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Cat's Entertainment: Feline Performance in the Lion City

Paul Rae

TDR: The Drama Review, Volume 51, Number 1 (T 193), Spring 2007, pp. 119-137 (Article) Published by The MIT Press

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Feline Performance in the Lion City Paul Rae

More than sobriquet, more than epithet, The Lion City is a translation. In the 14th century, so the legend goes, the Sumatran prince Sang Nila Utama was caught in a storm off the Riau Archipelago in the South China Sea. After tossing his crown into the water, the storm abated, and on the shores of nearby Temasek island, he sighted a good omen: a lion. Coming ashore, he established a thriving settlement and renamed the island Singapura, after the Sanskrit for lion (Singa) and city (Pura). During Singapores 40th annual National Day Parade, on 9 August 2005, this story was retold. First came Sang Nila Utama on an illuminated float. He circled a large, granitecolored lion figure before ceding the arena to a float bearing the image of Sir Stamford Raffles, who established Singapore as a British colonial outpost in 1819, anglicizing the name

Paul Rae is a British writer and theatre maker based in Singapore. He publishes on interculturalism, cosmopolitanism, and contemporary Southeast Asian performance, and is the director of the performance company spell#7 (www.spell7.net). He is allergic to cats.
TDR: The Drama Review 51:1 (T193) Spring 2007. 2007 New York University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology


in the process. Presented live to 25,000 spectators and covered extensively on local television, the parade provides an insight into the broader relationship between performance and felinity in present-day Singapore. The meaning-making processes that have accompanied infrastructural development in much postcolonial nation-building have had a particular cast for the four million inhabitants of the city state, and cultural performances have played a key role in their propagation. This is because the pervasiveness of the states involvement in managing both the economy and the national imaginary has led to a remarkable degree of continuity between them. In August 1965, two years after joining the newly decolonized Federation of Malaysia, political and interethnic tensions led to Singapores forced and largely unforeseen secession. Inheriting a small, densely populated island with few natural resources, the politically dominant Peoples Action Party initiated policies that coupled rapid economic growth with the promotion of a jerry-built national identity. And just as the annual National Day Paradecombining military drills with mass displays on nationalistic themesis only the most explicit manifestation of a persistently articulated ideology of martial selfdetermination, so the appearance in 2005 of Sang Nila Utama and his good omen exemplifies the distribution of leonine symbols and figures throughout Singaporean cultural life. The result is a pervasive yet contested national feline imaginary, whose partial reliance on theatrical and other performances holds some instructive lessons for the broader theme of staging animals and enacting animality.

Imagined Felinities
In Gilles Deleuze and Flix Guattaris tripartite distinction between individuated, demonic, and State animals, the latter are treated in the great divine myths, in such a way as to extract from them series or structures, archetypes, or models ([1980] 2004:265). In multiethnic, multifaith Singapore, the stridently secular state has worked hard to forge a series of lion-themed symbols as affective rallying points for Singaporeans, regardless of cultural or religious affiliation.1 Shortly after the 2005 National Day Parade, when a letter writer to Singapores sole English-language broadsheet newspaper, the Straits Times, suggested that an indigenous breed of squirrel be adopted as Singapores national animal, a respondent retorted with telling alacrity: I am sure Sang Nila Utama saw plenty of plantain squirrels upon his arrival. But there is a reason he chose to name our country after the lion. I am confident that the majority of Singaporeans would prefer a national animal that conjures an image of majesty, strength, and pride, over a jittery rodent that calls to mind cuteness and fecundity []. It does not matter whether we have lions in our parks because if tiny Singapores success is anything to go by, we are all lions at heart. (Tang 2005:H6) Though leavened by a wryness rare in Singapores habitually po-faced public discourse, the letter nevertheless expresses a nationalistic boosterism familiar to regular readers of the Straits Times, while the somewhat precious language echoes that of state symbology. For

1. Rigid bureaucratic and discursive distinctions between ethnic groups are enforced through the broad CMIO classification: Chinese (75%), Malay (14%), Indian (7%), Other (4%). For many Singaporeans, the CMIO categories (a colonial legacy) obscure much more complex cultural, religious, historical, and linguistic affiliations on the ground; although, if anything, this only strengthens the extent to which these diverse features are gathered up in an ethnically articulated identity. It is for this reason that I have continued to use the term ethnicity in my analysis. For a discussion of the local complexities of this issue, see the online commentaries by political activist Alex Au, entitled Who is Malay? (2005) and Race and Ethnicity: The Singaporean Perspective (2006). Paul Rae

Figure 1. (previous page) The centerpiece of Singapores 40th National Day Parade, held at the Padang, August 2005. (Photo by Paul Rae)


instance, the fulsome official literature on the locally ubiquitous lions head logoused by Singaporean businesses and organizations to identify themselves as suchexplains that it symbolizes courage, strength, and excellence; that the five partings of its mane represent democracy, peace, progress, justice, and equality; while its tenacious mien symbolizes resolve to face and overcome any challenges (Singapore Infomap 2005). So far, so familiar: such archetypal identifications are universally recognizable. What is of particular interest in Singapore is how the use of feline symbols to promote national values articulating what Singaporeans should be combines with more prosaic manifestations aimed at defining what Singaporeans should do. With the republics cosmopolitan character forestalling appeals to a foundational racial essence, it was perhaps inevitable that a government notorious for its authoritarian instincts would instead focus its identity-forming efforts on the practices of everyday life. When thenPrime Minister Lee Kuan Yew launched the Courtesy Campaign in 1979, it was consistent with a raft of social engineering programs aimed at everything from curbing spitting to decreasing the birthrate.2 Lee identified two components of courtesy: first, sincere intent; and second, appropriate forms, which consist of words and gestures and help to regulate social contacts and lessen awkwardness or friction (Lee 1979:1). Posters and television advertisements advising Singaporeans on correct behavior were fronted by Singa the Courtesy Lion, a perky bipedal cartoon character with a big Cheshire-cat grin. For over 20 years, Singa (who, although naked from the waist down, considerately headed off any potential embarrassment by lacking genitalia) instructed Singaporeans in manners, humility, civility, punctuality, and personal hygiene before being retired in 2003, when the Courtesy Campaign was subsumed into the Singapore branch of the World Kindness Movement. In short, the combination of myth-making and anthropomorphized paw-holding that characterizes the use of Singapores state felines underscores the ways in which Singaporean is as Singaporean does. While the overzealous application of the epithet should make one wary of precipitately crying Performance, in the case of Singapore, one might at the very least note that lion icons have been instrumental in promoting a processual and disciplinary mode of correct behavior and identity formation, consistent with the broader national aspiration to become, as thenPrime Minister Goh Chok Tong put it in 1999, a high performance society (40). However, in Singapore, not all state lions are as semiotically supine as the ever-punctilious Singa, and with the head and torso of a lion and the tail of a fish, the Merlion is a prime candidate for some interpretive miscegenation. Apparently a mythical hybrid from the seafaring peoples who once inhabited the islands shores, the Merlion was in fact invented in 1964 as a logo for the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board to attract, according to a spokesperson, the curiosity of all those in foreign parts who may come across this emblem and arouse in them a desire to visit Singapore (in Straits Times 1964:6). Such sentiments underscore the importance that outside perceptions and international esteem have always held for this inherently globalized port, and in 1972, an 8.6-meter statue of the Merlion, spouting an endless spume of water, was installed at the historically significant mouth of the Singapore River.3 While it has since become a popular photo opportunity for tourists and has given form to figurines, chocolates, and other kitsch ephemera, the domestic prominence of the Merlion
2. Between 1958 and 1995, Singapores government mounted over 200 such campaigns. In a Straits Times article entitled Welcome to Campaign Country, the former head of the government press department, Basskaran Nair, was quoted as saying, From Family Planning to No Spitting to Planting Trees, it was really to socially reengineer people to become responsible citizens. It was to make them behave and to understand that the law will be enforced fairly and harshly if they did not comply (in Long 2003). The 2003 SARS epidemic led to a raft of new campaigns, from Wash Your Hands to Eat With Your Family to Step Out Singapore and Singapores OK. 3. This is allegedly the spot where Sir Stamford Raffles first stepped ashore in February 1819, to secure a deal with a representative of the Riau-Johor Sultanate on behalf of the British East India Company.


