<source: http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne+News/Singapore/Story/A1Story20111129-313252.html

by Joy Fang on my paper, Tuesday, Nov 29, 2011>


If you’re one of those who think Singapore’s history is boring, then you need to talk to Anthony Morse, host of TV show Hidden Cities.

Much lies beneath Singapore’s glittering facade, said Morse, 31, who is based in Chiang Mai. Hidden Cities – which takes viewers to relatively unknown spots in Asian countries – is airing its episode on Singapore tomorrow night.

“Singapore didn’t come out of nowhere. It has a past and a history… There needs to be a change in attitude and perception (that Singapore’s history is dull),” Morse told my paper recently when he was in town to promote the show.

In the episode, he investigates a mysterious under- ground facility in Marsiling, and looks into Singapore’s colonial past and its involvement in World War II.

Morse – who is of American and ethnic Myanmarese heritage – said Singaporeans often tell him that “we don’t have anything (of inter- est)”. He hopes the episode will pique curiosities and “prove to naysayers that there are many things worth exploring here”.

Indeed, even though modern Singapore is relatively new, he feels that Singaporeans should take pride in their country’s history.

“If you are curious enough, and eager to dig and ask and learn, you can uncover so much, even in just a small area,” said Morse, who was attending grad- uate school prior to signing on as Hidden Cities’ host.

He was in Singapore to film the episode over two weeks in April, and also stayed here for a month last year. In that time, he came to love what he described as a cultural melting pot.

His initial impression of Singapore was that it was a cosmopolitan city, but he was struck immediately by its “local flavour”. He cited examples such as the hawker centres, Chinatown, and “the small mom and pop, locally owned shops in HDB blocks”, all of which he feels are unique.

“For such a small geographical area, it is just teeming with diversity,” said Morse. “So many countries are represented here… It really is a good representation of an international community.”