALAYS
A SMALL, oval fireball sweeps across the some of the oozing blood into the bottle.
dark night sky, a brilliant orb amidst the This is devoured by whatever spirit has
grown within the bottle. Day after day
stars. It,darts through the tranquil trees the witch-doctor "feeds" his pet by the same
and finally plunges onto the roof of a solitary process. When it has matured enough to
house. Then it disappears. Instantaneously serve his purpose, a prospective client, smart-
a hoarse moan drifts from the house, now ing with jealousy and the desire for revenge,
rising, now falling. It stops, then follow may enter the witch-doctor's hut. Money
hoarse coughs, vomiting sounds, and yet more changes hands. The "pet" is instructed by
racking coughs. The process continues, each means of speaking to it slowly and drowsily.
convulsive moan, each cough a desperate It is then released. It flits away. Within a
attempt to rid the body of the pain gripping few minutes it has already lodged itself in the
it. Finally the moaning wavers, never to be body of its victim, and begins to create havoc.
resumed. Sobs and hysterical cries rend the The victim lapses into a state of hysteria or
air. Another soul has been despatched by the unconsciousness, tearing and biting his clothes
spirit of human jealousy and revenge. into shreds and sometimes turning upon other
people with unusual strength. A medicine-
This story illustrates one of the common man is summoned. Amidst the thick acrid
beliefs still predominant among the Malays smell of incense, he mutters some words to
today. A Malay believes that to cause the the victim, crushing a small red onion and
death of his enemies, all he has to do is to pepper in his fingers. Thereupon he applies
visit a witch-doctor and to leave the rest to the medicaments he has been chewing to the
him. The witch-doctor is said to possess victim's pale, tense face and, looking calm and
supernatural powers to compel evil spirits and composed, continues crushing the onion. If
ghosts to obey him. All he does in this case the treatment "suits" the victim, the spirit
is to summon one of his many spiritual shouts, "Let me go! I've had enough. I want
servants to instal the spirit inside an egg to go home!" To this the medicine-man will
pricked with needles and to direct ,it towards reply, "I will let you go if you tell me who
the victim's house. Then follows its weird seint you here, and why." Usually from the
journey overhead and the fatal descent upon victim's month names and addresses are
the chosen victim. If, however, the target blurted. Sometimes however the spirit re-
happens to be in a local cinema enjoying a mains doggedly silent.
film or .in any other place except home, then
some other person in the house must suffer If the "pet" has revealed its master and
instead. Nevertheless once this fiery ball is is released, the victim recovers but still com-
spotted and pointed at, it is as good as use- plains of fatigue and of pain racking his body.
less for purposes of that particular assignment, If it stubbornly remains in the victim's body,
for it will disintegrate. only death terminates the victim's misery.
There is nothing the medicine-man can do. In
Another belief accepted by many Malays, other words, a cowardly "pet" means certain
also involves death for a victim. The witch- safety, but a stubborn one, sure death.
doctor places a few drops of blood from a
murdered person in a small closed bottle. Then there is the redoubtable "pontianak".
Then he chants to it verses learnt from his exhilaratingly beautiful, attractive and weird
predecessors for the period of a week or two. — the creature that roams secluded places and
The time will come when he will hear a noise ranges from tree to tree in the dead stillness
like the chirping of a bird coming from the of night, her shrill shrieks ringing and pulsat-
bottle. He next pricks his finger and presses
ing. She is said to originate from the soul The next superstition on our list concerns
of a, woman who has died during childbirth. the activities of a vampire manifesting itself
She lives in large old trees with an exuberant as a human head with flowing entrails. This
growth of leaves, and lurks amongst tomb- creature, emanating an uncanny light, flies
stones. There are many stories of stragglers through the night and kills her victims by
meeting with such lovely creatures, seemingly sucking their blood. It is said that if the
helpless and distressed. One such typical blood and the gastric juices that drip from
yarn concerns a trisha-puller who was her intestines fall on a person, the latter will
pedalling home some time about midnight. suddenly fall ill and waste to death.
The atmosphere was unpleasantly still, silent
and clammy. Nevertheless he bent low and Now about ghosts. Ghosts hold a strong
pressed on indifferently. Suddenly he heard influence over the lives of many superstitious
a soft melodious voice flooding the atmosphere. Malays. The Malays fear them today as they
It was calling him. He turned around and have feared them in the past. These ghosts
saw a lovely lady, lovely in every sense of the can take many forms and sometimes an old
word, scintillating, a nucleus of brilliance. tree stump is regarded as being haunted.
Everything was white and pure about her — According to legend, ghosts should not be dis-
her radiant face, her long flowing snowy-white turbed and to cross the path of a ghost will
robes, her beautiful slender arms clutching result in violent and inevitably fatal sickness.
her baby against the folds of her attire. She As a result many cases of sickness are attri-
unfolded a woeful story, and having given him buted to offences caused to powerful ghosts.
confidence with an encouraging smile, boarded Old people believe that ghosts can be seen
the conveyance. He pedalled as he had never during twilight if the eyes are rubbed with
pedalled before. Then she asked him to the blood of a white fowl mixed with charcoal.
stop, left her baby on the seat and glided away
towards a dark group of houses, promising him One such ghost is believed to have a dog's
that she would return again. So he waited head and a human body, and to be able only
and waited. One hour passed, then another, to hop upwards. One day a peasant and his,
then another. He grew impatient and a sud- son set off to hunt for deer, taking with them
den wave of fear gripped him. He peered at a parang and a hunting dog. When they
the baby and found himself gazing straight became exhausted they rested on a rock.
at a gravestone! He stayed long enough to Suddenly a leech bit the peasant's foot. He
hurl wretched the thing away. Then he chopped the leech in two with his parang.
bolted. But the two pieces joined together again.