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also means that the touristic gaze it invites has begun to be internalized within Singapores self-imagining. Hence, in the 2005 National Day Parade, a Merlion headed up the float showing Singapores highrise skyline. And in June, the Sunday Times reported on local composer Simon Ng, who had invented a ceramic Merlion instrument. Describing the sound as resembl[ing] that from an ocarina or a flute, Figure 2. Merlion souvenirs: Image from the press pack for Lim the paper went on to quote Ng Tzay Chuens I Wanted to Bring Mike Over (2005). (Photo by as saying: Ive been to many Lim Tzay Chuen) international music festivals and I am embarrassed when I see the Chinese and Scottish playing their erhus [a two-stringed instrument played with a bow] and bagpipes, while Singaporeans have none. Ng was encouraging schools to adopt the instrument, and the principal of the first to take him up on the offer opined that the innovation could create a greater awareness of Singapore and evoke a sense of patriotism (in Pang 2005:L5). Ngs goal, the reader was informed, was to have 4,100 Merlion-tooting students perform in Singapores 41st National Day Parade in August 2006. In the end, it was a goal that went unrealized. Given limited opportunities for public debate in Singapore, it is uncertain whether the majority of Singaporeans would find Ngs project an eccentric embarrassment or a worthy Figure 3. An illuminated oat featuring orchids, skyscrapers, and the Merlion, from Singapores 40th National Day Parade, held at the Padang, August 2005. (Photo by Paul Rae)

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labor.4 More telling is the sustained response that the Merlion has provoked over the years from Singapores artists. It was significant, for instance, that The Second Link presented in September 2005 by the W!LD RICE Theatre Company, Five Arts Centre, and the Actors Studio, and based on the idea that Malaysian and Singaporean actors would interpret selections from each others literary canonsshould begin with Edwin Thumboos 1979 poem Ulysses by the Merlion. The poem itself begins grandly: I have sailed many waters, Skirted islands of fire [] Met strange people singing New myths; made myths myself, Proceeds quizzically: But this lion of the sea Salt-maned, scaly, wondrous of tail, Touched with power, insistent On this brief promontory Puzzles And concludes sanguinely: Peoples settled here [] Perhaps having dealt in things, Surfeited on them, Their spirit yearns again for images, Adding to the dragon, phoenix, Garuda, naga, those horses of the sun, The lion of the sea, This image of themselves. (Thumboo 1979:1819) Staging the poem, the Malaysian ensemble opened with a swaying, sliding action that recalled the passage both of Ulysses ship and a mystical sea monster. They were accompanied by a slide image of wooded shoreline and the haunting sound of Malay folk music. On the line But this lion, however, the slide switched to an image of the Merlion, and the tone to open ridicule. Of course, it workedthe audience laughedbut only momentarily. For there is an ambivalence in Thumboos poem that demands a more subtle treatment than the performers were willing to offer. Beyond the punch line, one senses, the laughter hollows because the Merlion is still thereinsistentsomehow demanding more of its selfappointed interpreters than they had anticipated or were willing to give. A more knowing reflection on similar sentiments informed I Wanted to Bring Mike Over, Singapores contribution to the 2005 Venice Biennale. Mike was the nickname given to the Merlion by the featured artist, Lim Tzay Chuen, who proposed that the statue be transported to Venice and installed in the Singapore pavilion. Although the work was commissioned by the National Arts Council, a government agency, the move was not permitted; instead, as viewers entered a courtyard of the Arsenale, they encountered a sign bearing the title of the work and a logolike silhouette of the Merlion and an information booth staffed by a Singaporean attendant whose job was to explain the genesis of the work. Entering a spacious room adjacent, the visitor discovered a fully functioning urinal, toilet bowl, and sink. Again,
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4. In September 2005, another correspondent to the Straits Times suggested Simon Ng may not be alone in his enthusiasm for the figure. Rajbir Singh wrote in to suggest that an original way to improve Singapores tourist profile would be to have a Merlion theme park: The resort will be half above water and half below to follow the theme of the Merlion. It can also have a casino if desired or be totally family entertainment which incorporates an amusement park with the original Merlion theme (Singh 2005:H9).


the work was ostensibly a oneliner: to undertake the logistical and administrative task of shipping Singapores lion of the sea all the way to Venice, there to gild it with the gloss of artistry, and to challenge the Singapore establishment to stand by its homespun rhetoric in the court of international art-critical opinion. That the project failed meant that subsequent comments focused mainly on the resulting interagency negotiations, a view reinforced by references to Lims conceptual approach.5 However, this overlooked a performative dimension to the resulting (non)installation, namely, the way in which those who used the toilets were interpolated into a set of relations that linked the water-spewing Merlion with the art-historical reference points Self-Portrait as a Fountain by Bruce Nauman (1966) and Fountain (1917) by Marcel Duchampthe infamous ready-made that took the form of a signed urinal.6 While, again, there was a dryly conceptual aspect to all thisan in-joke for the arteratithese relations neverFigures 4 & 5. Merlion Park with and without the Merlion: theless clustered around a basic Digitally manipulated photographs from the press pack for Lim physiological process. When Tzay Chuens I Wanted to Bring Mike Over, 2005. (Images you gotta go, you gotta go; but courtesy of Lim Tzay Chuen) once youre in that essentially unadorned state of going, you find yourself assailed by a host of significations and associations. You are pissing on the artistic equivalent of sovereign Singaporean territory; you are reminded of the cleanliness of its toilets, and its reputation for sterility; you are triangulated by Duchamp, Nauman, and Lim;

