Dear reader,

Letters. We received generally positive feedback for last week’s profile of Ang Swee Chai, though there was some dissent. J P Loo, a reader who studies at Oxford, took issue with our omission of one instance of alleged antisemitism—when Ang shared via e-mail a video by David Duke, a neo-Nazi and former grand wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. (She later said that she didn’t know about Duke but was concerned by the video’s arguments.) 

Jom had a fruitful exchange with Loo, which led to important editorial additions: a new paragraph in our profile, and a letter from Loo about the risks of being too blasé with antisemitism.

“Rather, the incident serves as a reminder that the historically pro-Israeli leanings of Singaporean public and elite opinion and the general paucity of antisemitism in Singaporean history are at best imperfect barriers to antisemitism.”

We’re grateful to Loo for helping us improve. Read his letter now, below which is Jom’s new paragraph.

And do send in your own response, to anything at all by Jom, by e-mailing me ( Your voice matters.

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In Singapore This Week, we analyse a recent YouGov survey about Lawrence Wong that may worry him; the tirade by K Shanmugam, home affairs and law minister, against The Economist; the criminal defamation charge against Ariffin Sha, founder and administrator of Wake Up, Singapore; the rise in recreational drug use among our youth; selections from the EU film festival; and much more.

Power to the people: Labour Day Rally 2023, Jom’s essay of the week, is a series of vignettes first published in our print edition last year. 

“The Labour Day Rally 2023, the first to be organised by advocacy group Workers Make Possible (WMP), was unique for a few reasons. It was not fronted by any political party but was a genuine ground-up, activist-driven event. It championed the rights of all workers, regardless of nationality (some previous events involved worrying xenophobia amid calls for job protection). It included concrete policy proposals, in the form of “The People’s 15 Demands for Labour Day”, which shed light on ongoing labour injustices.”

Read the piece for these workers’ stories: Staffan Stewart, a nurse, Suraendher Kumarr, a community worker and researcher for WMP, Swanhilda Kaur, an F&B worker, Peter Yeo, a food delivery rider, and Chua Qwong Meng, a former bus driver. 

It’s meant to serve as a primer before this year’s Labour Day Rally: next Wednesday, May 1st, 3-7pm, Hong Lim Park. We hope to see some of you Jomrades there.

Jom bangun,
Sudhir Vadaketh
Editor-in-chief, Jom

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Correction: an earlier version said that Loo is Singaporean. He actually left here when he was young for the UK, which is where he resides.

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