He cut it in two again. Again it reunited.
This creature preys especially on pregnant Then he instructed his son to behead him and
women. One night it may descend on a lonely to join his head to his body by means of the
house and next morning a housewife may be leech's blood. The son obeyed, but unfortu-
found sprawling on the floor. Not a drop of nately the head rolled away, fell into a
blood may remain in her cold, blue body. All hole and was lost. The son became frantic,
of it has been sucked by the vampire. and not knowing what to do, he cut. off the
dog's head. After anointing it with the
Sometimes we come across big trees with leech's blood he placed it. on his father's neck.
large iron nails sticking out of their trunks. The peasant came to life and felt that his
This is one way to rid trees of the prowling neck was stiff. The boy related the story and
creature. If one meets the "pontianak", all was told to return home. Three nights later
one has to do is to plunge a large nail, if one when the man himself returned home, his wife
has it, into the back of her neck. She then drove him away. So from then onwards he
becomes an ordinary woman.
remained in the depths of the jungle. That is widely believed that a medicine-man who
is how this ghost originated. can, contact this mischievious ghost can recover
valuables lost in the sea.
There are also ghosts in the sea. One is
feared by fishermen, for it is believed to be Many ghosts prefer to frequent homes and
capable of capsizing boats. At night it re- villages than to inhabit the watery or jungle
sembles a fire-fly bobbing up and down. All atmosphere, and choose to kill rather than to
sea ghosts are believed to haunt and frighten indulge in mischief.
people who go to sea. Sometimes they appear
These are some of the chief superstitions
ship with lights, before suddenly dis- that govern the spiritual world of the Malays.
Ismail bin Abdul Rasid,
Just as a river is related to the sea, the Heng Gek Hong,
river ghost is believed to be related to the sea
ghost. He catches the legs of swimmers and Form Five.
drags them down to their watery graves. It
AN APPEAL TO OLD RAFFLESIANS
We appeal to old Rafflesians to contribute
any of the following volumes of THE
RAFFLESIAN which are missing from the
set we already have.
WINNERS OF ALGER CUP.
INTER-SCHOOL CADET CORPS BREN SHOOT
Queen's Scout Queen's Scout
Soh Fook Thim. Tan Cheng Guan.
Sighting for landmarks. Signalling Tower under construction.
Hiking through jungle. Frying eggs on banana leaves:
THE ESSENTIALS OF DEMOCRACY
A SOCIETY will be strong and soundly es- the country, it is the duty of every citizen
tablished if the individuals who make up to vote wisely and to vote according to his
that society are persons of high moral fibre.
Without integrity, the tone of public life will Somebody once said that all laws are bad
be low. In a democratic society more than because they restrict the freedom of the indi-
in any other society, integrity is necessary vidual. But on the other hand, total freedom
because the imperfections of a democracy make will result in anarchy. If society is to sur-
it the hardest form of government to practise. vive, it is inevitable that there should be some
To make a success of democracy requires laws to regulate individual actions. However,
honesty, courage, tolerance and patience. laws should be kept to the minimum. In
But, more than any other quality, integrity formulating a law, this principle should guide:
of the individual is the fabric which binds that a law is undesirable unless the benefits
society together. it confers on the individual far outweight the
curtailments of his rights. If possible, a law
The second essential of democracy is an should offer sufficient protection to the indi-
honest and incorruptible Civil Service. Those vidual and at the same time not endanger the
in the Civil Service need not necessarily be interests of society. If a law is unsatisfactory,
high intellectuals but it is important that they the citizens should not ignore or break it, but
be honest. They should be prepared to devote should seek to abolish it through constitu-
themselves body and soul to their calling. tional means. It must be emphasized that
They should never measure the value of their any disrespect towards the law, even towards
work in terms of renumeration but in terms of an unpopular law, will undermine the struc-
the good they can render to the people. ture of any society.
Nothing does more credit to a country than
an incorruptible Civil Service and nothing is Finally, there should be freedom of ex-
more shameful than a graft-ridden one. pression. The vigour of a country is arrested
if free speech is not allowed. The press should
The third essential of a democracy is a be always granted the liberty to report the
judiciary independent of political and govern- truth, even if unpleasant; but the press should
mental control. If this condition were absent, not abuse this freedom and distort facts. Of
it is impossible to administer justice without course, it may pass fair criticism but it must
any prejudice. An impartial judiciary is the not forget that "Facts are sacred; comment:
pillar of any democracy. is free." The press should remember that any
attempt to guide or mould public opinion is
There is a vital need for honest and sin- a task not to be undertaken without a
cere political parties which will serve the sense of responsibility and sincerity. In
country unselfishly and devotedly. Those order to maintain impartiality, the press
whose minds dwell only on the spoils obtain- should be independent of the government and
able in the political arena will not make good of political parties.
representatives of the people. Similarly,
those whose loyalties are given to foreign lands Based on a talk on the same theme given
will be unsuitable and even dangerous if they by Mr. David Marshall to the Historical
are elected into power. Considering the im- Society of Raffles Institution.
portance of choosing the right people to govern
T R E E S have been the contemporaries of manufactured from the wood-pulp.
mankind since the creation of the world.