Paul Rae

5. Lim Tzay Chuens work often involves subtle interventions into public spaces in such a way as to trouble the users encounter with the space as the identity of the artist recedes. Some of these projects have proved too provocative for the authorities to sanction, such as Alteration #1, which proposed rotating a Salvador Dal sculpture installed on the premises of a local bank ten centimetres to the left, and Alteration #11, in which an army sniper would fire a bullet through a window of the National Institute of Education from the adjacent firing range. However, to describe Lim as a conceptual artist is to understate the extent to which his work is concerned with material interventions into particular spaces, often at specific times. 6. In another context, the reference points might include the famous Brussels icon Manneken Pis, which was sculpted in 1619 by Jerme Duquesnoy. For a gushing tribute to the figure, see the website http://www.manneken-pis.com.


by the decades; by Europe, the U.S., and Asia; but most of all, you are briefly, ludicrously, aligned with the Merlion. Over 12,000 miles away, under a tropical sky, its streaming echoes yours, while here, you stand in for it, Occupied in the space it was meant to occupy. Back home, I Wanted to Bring Mike Over has added to a growing body of creative reinterpretations of the Merlion. Indeed, the popular revue show Dim Sum Dollies: Singapores Most Wanted! presented by Dream Academy in August 2005, featured the comedian Selena Tan in full Merlion costume, bemoaning the fact that it had not been granted a passport to travel to Venice. She then joined in a song entitled Yesterdays Icons, pausing intermittently to mime vomiting into a spittoon. Taken together, the assumptions of audience empathy implicit in the skit and the reflexivity evident in the installation point to the enduring appeal of the Merlion: Singaporeans united in their shared and embarrassed ambivalence about it and, in so doing, became more Singaporean. On top of this, artists seem particularly drawn to what the poet and playwright Alfian Saat calls its kinetic quality.7 Paradoxically, the Merlions physiologically impossible feat of ex-pression is precisely what the artists have been drawn to in their representations of it. This is where their tongues are most firmly in their cheeks, but it is also the point where the failure fully to come to terms with the Merlion is most manifest. Its absurdity notwithstanding, its energetic expectorations loop back to something fundamental and startling; something we identify with physically yet cannot reproduce. Tans antics with the spittoon and Lims urinating visitors are a reminder that the appeal lies not solely in the spectacle of the Merlion, but also in the kinds of performancesand spectatingthat are produced in response to (indeed, in compensation for) its curiously animalistic affects.

Lionizing the State

It is because state discourse on the Merlion has met with critical and creative reinterpretation that the figure can properly be described as a national icon. Yet the rich paradoxes of being Merlionized may be increasingly hard to come by. In August 2004, Singapores third Prime Minister, Lee Hsien Loong, was sworn in, promising a more open and inclusive society.8 However, the appearance in 2005 of two other state lions, both eschewing the errant exuberance of their salt-maned half-sibling, suggests that this ambition is unlikely to mitigate the degree of control the ruling party exercises over key aspects of Singaporean cultural life: indeed, they may further entrench it. In January, the Straits Times reported that 10,000 people had thronged the Jurong stadium for the inauguration of a new Lion Dance figure: Unlike traditional Chinese dance lions, this one has a streamlined pointed snout, bared fangs, and five stars and a crescent on its forehead. It prances to music featuring sounds from Chinese and Indian drums as well as the Malay kompang [a hand-held drum], and moves with the graceful steps of Malay dance and the stomping of Indian dance. A smiling PM Lee, clad in a traditional Chinese shirt, called it an interesting icon. This Singapore lion has unique characteristics [] The music has Chinese, Malay and Indian drums [] therefore its representative of our multiracial society. So I hope Singaporeans can identify with it, and that it can deepen our ties. (Li 2005)

7. In self-conscious reference to Edwin Thumboo, Alfian Saat has also written a poem entitled The Merlion, which includes the observation: It spews continually if only to ruffle / its own reflection in the water; such reminders / will only scare a creature so eager to reinvent itself (1998:22). 8. We will continue to expand the space which Singaporeans have to live, to laugh, to grow and to be ourselves. Our people should feel free to express diverse views, pursue unconventional ideas, or simply be different. We should have the confidence to engage in robust debate, so as [to] understand our problems, conceive fresh solutions, and open up new spaces, We should recognize many paths of success, and many ways to be Singaporean. We must give people a second chance, for those who have tasted failure may be the wiser and stronger ones among us. Ours must be an open and inclusive Singapore (Lee 2004:6).


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The lion had been proposed by Lees predecessor, Goh Chok Tong, and developed by a committee of politicians and wushu martial artists (who commonly perform Lion Dances). The ceremony culminated in the massed ranks of Singapores Lion Dance troupes kowtowing to the new icon. Within a couple of weeks, this image had itself passed into the realm of political rhetoric. Another Straits Times story reported on assurances given by nowSenior Minister Goh Chok Tong 9 to parents worried about competition in the schools from Chinaborn children and competition from China in the global economy: After watching the new Singapore iconthe Singapore Liondance to the beat of Chinese and Malay drums, [Goh] quipped: I think the Singapore Lion is stronger, bigger and certainly more versatile than the Chinese lions we usually see. Our Singapore Lion can match the Chinese Lion. So dont worry too much. To make it even more Singaporean, he urged the dancers [] to get the Lion to perform Western dances. (M. Nirmala 2005:3) Paternalistic politicians making opportunistic references to cultural forms is a common enough occurrence wherever politics, public relations, and performances meet. What is striking in this instance is the extent to which the lion figure is discursively bound to a plethora of ideological concerns. Essentialist multiracialism, social stability, economic globalization, national hubris, and neocolonial identifications: the references circulate as furiously in these short extracts as a dancing lion chasing its tail. And just as in the whirling confusion characteristic of such dances, so these elements begin to blur into one another; impossible to tease out into separate discursive strands, each stands in for and opens on to all the others. This has two implications. First, it means the Singapore Lion will not be receiving the Merlion treatment any time soon. So ideologically correct is its position within a precisely formulated national narrative, there is barely any room for creative maneuvering.10 The Singapore Lion acts in the name of the citizenry as a whole, thereby deflecting the attentions of the dissenting individual; its symbolism is so literal as to render it interpretively transparent and so simplistic as to preempt ridicule. From an artists perspective, it does not even invite contempt. However, while a deferential media and correspondingly cosseted politicians may mean that political discourse is often expressed in facile terms, we should not be dismissive of the effects of such discourse, which realize simultaneously high degrees of social control and popular acceptance. Taking seriously the way cultural performance contributes to this intriguing combination of facile expressions and profound effects is the second implication. The Singapore Lion is only the latest embodiment of the vast, conceptually ingenious, ideologically consistent but ultimately sanitized and oversimplified phenomenon that might be called Singularpore. Start anywheresay, with the Singapore Lionand you can

