Payoh is a novel that asks us to think about the effects of power and the meaning of freedom in a governed society — through the eyes of birds! Join us for the launch of this political fable, followed by a dialogue based on the question, "Why does the caged bird sing?"
In a writing workshop at Changi Prison, retired professor JG Chan encounters a story written by inmate Alphonsus Goh. Payoh tells the adventures of a sulphur-crested cockatoo named Lucky who finds his way to a protected bird sanctuary.
Conflict soon ensues, and the sanctuary birds decide it's time to gain autonomy from their human-watchers. They assemble a small team of leaders to govern their newly independent sanctuary.
However, skeptics and detractors also exist within...
"A story that needs to be told to every generation, as a reminder to all that equality and freedom are great to talk and nice to dream about, but elusive to practice." — Ismail Kassim, political observer.
About the Author
Jim KC Tan is a retired specialist contractor. As much as he identifies himself as an everyday Joe, a significant experience with the wall of bureaucracy left its mark on him. Instead of complaining about his situation, he wrote a book. Payoh is that book and it has been over 15 years in the making.
About the Illustrator
Morgan Chua began drawing for the Singapore Herald in 1970. He spent 24 years in Far East Economic Review (FEER), where he rose from editorial artist to creative director. Morgan left FEER in 1997 and is currently based in Tanjong Pinang. Some of his recent works include My Singapore (2000, 2008), In Memory of Madam Kwa Geok Choo (2011) and LKY: Political Cartoons (2015).