Coal, which is derived from dead plant
We know this, not only by the historical matter subjected to heat and pressure, has
evidences brought down through the genera- been the source of many important industries
tions, but also by biological and natural in the world. We know the myriad uses of
evidences. The presence of coal in the earth coal as a fuel for the engines of the railway
shows that trees have been existing for trains, for example, or for furnaces in a
millions of years; the primitive implements factory. During the Industrial Revolution in
made mainly from stone and wood show the Europe, coal was in such great demand that
presence of trees so far back. most of the coal supplies were exhausted and
artificial means of making coal were sought.
; In prehistoric times trees were a major Thus coal was, and still is, a boon to indus-
source of help to man. He ate their fruits trial development.
and he relaxed on their branches. As time
went on Man found more uses for trees: he Soil erosion is checked by the presence of
built houses, made bridges, fences and even trees. Their roots hold together the soil
boats. particles, so that the soil is fairly well
protected from the agents of erosion.
Today trees are indispensable to Man,
especially in the industrial world. A major But the presence of extensive forests of
part of Man's domestic luxuries such as pieces trees forms a hindrance rather than a help to
of furniture, radios, and television sets utilize the opening up of any land. Consider the
wood. The chief reason for this is that wood Amazon and Congo Basins. The forests are
is abundant and consequently cheap. so dense that land-development is quite im
possible. Dense forests are the haunt of wild
Trees have provided jobs for many, as in beasts, reptiles and insects. Disease is rife
the lumber industry which is present in many in these areas and thousands of tribesmen
parts of the world. Thousands are engaged perish from malaria and other plagues.
in the industry — the lumberjacks, the saw
mill workers, those who tug the wood to the Yet trees on the whole are a blessing
rivers, the importers and exporters of the rather than a nuisance to Man. Trees are
wood, and those employed in working the indispensable since most of the objects used
imported wood into the required materials. by Man, from violins to walking-sticks, are
made of wood. Moreover trees have often
The trees, especially in countries which been an inspiration to poets and naturalists.
enjoy a Mediterranean type of climate, are Now, even as I look at the wooden desk at
famous for their luscious fruits. Very many which I have been writing, I am reminded of
people are engaged in the fruit industry from the vast part which trees have always played
the farmer to the street hawker. in Man's life.
Many light industries depend upon trees. Joseph Linus,
There is the paper industry, since paper is Form Five.
TWELVE DAYS IN EUROPE
IT was half-past eight on the morning of the and most beautiful squares in the world. Its
26th August 1957. The Singapore Boy fountains and two museums, built in the style
of Greek temples, and a 3,300 year-old Egyp-
Scouts Contingent was lined up along the tian obelisk make it an impressive sight. At
Customs Counter at New Haven awaiting night this place is like a fairy land, with its
luggage clearance before boarding the ferry to beautifully carved fountains brilliantly illu-
France. The officer in charge saw our minated.
shoulder-tabs with 'SINGAPORE' sewn on it,
and with a "Pleasant journey, chaps", beckon- Our next visit was to the 'Eiffel Tower',
ed us towards the ferry. the symbol of Paris. We went right to the
very top and from there, Paris was ours at a
The crossing of the Channel was terrible; glance. Below us was the Seine with its
the ferry ploughed up and down through the numerous bridges, winding its sinuous path
waves and many people who were sea-sick through the city; the 'Palais de Chaillot' which
vomited. Fortunately, we were 'seasoned', as houses an immense theatre and four museums;
we had already experienced such rough sailing and in the distance the 'Arc de Triomphe', with
when we crossed the Indian Ocean on our way straight avenues converging right up to it.
to the Jamboree in England. After four This tower weighs 7,000 tons and is 984 feel
hours, the port of St. Dieppe came into view. high. Its 12,000 separate parts are held
We disembarked and boarded a special boat- together by 21/2 million rivets. We carved
train which took us to our first destination — our names at the top of the tower — in case
Paris. we should return there again.
The journey through Northern France was The 'Arc de Triomphe' looks like a
a pleasant one — a relief after the rough sea massive concrete castle , gate with pictures
trip. The countryside was beautiful; with symbolising the Battle of France engraved on
green hills and vine-covered fields slipping it. At the entrance, under a simple flagstone
past us as the train nosed its way south-east- lies the 'Unknown Soldier' where a perpetual
wards. The 'Eiffel Tower' came in sight — a flame is kept lit. From the top, we could see
blurred but unmistakable shadow in the dis- twelve wide avenues converging at the Arc.
tant mist. The scene closely resembled a forming a star.
painting I have seen of Paris at dawn. The
train thundered across the River Seine and Paris is a nocturnal city. Places like
drew up at a very big railway station. We the 'Notre Dame', the 'Champs-Elysees' and
were met by a Scout Commissioner who took 'Mont Parnasse' are famous night spots.
our luggage to the hostel in advance. We 'Notre Dame' is the famous Cathedral where
caught a Metro (an underground electric ancient royal marriages, and the Coronation
train) to the 'Place de La Concorde' from of Napoleon took place. Not far from it is
where we made our way to the 'Rue de Ver- the Luxembourg Gardens, and the Medicis'
sailles'. Here we stayed for five days at the Fountain where young lovers swear eternal
Scout Hostel. love to each other. On the other side of the
garden is 'Mont Parnasse'. The 'Champs-
During the course of our stay in Paris, Elysees', with its numerous beautiful terrace-
we visited the 'Eiffel Tower', 'Notre Dame', cafes and multicoloured parasols, indicate the
'Arc de Triomphe', 'Champs-Elysees' and many favourite habit of Parisians — to relax in the
other interesting places. To start with, the shade of the parasols, sipping wine at their
'Place de La Concorde' is one of the largest leisure and watching people passing by.