9. Lee Kuan Yew was Prime Minister of Singapore from 1959 to 1990, whereupon he adopted the title of Senior Minister. When Lee Hsien Loong (who is Lee Kuan Yews son) became Prime Minister in August 2004, his predecessor, Goh Chok Tong, became Senior Minister, and Lee Kuan Yew adopted the title Minister Mentor. 10. The semiotics of national identity are carefully policed, in line with a highly regulated censorship environment. With the exception of certain traditional forms (such as Chinese opera), all arts events in Singapore require a license, and theatre companies must invariably submit their scripts for assessment by the Ministry for Information, Communications, and the Arts. Any non-art event that might be deemed political requires a permit from the police. The fate of another animal image illustrates the present situation with regard to freedom of expression in Singapore. In August 2005, on the day of a Ministerial visit, residents living in the vicinity of an underground train station that had remained controversially closed upon the opening of the Northeast Line in 2003 erected placards depicting white elephants around the station. An anonymous police complaint was lodged, on the grounds that the protesters acted without obtaining a Public Entertainment License. The move drew criticism from the public, and the culprits were let off with a severe warning. However, numerous Ministers used the opportunity to stress that such unauthorized initiatives would not be tolerated in the future.

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trace your way to any other aspect of Singapores nation-building efforts, with each connection informing the others along the way. This is how singularities work: but it follows that expressing them in all their internally interconnected complexity is impossible. What is required is a singular expression of the singularity itself, and in August 2005 during the National Day Parade this took the form of the lion seen by Sang Nila Utama. In broad terms, this was the alpha male to which all other state lions both refer and defer.11 A grey monolith, its massive maned head loomed over an attenuated body, presumably to accentuate the dynamism of its tenacious mien, and to amplify the felt volume of its silent roar. After the parade, when the floats were on display, the lion occupied the center of the empty stadium, watched over by soldiers. Visiting it, I was struck by the way that, like Thumboos Merlion, it was touched with power. This not so much because of its mock-granite heft and jowly expression, but because of its silence, and an official silence surrounding it. No need for a launch ceremony this time: the figure was temporary, for the lion it represented needs neither consistent form nor measurable timeframe. In the same way successive presidents remain silent during the national anthem, so the lion is presented differently at different times in order to represent the timeless continuity of the same thing: a pure expression of the State. Self-identical with the State, it States itself. Nameless, it neither speaks, nor is spoken of, nor invites address. In its silence lies the capacity to silence, and one senses that this is what underwrites the Singaporean model of inclusiveness.

Except for at the zoo, there have never been any real lions in Singapore. If Sang Nila Utama did indeed glimpse a big cat on the shores of Temasek, it was probably a tiger.12 While the more poststructurally inclined might read in this originary misrecognition an ironically essential truth about national-ideological singularities, from a mythological perspective, there is something satisfyingly authentic in a national imaginary unsullied by actuality. Either way, national affect is the result, and the use of leonine figures and symbols to guide the behavior and lived experience of Singaporeans demonstrates how intimately it can be bound in to the material world. This phenomenon vastly expands Singularpores reach, though not so far as to become coextensive with the actuality of Singapore. This is apparent in the ways the Real continues to impinge upon Singularpores carefully policed borders. The metaphor is apt, for it is just such a disregard for territorial integrity that characterizes both the behavior and appeal of those felines that do exist in Singapore. The domestic and stray cats that throng the drains, alleys, public spaces, and private residences of the city produce a distinctly more nuanced set of affective relations than those to be found in the lion enclosure. Here, the architects of Singularpore have been less successful in staking their claims, although not for want of trying. In 1990, a Singapore-based American pedigree-breeding couple announced the discovery of an indigenous breed named the Singapura. Sensing brand potential, the Singapore Tourist Board (STB) renamed it Kucintathe Love Cat of Singapore, and, despite protestations from Singaporeans that the breed was unfamiliar, Kucinta merchandise duly began to appear alongside Merlion
11. All state lions are male by dint of being identified as lions by their manes. This blanket masculinization may well find its mirror image in the feminization of all domestic and stray cats. In the same identitarian vein, there is a vernacular association in Singapore between cats and ethnic Malays. Such associations are individually rich lines of enquiry, although space constraints mean they cannot be pursued here. For more details on Whats with Malays and Cats, see Alfian Saats article of that title (2004). 12. Ironically, the tiger has long been the other of Singapores lion (and indeed, both appear on Singapores crest). For instance, the tiger is the national animal of Malaysia, while Lee Kuan Yew repeatedly described collaborating with communists in the anticolonial struggle as riding the tiger. This and other associations between Singapore and tigers, both symbolic and actual, were discussed (along with references to Singa, SARS, and the Merlion) by the visual artist Ho Tzu Nyen in a lecture-performance entitled Every Cat in History is I (2004).


