Organizing The Writers Festival
So in some ways I was very blessed because my mentor and the prof who took me in hand, a wonderful man call Edwin Thamboo. Prof Thamboo and I have had a sort of love-hate, convoluted, father-son kind of relationship over all these years.
So when I became a student and then his colleague in the department, it was quite interesting, that kind of thing. He was chairman of the Singapore Writers everything.
So he was chairman of the writers festival for like 15 years, and I was his understudy, deputy chairman of the writers festival. And then he said, no, I'm going to go and do other things, you take over the chairmanship. So I became chairman of the Singapore Writers Festival for like 12 years. So that went on, so I have always been a part of the Singapore writing scene and a lot of battles fought and won, some won, a few now winning still.
When it came to the new, the revamp and the creation of the new Singapore Writers Festival, which began with Paul Tan becoming the director. So it was interesting. Paul was my student, right? So we're all sort of inter-linked. So I was talking with Paul and I was on the initial steering committee, the first one of the new revamped one, and we were looking around for venues. So I said, use SMU. He said, SMU? I said, yes. You know, I said, SMU is central, we are right there. He said, wow, but the logistics? I said, all those can be handled. What we need to do is just think it, and then we make it happen. And that's how the first writers festival took place on our campus, the campus green here. It was beautiful.