Armed with only four French words The places of interest here are the 'Grand
('Parlez vous francais?' and 'oui'), we went Duchers', the resident of the Duke of Luxem-
into a departmental store with the intention bourg; the 'Luxembourg Castle,' an historic
of buying some perfume to take home. We building which extends halfway across a deep
were dazed by the innumerable kinds of scen'.s, valley to the edge of a cliff; and the 'Grand
and ever more go by the persistent gibbering Luxembourg Fair' which was in progress.
of the pretty salesgirls who rattled off their Things here are quite cheap, compared with
French with such speed that we did not prices in U.K. or Paris, especially as regards
know whether to run away or stay. They metal goods. What amused me most were
started squirting all kinds of scents on the Luxembourg loaves, which, unlike French
our hands, obviously asking us which one we loaves, are of gigantic dimensions, caterpillar
liked best. We sniffed and shook our heads shaped and very big in circumference.
•— their efforts had been in vain for all these
so called 'Hifi Cosmetic Scents' smelt alike! The most memorable event during our
Eventually we each bought a big bottle of Eau- stay was when some of our Scouts helped to
de-Cologne . put out a building fire during their sight-seeing
tour. The next day, this incident was pub-
On another occasion, we went to a res- lished in the local newspapers. Unfortunately
taurant for our dinner. We did not know we could not understand the account written
what to ask for, and eagerly said 'oui' to in French.
something the waiter pointed at on the menu
which sounded like steak. We were right, On the 30th night, we were given a treat
but the steak they served was raw and tough. by the Sixth Luxembourg Group at their new
Thereafter, we were only too glad to stay away H . Q . They cooked the typical 'Luxembourg
from restaurants and we lived instead on Soup' which, according to tradition, is only
French loaves (long thin loaves which look made on Christmas eve. This soup, a mixture
like walking-sticks). of mashed onions, beans, potatoes, animal fat,
king-sized sausages and many other ingre-
Parisians lead a very care-free life. They dients, has an excellent taste.
will try their hardest to keep the outside
of their homes clean and attractive unlike On the 1st of September, we left for
the English houses which look very humble Kandustez in Switzerland. Kandustez is one
outside despite their neatness and tidiness of the beautiful holiday resorts, with its snow-
inside. It is interesting to note that many peaked mountains towering against the blue
French houses do not possess baths — the sky. We stayed at the International Scout
French people often go to Public Baths. The Chalet, a two-storeyed building surrounded by
drivers in Paris are reckless: they 'drive on pine-covered mountains and a swift stream
their horns,' so the English say. Things there chattering merrily in front.
are very expensive; an ordinary meal will cost
about, 400 Francs or | 3 . 5 0 (Malayan dollars). We were so charmed by the mountains
that we decided to climb one. The afternoon
On the 30th August, we left by train for following our arrival, we set out with the
Luxembourg. We were met at the station by determination to reach the glacier at the sum-
Mr. E. Transch, the President of the local mit of Mt. Altels (3,629 feet). The climb
Scouts H . Q . who took us to a newly con- was long and tedious, but was worth-while
structed Scout H . Q . at the end of the Eue de for the sake of the breath-taking sights of the
Mur. valleys and chasms. All along the valleys,
we could hear the musical tinkling of cow-
Luxembourg is comparatively quieter.
The people speak either French or German.
bells. It was about five in the evening and took us to 'Palais de Nations' and Geneva
we had only about half-a-mile more to go. lake.
Suddenly, we saw a group of men running
down from the summit. They waved to us to The 'Palais de Nations' is Europe's most
turn back. A storm was brewing rapidly and important international conference centre.
to be stranded there without any food would The second largest building in Europe, it
mean disaster. It was terribly cold. We contains over twenty conference rooms, an
began to run back, risking our lives on the Assembly Hall and 820 offices, built by the
rocky slope, until we reached the lower region co-operative effort of all member states of the
where we followed a road back to the Chalet U . N . O . The Assembly Hall accommodates
This was an unforgettable experience. 2,000 people. It has two great bronze doors
designed by architect Moreux and decorated by
The next day, we went for another French sculptors Auricoste and Conturiere
mountain trip, this time by train. We and four mural paintings by French artists.
passed through Interlaken, changed course The floor of its lobby is of Finnish granite and
and travelled northwards to the summit of the walls and pillars are covered with Swedish
a snow-covered mountain. There we built a marble of the finest quality. The Council
snow man — complete with pipe, muffler, hat, room was decorated by Jose-Maria Sert and
spade and buttons. All of us were so thrilled is the gift of Spain. On the ceiling, fine
by the touch of snow that we began to pelt colossal figures, representing the five' conti-
each other with it. Very soon, the fight nents, join hands in space and their union
became fiercer, the snowman disappeared, and forms the allegorical keystone of the whole
everyone had snow all over his coat. On design. Most of the other committee rooms
the way home, we passed through Interlaken are gifts of Switzerland, France, United
again. Kingdom, Denmark, South Africa, Latvia,
Netherlands and Italy.