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paraphernalia in tourist shops. It was soon revealed that the Singapura was the offspring of Abyssinian and Burmese cats brought into Singapore by their owners. Little surprise, then, that an actress playing Kucinta (Pam Oei) appeared alongside Selena Tans Merlion for the Dim Sum Dollies skit Yesterdays Icons, singing: They gave me a Malay name / And put my face on stamps / Then they threw me back into the drain / Once their campaign got revamped (Tan 2005). Such inconveniences of indigeneity notwithstanding, in 2003 the STB installed a bronze statue of three Singapuras playing by the Singapore river, as part of a series of historical tableaux. Indignant cat lovers complained to the press about this travesty of history, with a representative of the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) writing: While we doubt that there were ever any Singapuras at the Singapore River, we can assure the STB that there are a few lovely, local cats that love to sit next to or near the Kucinta statues [] Many tourists enjoy seeing the cats there. Some of our volunteers have also become temporary tour guides, showing the cats off to them. (Kua 2003) In response, the STB wrote a letter entitled Local Cats to Share Limelight stating that, after consultations with the CWS, they would be adding additional cat sculptures at the Singapore river, which would be modeled after the cats found in Singapore (Teo 2003). The promised sculptures never materialized. Before the Singapore sewer cat could be dignified by its elevation into the stuff of public art, it was thrust into the limelight for a more distressing reason. Within months, there was an outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), which killed 32 people in 2003. Building on existing programs of environmental management and social control, strictly enforced hygiene and quarantine measures were successfully introduced to curtail the spread of the disease. Ideologically, it was equally skillfully contained, with politicians likening Figure 6. Kucinta gurines, Boat Quay, Singapore, August the national effort to one of 2005. The tin is evidence of food left for the local strays. (Photo triumphing over terrorism. by Paul Rae) However, a simultaneously conducted mass cull of stray cats led to outrage among animal-loving Singaporeans. Although the government claimed that the cull was part of a more general hygiene programSingapores OKit followed rumors that SARS had been spread by civet cats (a kind of weasel) in China, and 140 cats were tested for the virus in Singapore. The negative results did nothing to halt the cull, and a rare protest campaign was launched in response, consisting of petitions, press conferences, performative actions such as memorial services for culled cats, and the widespread freeing of cats from traps. As Ray Langenbach points out in an appropriately forensic analysis (2003:21621), the Singaporean state has long employed metaphors of disease to characterize what it sees as the potentially harmful effects of foreign and/or politically undesirable cultural influences

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on the body politic.13 However, what the cat-culling episode exemplified was the extent to which the government had come to misrecognize its essentialised narrative of epidemiological assault (219) as a faithful representation of the situation on the ground. The zeal of the cull shocked many into rare acts of public complaint and civil disobedience, and exacerbated tensions between two conventionally reciprocal components of the national imperative to perform: efcacy and affectivity. Given the context, it is unsurprising that when maintaining both became untenable, the authorities prioritized the former. However, in retrospect, it also draws attention to distinctive features of the latter. Perhaps because of a longtime ban on keeping cats in the government housing where 85 percent of Singaporeans live, there is a healthy degree of tolerance, even affection, for the citys strays. Nightly, volunteers visit sites island-wide to feed the cats and ensure their well-being. The volunteers have also championed a national feline sterilization program, as an alternative to culling.14 This suggests an attitude toward cats quite different from the personalized, domestic relationship that falls within Deleuze and Guattaris category of individuated animals: sentimental, Oedipal animals each with its own petty history, my cat, my dog ([1980] 2004:265). Substantially less proprietorial, this human-stray relationship is one that respects the cats essentially ungovernable qualities: their pack existence, feral behavior, nonchalant border-crossing, as well as, of course, their reliance on and exploitation of their food sources. Perhaps this is why the SARS-related culling evinced such strength of feeling, for the affective relation with these cats is one that appeals to an idea of streetwise and sensuous liberty. Fantastical in part, such sentiments nevertheless also hint at an encounter with the nonhuman whose value, in an intensely human-oriented urban environment, is worth fighting for in and of itself. At the same time, contrasting the symbolic lions of Singularpore with the actual cats of Singapore suggests a dichotomous relationship that would place cultural performance in the benign service of a state agenda, challenged only by the abrupt incursions of the Real. True, integral to the affective appeal of strays are their powers of disappearance. Nocturnal denizens of the urban fabrics warp and weft, their wayward drives are arguably at odds with the limelighthowever fleetingthat performances require. Nevertheless, the dichotomy is an oversimplification, and it is with a view to nuancing it that I shall now consider the potential for this ever-fleeting feline appeal to be arrested and reproduced on the Singapore stage.

Now and Forever

In John Guares satire of bourgeois New Yorkers, Six Degrees of Separation (1990), a charming young African American, Paul, inveigles himself into numerous couples flats and affections by claiming to be a college friend of their children and the son of Sidney Poitier. The ruse is complete when he promises them cameos in a film version of Andrew Lloyd Webbers musical Cats, which, he tells them, his father is about to start shooting. The offer seems to crystallize something fantastic, erotic, sensual, and forbidden about the intruder himself, especially for the character of Ouisa, who later dreams of a conversation with a Poitier father/son hybrid

13. Ray Langenbach cites a speech by Lee Kuan Yew from 1969 in which Lee stated that his government would not allow undesirable influences from America and Western Europe to infect our young, and that in the event of anyone trying to introduce such habits into society, we shall take immediate antiseptic measures to prevent and scotch any such infection or affectation (2003:216). Langenbach goes on to trace the persistence of such metaphors through the decades as government representatives sought to strengthen the immune system of the body politic against everything from drugs and HIV, communism and homosexuality, to Beavis and Butthead and the Internet. 14. Prior to the SARS outbreak, the Singapore Veterinary Association produced a report that showed high levels of tolerance by Singaporeans of sterilized stray cat populations, concluding that: The majority of people want cats controlled but do not want them culled, and that up to 96 percent supported sterilization of the feline population (Lou 2000). During the SARS scare, however, the government partner in the sterilization program abruptly withdrew.


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about the profound, if garbled, political possibilities of the film. Subsequently, her childrens incredulous response reveals the extent to which the deception has in fact been self-deception: BEN: He promised you parts in Cats? OUISA: It wasnt just that. It was fun. TESS: You went to Cats. You said it was an all-time low in a lifetime of theatregoing. OUISA: Film is a different medium. TESS: You said Aeschylus did not invent theatre to have it end up a bunch of chorus kids wondering which of them will go to Kitty Kat Heaven. (Guare [1990] 1999:265) In October 1993, the Straits Times reported that a subsidiary of Webbers Really Useful Group would be setting up an office in Singapore for the purpose of bringing Broadway musicals to the region, and that the first of seven projected shows would be Cats. The report cited a spokesperson for the Economic Development Board, which had been responsible for clinching the deal: The very regular presence of world-class musicals here will upgrade the standard of musical theatre here says the spokesman. She points out that there are already three Singaporeans performing in Cats, not only in Singapore but also in Hong Kong. One, Jacintha Abisheganaden, is playing the major role of Grizabella. (Pandian 1993a:10) Occurring in the same year as the establishment of Singapores National Arts Council, and several months before Cameron Mackintosh would bring in Les Misrables, the prospect of bringing Cats to Singapore seemed to activate something of the same desires and offer some of the same promises as those represented by Guares intruder. Here, though, local star of stage and screen Jacintha actually had the chance that Guares moneyed philistines can only dream of, while the projects European and Australian backers appeared to find in the Asian location something of the same exotic, racialized allure suggested by Pauls metonymic selfidentification with the musical. In a preview, the Australian director gushed about Jacinthas internal spiritual strength (in Tay 1993:6), and a single of Memory was duly released, featuring a gamelan backing tracka sound that would signify exotic even to many Singaporean listeners. After the hype, Jacinthas shortcomings as Grizabella and subsequent critical drubbing have passed painfully into local theatre lore. The casting, wrote the Straits Times reviewer, was at best, puzzling, at worst, tragic. Her voice, often totally out of control in this production, broke more than once and varied randomly in texture and volume. A standing ovation from some in the audience was interpreted as a stirring of national pride (Pandian 1993b:13). Payback lay in the hostility of the rest: as in Guares play, it bespoke the indignation of those betrayed by their own expectations. If the Cats farrago were merely a cautionary tale of miscasting or a parable of national hubris, it would not be worth dredging up. But I want to suggest that something else is at stake here, which concerns the staging of felinity. For whether or not one shares Ouisas original sentiments about Cats, one cannot doubt its distinctive popular appeal.15 This clearly relates to the question of virtuosity: as Hannah Pandian suggested in the Straits Times, caterwauling will not do. However, I would argue that beyond the believable representation of cats, it also concerns the affective qualities their staging demands. For even here, in this most commercial of contexts, affect is reconfigured less as the emotional appeal produced by Singapores state lions, say, than a sensed encounter with animality. Watching Cats on DVD (Mallet 1998), I found my own minimalist sensibilities wrongfooted by the realization that, in the worlds most popular musical, hardly anything happens.
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15. By the time Cats closed in New York in 2000 and in London in 2002, it had become the longest-running musical on both Broadway (7,485 performances) and in the West End (8,950 performances).