Interlaken (meaning between lakes)
actually lies between two lakes. Of all the After this, we went to Geneva lake which
places I have been to, I think this is the most was bustling with activities. It was during a
beautiful. It is surrounded on the northern festival and there was a 'bikini' show going
side by highlands and on the southern by holi- on. On the far side of the lake were the vol-
day bungalows and lovely hotels. This is a canic mountains of the Alps and on the right
favourite place for water and winter sports. was the famous fountain.
The most thrilling experience was the Time was flying fast. At 8 p . m . we
chain-lift up the mountain Oeschinensee where boarded the train, homeward bound. This
I was air-lifted by a thin cable from one tour had benefited us tremendously; and we
mountain to another. Behind Mt. Oeschi- left behind many friends. The return journey
nensee is a small lake where we went boating. was tiring as we had to change trains several
This is a favourite spot for recreation since times in the middle of the night. We arrived
it is complete with cafes, parasols and is good at London on the 7th September at 7 p . m .
for swimming. We stayed in Middlesex until we sailed for
home on the 11th of September.
On the 6th of September, we left for
Geneva, via Frutigen and Bern, arriving there Soh Fook Thim,
at 2 p.m. At the station, we encountered a
lady who volunteered to be our guide. She Upper Sixth.
MANY people, at any rate those in the civi- mechanism, the steam engine was, by far, the
lized countries of this world, are probably most important source of power. Diesel,
however, was thinking about an engine based
quite familiar with diesel engines. The buses upon an entirely different principle. The
on our streets are driven mainly by diesel fuel-air mixture in a petrol engine is ignited
engines; so too are some of our lorries. Quite by an electric spark, but in the engine that
recently, the Mercedes Benz Company intro- Diesel was thinking of, the fuel was to be
duced a diesel-engined car — the Mercedes ignited by air which had bean raised to a high
Benz 180D — which has proved a favourite temperature by compression.
with the taxi companies. The Malayan Bail-
ways has already put into service some six Of course, the difficulties of producing
diesel engines. These engines are also being such an engine were very great. Firstly, the
increasingly used for the generation of high pressure involved called for specially-
electricity in the more remote areas of some constructed cylinders capable of withstanding
countries like the Federation of Malaya. the strain imposed on them. Then again the
fuel had to be sprayed in a fine vapour into
From the brief account of the uses of the cylinders by means of precision-engineered
which diesel engines have already been put, devices now known as atomizers. For fifteen
the importance of such engines in the years Diesel worked unceasingly to overcome
production of power can be visualised. In all difficulties until in January 1893, he had
this article I wish to bring out some of the his engine on paper. All he needed now was
characteristic features of the inventor — that someone to finance him in his tests on the
great German engineer, Rudolf Diesel. actual engine itself. The influential German
industrialist, Alfred Krupp, realising the value
He was born in 1858 in Paris, the son of of Diesel's engine, offered to finance him.
a skilled mechanic. The family moved to Diesel was only too glad to accept the offer
England in 1870 when the Franco-Prussian ibecause he knew that Krupp, with his enor-
War broke out, but Rudolf was sent to mous wealth and resources, could be of great
Germany for his education. Even at an early help to him. He set to work on the engine
age he showed an exceptional talent for and was eventually successful in producing an
technical education and he was awarded a efficient, workable unit which, as he demons-
scholarship to study engineering at a German trated, could utilise almost any fuel from
technical institute. By the time he was crude petroleum to butter. However, he ex-
twenty years old, he had graduated as an perienced several failures before he finally
engineer. produced his successful engine, and on one
occasion he was almost killed when the engine
It was during the few years after his he was testing exploded.
graduation that Diesel began to think about
the possibilities of his engine. At a lecture Once he had demonstrated the practicality
in a German college, Dr. Carl Linde, who, and efficiency of his engine, Diesel was
you may recall, is noted for his work on refri- showered with honours by the German govern-
geration, stated that the efficiency of the best ment which had previously been sceptical
steam engines in operation at that time was about his scheme. However, Diesel quarrelled
about 10%. Diesel was struck by this remark with Krupp over the latter's suspected inten-
and set about to design an engine that would tion of putting his own name on the engine
be more efficient than the steam engine. The and formed his own companies to manufacture
patrol engine had already been introduced at the 'diesel eng'nes', as he called them.
this time but, as it was a clumsy, unreliable
Towards the latter part of 1913 Diesel were offered to explain his disappearance, one
suddenly quarrelled with the German govern- of them being that German secret agents had
ment over the latter's decision to control the pushed him overboard because they were afraid
price of his engines. He packed up and left that he might reveal naval secrets to the
for England, taking with him several new British. Whatever the truth may be, the
modifications to his engine. That was the death of this great engineer has remained a
last the world ever saw of him. When the mystery even to this day.
steamer arrived in England, Rudolf Diesel
was found to be missing. Several theories V. T. J.
DURING a recent encounter with a policeman their six hours of duty. Each patrol car has
in the Botanical Gardens, I learnt some- a driver, a crew commander, a radio operator,
and an ordinary constable. Every car is
thing from him that caused me to write this equipped with a radio by which it can con-
article. The following is what he was kind stantly get in touch with Police Headquarters
enough to explain to me: at Pearl's Hill Terrace. Whenever emergen-
cies such as kidnappings, robberies, murders,
Nowadays the Singapore Police Force and other such crimes take place, off-duty
accepts for training those who have at least policemen promptly lend a hand to the on-duty
reached the level of Form Three in English policemen. Whether he is in his pyjamas or
Secondary education. People who think that sarong, whether it is midnight or midday,
policemen are their enemies are making a rainy or sunny, the policeman's help is urgently
mistake. They are our friends. It is true needed whenever the alarm is raised. A
that they arrest people, but only people who policeman is also given training in judo as
break the laws. In this way, they are also well as in marching and shooting, so that
trying to make us into good citizens. All criminals need to think very carefully before
policemen are supposed to help anyone in a making physical combat with him.
difficult situation. If anyone happens to lose
his way, he can hail any passing police patrol Now, from what source does a policeman
car and that is the end of his worries, for get his pay? Countless things we us3 each
the crew will take him home provided that day are taxed, including the salaries of our
he lets them know where he is living. parents. This tax-money goes to the treasury
of a country or city. With this money govern-
Policemen also protect people from ment servants, such as policemen, are paid.
robbers and such people as murderers, gang- Though you may not realise it, these people
sters and the rest. They also look after are therefore more or less our servants — the
public property and direct vehicles when there servants of the public.
are traffic jams, fires, floods, car collisions, and
similar emergencies. I am very grateful to the policeman who
was so kind as to give me the information
Every policeman is on duty for six hours needed to write this article. Let us therefore,
everyday and fifteen police-cars are on patrol in future, think of policemen as our friends
every moment. There is a "shift" of patrol and seek their help whenever necassary.
cars every six hours, that is, another set of
fifteen patrol cars and crews takes the place Hia Kwee Yang,
of the first fifteen patrol cars and crews after
LANDMARKS IN DEMOCRACY
IN Malaya, democracy came into practice self-government in 1955. This was the first
after the period of the Japanese Occupa- time that the people were given the opportu-
nity to elect and appoint their own government.
tion. The British were the colonial power in The next important landmark was the Inde-
Malaya before the Second World War. And pendence of Malaya in August 1957. Malaya
so were they after the war; but the difference took her rightful place in the modern world
was that now there was an upsurge of national as an independent nation within the Common-
consciousness among the people, which was wealth .
With the return of the British the people In Singapore, the three same forces were
expected a change to take place. They wanted present after the Second World War; but the
more of everything, but the environment was magnitude of their effects could not be com-
unfavourable for such economic improvements pared with that of Malaya. The population
as the world had just regained peace and was of Singapore was more vigorous and adven-
recovering from the set-backs brought by turous. The people were mainly Chinese
the war. The people hoping for such changes originating from China. They were concerned
were disillusioned and disappointed. Their with commerce and were satisfied as long as
disillusioned attitude towards the British was the British gave them peaceful conditions in
increased by the introduction of the Malayan which to carry on their trading. They were
Union Plan in 1946. They interpreted this as not as conservative as the Malays and were
an attempt by the British to seize sovereignty not opposed to constitutional changes intro-
over the Malay States. The nationalist fac- duced by the British. The national factor
tor was increased and the United Malay was not strong among the people.
National Congress was formed. A new poli-
tical factor came into play about the same The most important landmark in demo-
time too. This was Communism. There were cracy in Singapore will be in 1959 when
altogether three groups: the British, the self-government will be introduced. This may
Nationalists and the Communists. bring disillusionment to the people for, if the
government were to fail, democracy would also
The Communist Party professed to be crumble and become an object of ridicule.
striving for an independent Malaya. Malay Whether democracy will fail or not depends
Nationalism was also fighting for this goal. on the people and the party that will form the
But whereas the first was extremist, the latter new government. It will depend on whether
was prepared to let British economic interests the party in government is a strong one or
remain in an independent Malaya. The not, and whether it is able to carry out the
British followed a skilful policy according to promises for which the party was elected to
experience gained elsewhere. They did not try govern the people. All these in turn depend
to suppress both forces for then they would on the electorate. If they are indiscreet and
have united. So political freedom was handed indifferent, democracy may collapse and
to the United Malay National Congress with- society may consequently follow suit.
out the necessity for the kind of struggle which
had taken place in India. Based on a talk on the same theme given
by Mr. Lee Kuan Yew to the Historical Society
The biggest landmark in democracy in of Raffles Institution.
Malaya was the introduction of responsible
A RAFFLESIAN NOTEBOOK
Metamorphosis rooms! The authorities, however, refused to
admit defeat. They put their heads together
'THE first issue of the Rafflesian was pub- and eventually found the solution. The
lished in 1886. It was in the form of a 'Lobby' at the entrance to the building was
converted into a classroom and the notice
fortnightly newspaper meant for private cir- board was shifted to the adjacent wall. As
culation. Since then many changes have a result of this change, students wanting to
occurred. One novel departure in this present go to the laboratories had to enter the building
issue is that for the first time we publish by the back door.
project studies on topics of local interest done
by groups of boys. We believe that these After the Cambridge School Certificate
articles will furnish more interesting, instruc- results, however, the Shadow Class was dis-
tive and valuable reading. , However we banded and the students of the 'Lobby class'
realise that changes have to be slowly intro- were promoted to a classroom on the first
duced . For this reason we have not attempted floor. However, habits are difficult to break,
to revolutionize completely the Rafflesian, but and many students still enter the building
have struck a balance between project essays through the back door. The solution to this
and ordinary magazine compositions. problem seems to be to close the back door
for a few months so that students can get
We do not claim that this change is used to using the front door as the entrance.
necessarily for the better. The verdict lies
with you and with our other readers.