Yet, perhaps it is popular precisely because so little happens. Certainly, this would explain the difficulty its cheerleaders have articulating its appeal: It has no book or storyline. It is a theatrical event (Lloyd Webber in Richmond 1995:74); This was pure dance theatre, more an experience than a musical (Richmond 1995:76); As a show it defies categorization. Cats is an experience (Prece and Everett 2002:260). Indeed, anecdotal evidence suggests this quality was present from the outset. When prospective producer Hal Prince asked Lloyd Webber if the project contained metaphorical references to politicians, the reply was blunt: Hal, its about cats! (in Richmond 1995:73). In fact, to the extent that the show is about cats, it manifests a mawkish anthropomorphism that reaches its apogee in Grizabellas thrice-reprised theme tune, Memory. More properly feline, I aver, is the promise of pure experience and the threat of permanent amnesia expressed in the immortal publicity tagline Now and Forever. Plotless, the show dissipates the traditional alliance between narrative and representation. Cats, it seems, has got everybodys tongue, except in Singapore, where they wagged about exactly what had ruptured the experiential reverie: hapless Jacintha. By instructive contrast, a staging of felinity that took place several years earlier has continued to resonate powerfully in Singapores theatre scene. My sense is that the persistent appeal of certain events concerning human-animal relations is underwritten by the onstage production of affect, and it is to reconstruct one such instance that I turn now to Kuo Pao Kuns 1988 production, Mama Looking for Her Cat.

Figure 7. T. Sasitharan, Ko Kim Hong, and the ensemble in Mama Looking for Her Cat, written and directed by Kuo Pao Kun, Singapore Conference Hall, August 1988. (Photo courtesy of The Theatre Practice)
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Kuo, who died in 2003, remains Singapores best-known and most-performed playwright. A leftwing theatre activist in the years following Independence, he was detained without trial for four years in the 1970s. Upon release, he produced a series of groundbreaking plays whose apparent simplicity masked a skillful combination of aesthetic experiment, heightened renderings of everyday language, and a concern with the challenges of adapting to a rapidly


changing socioeconomic environment. Following the evergreen monodramas The Cofn Is Too Big for the Hole (1985), which premiered in Mandarin, and No Parking on Odd Days (1986), first presented in English, Mama Looking for her Cat was devised with a polyglot cast of 11.16 Through songs, games, images, and dialogue, the story unfolds of a mothers dispossession from her children, whose linguistic and cultural environment is increasingly at odds with her own. She seeks solace in her pet cat, but in a frenzy of guilt and rage, the children kill it. The play ends with Mama cradling the dead cat and singing it a lullaby she had earlier sung to her children. As so often is the case with Kuos plays, the primary appeal lies not in the invariably drifting and defeatist narratives, but in their onstage realizations, and in the dreamlike logic by which certain themes and associations are explored. Chief among such themes in Mama was that of multilingualism: the play drew on the linguistic competencies of its performers in English, Tamil, and Mandarin, as well as a number of other Chinese dialects. As such, not only was it impossible for almost any audience member to understand everything, but this failure was integral to understanding the play at all. This reflected the continuing multiracial (as opposed to multicultural) orthodoxies of the Singaporean state, while simultaneously challenging them by staging the cultural and generational blindspots and mistranslations that belie the official creeds of racial harmony and family as the basic unit of society.17 The play as a whole therefore represented a milestone in the development of a local theatrical aesthetic that responded to the cosmopolitan complexities of contemporary Singapore, and what is of particular interest here is the significance of the eponymous cat. Over the course of the play, it performs numerous symbolic functions, representing both Mama and her children, and embodying the feelings of unease and incomprehension that the interracial and intergenerational encounters provoke. However, perhaps most interesting is the moment when the figure of the cat becomes resistant to these metaphorical significations; a point that is one of the most iconic moments in the history of Singapore theatre. Mama is searching for her cat. She surprises a Tamil man, who is praying. They withdraw. However, as Mama meows to attract her cat, the man approaches her and they begin to talk. The script reads: (She, speaking in Hokkien [a Chinese dialect] , he, speaking Tamil, aided by the most expressive mime gestures, through a painfully but joyfully gruelling process, manage to communicate the following:) MAMA: I have a cat. OLD MAN: I also have a cat. MAMA: My cat is this big. OLD MAN: My cat is this small. MAMA: Ah, we all have cat. OLD MAN: Your cat meow meow. My cat miu miu. MAMA: My cat has black hair. OLD MAN: My cat has brown hair. MAMA: My cat has short tail. OLD MAN: My cat also has short tail. MAMA: Short tails are beautiful.
16. Production information for plays by Kuo Pao Kun: Guan Cai Tai Da Dong Tai Siao (The Coffin Is Too Big for the Hole), at Victoria Theatre, Singapore, 2325 July 1985; No Parking on Odd Days, at Shell Theatrette, Singapore, 3 June 1986; Mama Looking for her Cat, at Singapore Conference Hall, Singapore, 1015 August 1988; The Eagle and the Cat at The Substation, Singapore, 15 September 1990. 17. These are common phrases in current government discourse.