"Aut Invenire Viam Aut Facire" The Shadow Class
RAFFLESIANS have quite a number of T H E beginning of 1958 saw the addition of
things to be proud of. For instance, the} an extra Sixth Form class. For two and
can be proud of their school's achievements in a half months Raffles Institution had a total
both the academic and sports fields and they of seven Sixth Form classes running simulta-
can be proud of the fact that a considerable neously. This extra Shadow Class consisted
number of distinguished Singaporeans are old of students who were taught a mixture of
boys of the school. The numerous successes science subjects. From the beginning it was
which the school has had can be attributed to understood that no assurance could be given
one factor — the determination of students for the permanence of the class and that
and staff to make possible the seemingly im- whether it would be continued would depend
possible. Perhaps the following cases might on the performances of the students in the
illustrate the point more clearly. 1957 Cambridge School Certificate Examina-
It was decided, some time in 1957, to have
an additional Lower Sixth class, the Shadow During the three months of waiting for
Class, for those who did not do too badly in the Cambridge results, some Shadow Class
their Second Term examinations in Form Five students had difficulty in settling down to
but who had not made the grade for Form steady work. This was owing to the sense
Six. At the same time, the school authorities of uncertainty felt by them. When the
decided to have all Sixth Form classes in the Cambridge School Certificate results were
Annexe building. At this stage, however, the announced in March it was decided, because
planners met with a difficulty. There were of the exceptionally good results of the boys,
seven Sixth Form classes but only six class- that the Shadow Class would be made into a
regular class. Owing to inadequate facilities apparatus students taking science in the
this class has been transferred to Victoria School Certificate and Higher School Certifi-
School where, presumably, it will form the cate Examinations will be able to do even
nucleus of a new Lower Sixth Medicine Class. better than their predecessors in the practical
A few students from the Shadow Class, how- tests.
ever have been absorbed into the regular
Medicine class here. Eastern Culture
The Science Laboratories IN this atomic age, man is apt to focus all
his attention on nothing but the achieve-
WHEN it was decided that the school would
remain on its present site and not move ments of science. He is mora concerned on
how he can make the best use of these deve-
to a new one, it was agreed that the present- lopments. The appalling result is often dis-
school laboratories, which were designed in graceful ignorance of his own culture. He
1946 for the teaching of General Science to may be able to talk for hours about science,
Forms II to V, were totally inadequate and Sputniks, Explorers and Zeta, but for the rest
unsuitable for the teaching of physics, chemis- he may be completely at a loss.
try and biology. To cope with the teaching
of science to Sixth Forms, therefore, plans were No matter how westernized the modern
drawn up to convert some of the large rooms Chinese may be, he cannot but admit to have
on the ground floor of the main building into descended from ancestors who once upon a
science laboratories. We understand that the time lived in China. These Chinese practised
estimate for this work proved to be so high a strict code of self-respect and deference.
that Government has decided to use the vote This was part of their culture which members
approved for this to build a separate science of the race ought to perpetuate. People
block. We hope very earnestly, than, that doing otherwise cease to be Chinese, who have
this science block will be built this year. It gained for themselves the honour of being one
is a great pity for the premier school in of the most polite races in the world. We
Singapore to have half its science periods held may recall that on Chinese New Year's day,
in ordinary classrooms; and for Sixth Form the younger folks must "kow tow" to their
pupils, despite their having to do a lot of parents and pay due respects to their elders.
their practicals in the afternoon, to be unable
to have their long practicals finished and to This stress on deference and polite
have to go back to them later in the day. behaviour towards all elders and equals is not
only characteristic of Chinese Culture. In
However, improvements to the laboratory fact it is the main emphasis of most Eastern
are being carried out in the form of the acqui- cultures and has been responsible for the
sition of new equipment. The school has set solidarity of Eastern races. In China where
aside a substantial sum of money to be spent ancestor worship had always been the practice,
on equipping the science laboratory and orders the people overcame many factors that split
for equipment worth several thousands of up the oneness of the masses elsewhere in the
dollars have already arrived. When the West.
school receives the remainder, the laboratory
will have most of the facilities needed for a We are glad to record that a talk on
science course in secondary schools. The new good manners was given by a member of the
equipment has also enabled students using it staff during an assembly. It drove home
to obtain accurate results, especially in effectively the point that a person loses nothing
Physics. We hope that with the additional: in being polite; he gains a good name and
commands respect for himself and the family sult was that the poor boy did not play at
to which he belongs. Following this speech all. Another group of boys, after helping 'the
a great number of boys reviewed their beha- Historical Society to win one game found
viour and changed for the better. This change themselves playing for the Debating Society
was very noticeable, so much so that the the next day. Had the Debating Society won
Principal one day congratulated 'the school its game, an embarrassing predicament would
on this account. have arisen.
Good manners should be practised by all The Heat Wave
who are aware of what they signify. Good
culture and breeding if lacking, can be fos- Singapore experienced a heat wave since
tered when we are young. Moreover if we the beginning of March. The maximum tem-
want to be respected, let us first respect others perature reached about 90°F, and, to make
and show them that we, in thus doing, deserve matters even worse, the humidity also went
respect. "Do unto others what you would u p . The effect of the heat and humidity on
others do unto you" is a sound rule of conduct. the people was considerable. 'White collar'
workers were sweating it out in their offices
Viewing- the Sportsfront and wishing that they could have igloos to
work in. Students at Raffles Institution were
"THE Sportsfront at Raffles Institution has perhaps more fortunate in that they had
been enlarged by the revival of volley- large, airy classrooms fitted with fans. The
school field, however, was hard hit. The
ball. For a number of years this game has grass shrivelled up and turned brown so that
not been played in the school. Owing to the field looked like a desert.
popular demand it has finally been revived.
The attendance at practices has been good and On Friday, 28th March, however, a sudden
it is hoped to organize two or three teams storm broke out. The first clap of thunder
soon to compete with other schools. was heard at about 6.00 p.m. but many
people, thinking of Hari Raya Puasa, imagined
Yet another addition to the Rafflesian it, to be the cannon-shot signifying the break
Sportsfront is the formation of a Sixth Form of fasting. At about the same time, torren-
Girl's Netball team. Although badly defeated tial rain suddenly began to fall, causing
in its debut, the team has since then proved flooding in many low-lying parts of the island.
its prowess at the game, and has shown that The next morning a sudden change was noticed
it is not to be underestimated by opponents. in the school field: the brown appearance had
Part of th's sudden discovery of form may begun to disappear and the field looked more
be attributed to the moral support given by normal.
the non-playing male members of the team.
Unfortunately, however, the heat wave
The newly introduced Inter-Society soccer started all over again after the sudden rain
competition besides providing some very comic that night and once again the field is acquir-
displays of soccer prowess, resulted in some ing its 'desert' appearance. Attempts to
very curious and absurd situations. One boy, water the field by means of rubber pipes have
for instance, found that every society to which not proved of much use. To be in readiness
he belongs selected him to represent it. for such future droughts we suggest that the
When this came to the attention of the cap- school should consider purchasing a watering
tains of the respective teams for which he was machine in addition to the motor-powered
supposed to play, each captain, claiming that mower.
his society had first preference over him,
finally dropped him from the team. The re-
King Henry V The concluding scene unfortunately was
more appreciated by the spectators than were
ONCE again Raffles Players kept up their the other scenes. It was a comical scene show-
tradition of staging at least one major ing King Henry wooing Katherine in the same
manner as laying a seige. Winning Katherine
play, chosen from the selection offered by the was to him no different than conquering a
Cambridge School Certificate Syndicate, when city.
their members performed Shakespeare's King
Henry V at the Cultural Centre in April. All the programmes for the various per-
formances were sold out very early and so
The producer was determined, from the many other people were eager to see the play
very beginning, to make this play a success, that the producer had to put on an extra per-
and selection of the cast was made towards formance. The audience for the most part
the latter part of the previous year. Fre- was appreciative of the generally high
quent rehearsals were held from the beginning standard of acting and thoroughly enjoyed the
of this year. Players were put through their humorous parts of the play. They also
paces many times to achieve as high a standard laughed at the noise made by the aluminium
of acting as possible. To complete his efforts armour when the soldiers walked across the
to make the play the best that has been staged stage.
by the Society so far, the producer decided to
use the Cultural Centre theatre for all per- We congratulate all personnel who con-
formances . tributed to the success of the play, including
scene shifters and prompters.
The play was staged in a luxurious set-
ting. The spectators sat in a comfortable air- Discipline
conditioned auditorium; the acoustics could
not be better; the lighting effects were magni- TWO society can survive without laws and re-
ficent, and the costumes of the actors and gulations. It is the control man places
actresses were colourful and glamorous. The
play on the whole was well produced and the on his emotions that makes a man civilized
standard of dramatics was high for a cast of and cultured. Lack of this control reduces
amateurs. At times the grouping of actors on man to the level of a beast, and creates dis-
the stage and some of the acting could have order in society.The bestial nature in man
been better, but shortcomings such as these does not submit voluntarily to doing good for
are inevitable. The main characters knew the practice of evil and harm always seems
their parts very well and acted spontaneously. more attractive. Individuals often rebel
This added polish to the production. against any imposition placed on them by
society. How often have we during our flights
There is no escaping the fact that it is of fancy wished that we were living in the
difficult to produce a play whose theme is war, uncivilized, wild and carefree prehistoric
and Henry V is such a play. Many battle times when men were not bound by social
scenes may have to be omitted. The credit obligations. Then again hOW often have we
due to the producer is that as many of these afterwards thought more logically and intelli-
scenes as possible were put on. The Battle gently hOW repulsive this would be.
of Agincourt was quite realistic and well pro-
duced. The scene presented was a close-up We wish to be free. We have often told
of the fight in the foremost ranks of the two ourselves that; but is it the freedom to want,
armies, without any horses or archers being to suffer and to be at the mercy of the strongest
involved. that we desire? To be really free, to be happy
and to enjoy living require that certain limi-
KING HENRY V
"No woman shall succeed in " this mock of his hath turned his halls to gun-stones- "
Salique land "
The English ambassador at the French Court. "Up to the preaches, you rascals! "
English lessons for fair Katherine. The Battle of Agincourt.
The victorious King Henry V and the vanquished King Charles VI.