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OLD MAN: Very beautiful. MAMA: My cat has been chased away by my children. OLD MAN: My cat also chased out by my children. Bad people. Very bad. Very bad! MAMA: Dont get excited. No need to pain yourself for what they have done. Cheer up. Cheer up. (Kuo 2000:12930) On the page, in English, what comes across most strongly is the parable-like nature of the tale, complete with instances of cultural difference (meow meow/miu miu) and aesthetic agreement (short tails are beautiful). One senses that onstage the scene would take on a participatory, improvisatory, and highly physicalized quality. The actor who played the part of the Old Man, T. Sasitharan (aka Sasi), has since described the scenes genesis in a Grotowski-style workshop run by the Taiwanese theatre-maker Liu Jin-ming. Told they were insulting cats by imitating them, the actors had to find alternative ways of invoking the animal. In subsequent rehearsals, this archetypal exercise coincided with the one point in the narrative where Mamas cat is rendered onstage. Kuo left the scene under-rehearsed, neither actor fully understanding the other. Yet, in Sasis judgment, it was the only moment where two people properly understood each other: You have to find some other kind of correlation to understanding catness: to look in terms of balance, rhythm, verticality, vocalization. The verticality goes. You immediately stop using words, and begin mewing, purring, meowing [] Actually, it was much more complex. You began to use sounds, rather than recognizable words. I was speaking in Tamil, and she was speaking in Hokkien, and to some extent, that forces you to move into some other kind of vocalization. Because you are disconnectingyoure not sure what shes saying. You think you have some idea that its a cat [that shes talking about], but it was just a particular kind of chemistry between me and her. Every time I moved or uttered a sound which was like a cat, she would respond, and she would do likewise. (T. Sasitharan 2005) What is striking here is the ambiguous nature of both the performers and the characters identifications with the cat. Sasis progressive nuancing of the description reflects the processual nature of the act itself. He disavows imitation yet describes his responsiveness to the actress and his own use of movement and language in ways that are familiar to anyone who has watched cats interact. As they both speak of their cats to the uncomprehending other, they uncover feline qualities within their own languages and hear them in each others. This hints at a specifically theatrical mode of producing affect. In Cats, it seemed to inhere in the loping non-time of the experience as a whole; but in individual performances, where choreographer Gillian Lynne aimed to impose the kind of feline movement and reactions [] that could also interpret human emotions accurately (in Richmond 1995:75), one might identify a recuperation of affect into the discursive realm of a recognizable emotional register. In Mama, by contrast, we might say that the key actors staged a mode of feline affect that was materially immanent to their performances. It was in the materiality of their voices and of their specific languages, and in an immediate gestural responsiveness, that they felt out their interrelation with reference to the cat. Between mime and description, being human and becoming cat, the actors appear to have generated a shared communication that did not, for all that, dissolve the ethnic-cultural casts of their distinct life experiences. Animality, it would appear, does not devolve into a universal degree zero of base physicality and primal desire. Rather, in the theatre at least, it may paradoxically reside in precisely those characteristics said to distinguish us from other animalsthe nonsignifying, material qualities of the languages we speak and of the gestures we perform with those prehensilethumbed hands of ours.


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The Politics of the Pack

Where Singaporeans would appear to come together in their shared ambivalence over the Merlion, then, Mama suggests the potential of a shared enthusiasm forand capacity for embodyingthe feline. However, despite the enduring appeal of this particular scene among theatre enthusiasts in Singapore, and his own provocative description, Sasi nevertheless judges it a failure due to its reliance on an emotional register relative to the formalism elsewhere in the performance. Anyone who likes cats or dogs is an idiot, write Deleuze and Guattari ([1980] 2004:265, translation modified), and perhaps the shortcomings of the scene in Mama are made evident by the very fact of its being so well-liked. By way of conclusion, then, I wish to look to one final example from the Singaporean cultural cattery: Kuos monologue, The Eagle and the Cat (1990). The paucity of performances of the playit was initially staged for one night only, and revived in a rehearsed reading, again by Sasi, in 1997hints at its lack of appeal, compared with Kuos other monodramas. However, it is as much because of the plays flaws as its potential that I invoke it here. The play starts, like many of Kuos scripts, with a perplexed disclaimer: It should have been a dream. Because something like that couldnt have happened in this world. And yet it was definitely not a dream (Kuo 2000:222). The narrator recounts how he, a Chinese national, had been snubbed at an unnamed embassy in Singapore and was walking angrily down the street. Squatting by the roadside to calm down, he sees uniformed men chasing a group of cats. As the cats pass, they stop and tug his leg, encouraging the narrator to join them. His initial resistance crumbles as he transforms into a cat: What followed were not thoughts anymore. They were reflexes [] As the cry of the pack of cats sounded, as they started to flee again, I instinctively followed. Before I knew it, I was sprinting furiously after the leading cat, and crying aloud together with them. My body became wet with sweat, and for some reason I began to weep uncontrollably. And I cried and yelled louder and louder as I followed the pack of cats as if I was also running for my life! (228) The cats escape into a sewer; a dialogue ensues; and the narrator is persuaded to ascend to the top of a hotel with a pampered visitor to the group. There, he is carried off by an eagle, who tries and fails repeatedly to breach a net in the sky. The narrator is then dropped to the ground, and explains he has been returning to the same spot for a week now, hoping to reencounter the animals. If this brief outline makes The Eagle and the Cat sound rather trite, then that is because, in part, it is: the symbolism is simplistic and the references over-literal. But it is also a play that explores the affective relations between humans and animals, and this range, reflecting the diverse modalities of feline performance explored in the preceding account, means it provides a useful opportunity to conclude. Like the state lions, the eagle is first and foremost a symbolic creature, and its tussle with the net a too-obvious metaphor of social constraint. Similarly, the playwright makes a weak attempt at topical satire, when the cats reveal they are being chased by STB officers for overseas export as Kucintas. In both cases, the interpretations are as heavy-handed as those they aim to critique, thereby reinforcing the overdetermination of animal figures in certain domains of official discourse in Singapore. At the same time, the play features some startling imagery, especially during the narrators feline metamorphosis. As such, the scene offers a highly suggestivebecause impossible glimpse into staging animality. Society and the State need animal characteristics to use for classifying people, write Deleuze and Guattari:
Paul Rae

Animal characteristics can be mythic or scientific. But we are not interested in characteristics; what interest us are modes of expansion, propagation, occupation, contagion,


peopling [] It is at this point that the human being encounters the animal. We do not become animal without a fascination for the pack, for multiplicity [] Who has not known the violence of these animal sequences, which uproot one from humanity, if only for an instant, making one scrape at ones bread like a rodent or giving one the yellow eyes of a feline? A fearsome involution calling us towards unheard-of becomings. ([1980] 2004:26465) In these terms, it is Kuos figuring of the pack (and, by featuring government agents hunting down cats en masse, prefiguring of the 2003 cull) that is of interest in The Eagle and the Cat. Referencing a rich oral tradition of Chinese storytelling, it is as if the staging is pared down in inverse proportion to the unruly multitude conjured by the narrative. Indeed, in his rehearsed reading, Sasi explains, he learned the lines but read parts of the script from a stand, so when he did leave off reading and begin slyly to establish eye contact with the audience, their engagement would be all the more substantial. For him, these subtle transitions did the work of the mighty transformations he was calling on audience members to imagine: eyeballing felinity into the auditorium in line with those animal sequences of which Deleuze and Guattari write.

Additionally, Kuo deliberately chose an ethnic Indian actor to narrate the experience of a Chinese national. A strong reading of this would identify a critique of the marginalized status of both groups within Singaporean society. However, in light of the affective relations introduced when the narrator becomes a catand the storyteller effects this imaginative transformation a more nuanced interpretation becomes possible: a series of national, ethnic, and class identifications can circulate through animality without collapsing into archetypes, or separating out sufficiently to produce metaphor or analogy.

Figure 8. Logo for the inaugural Singapore Theatre Festival, held at the Drama Centre and produced in August 2006 by W!LD RICE Theatre Company. The festival featured seven plays, including a restaging of W!LD RICE, Five Arts Centre, and The Actors Studios The Second Link (directed by Ivan Heng and Krishen Jit, with texts curated by Eleanor Wong, Alvin Pang, and Leow Puay Tin); and the premire of The Silence of the Kittens by Ovidia Yu (directed by Aidli Alin Mosbit), a play inspired by the 2003 cat culling. (Illustration by Mark Kan; image courtesy of W!LD RICE Theatre Company)

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If anything, observed Sasi, audience members quickly forgot about the disjunctive relationship between the teller and the told. If anything, it is the human encounter with catness that emerges most forcefully in the playnot the politically singularizing sort so assiduously


pursued by the Singapore state, nor the direct interactions of the cat-welfare activists, nor the aspirational kind promised by a Cats-style transformation. Instead, The Eagle and the Cat suggests that the theatre might yet become a place where all these modes can be interrogated, and where the unexpected, multiplicitous effects and affects of becoming-cat might be explored; that under the subtly but pervasively authoritarian conditions that continue to characterize life in Singapore, the theatre might buck the trend and become the den of the Lion that meowed.
References Alfian Saat 1998 2004 One Fierce Hour. Singapore: Landmark Books. Whats with Malays and Cats? The (Un)truth about Cats and Dogs: Animals As Bodies of Racialised Significations on Singapore TV. http://kakiseni.com.my/articles/features/ MDU3Ng.html ( July 2005). Empty Signifiers Make the Most Noise (Or, Reflections on the Merlions Reflection). In Mike: Exhibition Catalogue Published in Conjunction with the 51st International Art ExhibitionLa Biennale di Venezia, 1321. Singapore: National Arts Council and Singapore Art Museum. Who is Malay? Yawningbread.org. http://www.yawningbread.org (August 2006). Race and Ethnicity: the Singaporean Perspective. Yawningbread.org. http://www.yawningbread.org (August 2006).


Au, Alex 2005 2006

Deleuze, Gilles, and Flix Guattari 2004 [1980] A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia. Translated by Brian Massumi. London: Continuum. Goh Chok Tong 1999 Guare, John 1999 [1990] Six Degrees of Separation. In Plays 1:22392. London: Methuen. Ho Tzu Nyen 2004 Kua, Dawn 2003 Kuo Pao Kun 2000 Images at the Margins: A Collection of Kuo Pao Kuns Plays. Singapore: Times Books International. Performing the Singapore State: 19881995. PhD diss., University of Western Sydney. Swearing In Speech: Lets Shape our Future Together. SPRINTER (Singapore Press Releases on the Internet), Singapore Government. http://www.sprinter.gov.sg (October 2006). Speech by the Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew at the Launching of the National Courtesy Campaign at Singapore Conference Hall on Friday, 1 June 79, at 8.30 PM. SPRINTER (Singapore Press Releases on the Internet), Singapore Government. http://www.sprinter.gov.sg ( July 2005). STB Should Focus on Beauty of True Singapore Cats. Straits Times, 22 January. Catwelfare.org. http://www.catwelfare.org/news_view/id/89 ( July 2005). Every Cat in History is I. Lecture-performance at the Humanimal Forum, the Substation, Singapore, 11 September. Prime Ministers National Day Rally Speech 1999. Singapore: Ministry of Information, Communications, and the Arts.

Langenbach, Ray 2003 2004 Lee Hsien Loong

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Li Xueying 2005 Long, Susan 2003 Lou Ek Hee 2000 M. Nirmala 2005 1998 1993a 1993b Pang, Melissa 2005 2002 Song of the Merlion. Sunday Times, 5 June:L5. The Megamusical and Beyond: The Creation, Internationalization and Impact of a Genre. In The Cambridge Companion to the Musical, edited by William A. Everett and Paul R. Laird, 24666. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. The Musicals of Andrew Lloyd Webber. London: Virgin Publishing Ltd. The Lion Head Symbol. Singapore Infomap. http://www.sg ( July 2005). Build Merlion Resort with Marine Theme. Straits Times, 19 September:H9. Lion with Fish Tail Is Tourist Boards New Emblem. Straits Times, 25 April:6. Interview with author. Singapore, 15 August. Dim Sum Dollies: Singapores Most Wanted! Unpublished manuscript. Honour the Squirrel? Not for the Lionhearted. Straits Times, 16 August:H6. Once More with Feline. Straits Times, 7 November:6. Local Cats to Share Limelight. Straits Times, 18 February. Catwelfare.org. http://www.catwelfare.org/news_view/id/90 ( July 2005). Cats Entertainment Ulysses by the Merlion. Singapore: Heinemann Educational Books (Asia) Ltd. Prece, Paul, and William A. Everett Competition GlobalNot Just Students from China. Straits Times, 14 February:3. Andrew Lloyd Webbers Cats. DVD of musical. U.K.: Really Useful Films. 7 Broadway Musicals to Come. Straits Times, 10 October:10. Near Purrfection from Audacious Cats. Straits Times, 22 November:13. Mallet, David, dir. Pandian, Hannah Stray Cat Sterilisation Project at Bukit Merah View. Singapore Veterinary Journal 24. http://www.sva.org.sg/papers_full.asp?paperID=9 ( July 2005). Welcome to Campaign Country. Straits Times, 25 March. http://straitstimes.asiaone. com/ (March 2003). A New Singapore Icon Roars to Life. Straits Times, 24 January:1.

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