Beautiful Revolutions:

TJC Members' Newsletter
February 2023

Members' Reflections

This month, TJC member Sasha reflects on their journey with the collective so far. Sasha has been with TJC since 2021 and is part of the Drug Policy working group.

At different times in my life, when I’ve joined a cause or community, I’ve felt so happy and relieved that I’ve found my people - those who have the same desires and outlooks - that I may have felt I’ve found my home too quickly. We love them for the community that we’re in with them, and overlook or maybe even dismiss that we still have to be person with person, within organisation and outside of it, and continue to work and grow with, for and from each other. 

For me, the beauty of TJC lies in its constant evolution, openness and experimenting, while being strongly grounded in the causes we’re fighting for. Kickstarting this newsletter, for example, speaks to the recognition of the need to keep ourselves updated and in the know of what the organisation as a whole is doing, and to stay strongly connected. So I’m happy that we’re experimenting. 

This year, TJC started expanding its social media reach. We now have a TikTok channel, where we had put up some cute videos of our people, and some behind-the-scenes prep that goes into doorknocking. We got mixed responses - the audience maybe isn’t as connected to the people behind the causes as it is to the causes themselves. So though the foray into that possibly wasn’t aligned with our usual outreach style, I love that we experimented, and that we could. 

TJC also started a weekly report of what goes on in court, and that helps both for us to know what struggles those who are affected by the law are going through, and to have an avenue for our audience to become more aware. And I’m excited that we have been and will continue to identify what’s needed, explore, and learn. We know we’re here, we want to grow and sustain, and we want to connect within our organisation and outside. 

Having been in TJC pretty much since the start, it’s taken me personally some time to find my footing in what and how I can contribute, my connection to the causes and the sustainability of myself and the projects I’m involved in. So if you’re feeling unsure if you’re connected, reach out. If you’ve got ideas that support the causes, create and showcase them. If you have thoughts about our audience and what speaks to them, share them. As we develop more projects and programmes within TJC, I trust that we’ll always be home.

What do you think about our posts on social media? What would you like to see on our TikTok channel? Get in touch with our TikTok team (Sachi [] & Koki []) and follow TJC on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter.

Words of the Month


In Singapore, both the government and the mainstream media tend to use “drug abuse” or “drug abusers” to refer to people who use drugs. This is derogatory and disempowering language that reinforces stigma around drug use and undermines the agency of people who use drugs. The word ‘abuser’ evokes links to violence, anger or a lack of control. It blames the person using drugs, and obscures the many types of relationships people may have with drugs, from recreational or medicinal use to hazardous use.

At TJC, we use the terms “drug use”, “drug users” and “people who use drugs” - these are neutral terms that refrain from moralising, and invite an open-ended understanding of the spectrum of possibilities when it comes to people’s diverse relationships with drugs. In many places around the world, drug policy reform and harm reduction efforts are led by community-based organisations of drug users who use this language in their organisations’ names, e.g. International Network of Women who Use Drugs, or IDUCARE (Injecting Drug Users Care) in the Philippines.

Some announcements!

This months' highlights:

Operation Coldstore 60th Anniversary Commemoration Event

On 18th Feb 2023, TJC and Function8 co-organised a commemoration of the 60th anniversary of Operation Coldstore. Over 130 individuals were detained during the operation, some for over decades, under the guise of their being communists. Lee Kuan Yew used Coldstore as an opportunity to remove his political opponents. At the commemoration, we heard from activists across generations, from ages 21 to 93.

More here!

Tak Boleh Tahan! Townhall #2: Do we have to work till we drop dead?

Over 120 people showed up to Tak Boleh Tahan! townhall 2 last Sunday! Focusing on retirement and welfare adequacy, the lively crowd spoke to the failures of Singapore’s social safety nets in protecting the working class, the need for the people to demand more social redistribution and stronger, independent unions to protect workers from exploitation.

Catch-up on the recording here!

Upcoming Events:

Tak Boleh Tahan! Townhall #3: Is this home, truly?

The third and last townhall of the Tak Boleh Tahan! series is happening at the end of March. Titled ‘Is this Home, Truly?’, the townhall will address how we can make sure that all Singaporeans have the safe, affordable homes we all deserve? Come and hear what other Singaporeans are going through, and share your own struggles with building your home in Singapore. We'll be sending out a registration link once the details are confirmed, so look out for that!

Monthly socials

We'll be starting monthly socials at SingLit Station from March onwards, and we're kicking it off with a games night in March, followed by a movie night in April, both organised by Sasha. Feel free to bring along snacks and drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic). If you're interested in hosting a social, or have any questions about our upcoming ones, please reach out to Sasha via Telegram, at @princex_sasha.

- Sat, 18th March: Games Night @ SLS (22 Dickson Rd), 6PM onwards
- Sat, 15 April: Movie Night @ SLS (22 Dickson Rd), 6PM onwards

News of the Month

School Work: A discipline master who uses his police officer experience to teach children right from wrong

A CNA series about school professionals interview an ex-police officer working as a discipline master in a primary school. The article glosses over the ex-officer saying that caning is a logical and appropriate punishment in schools. Anecdotally, many former police officers take on disciplinary roles in schools, which may contribute to maintaining punitive culture and practices in schools.
Malaysia to allow automatic citizenship for children born overseas to Malaysian mums

A patriarchal law is set to be overturned in Malaysia. Currently only Malaysian men can pass on their citizenship to their children born overseas, while Malaysian women have to apply for their children to attain citizenship. The application takes years, and parents have to pay significantly more in education and healthcare for their non-citizen children while awaiting approval. A similar constitutional amendment was made in Singapore in 2004 after years of advocacy by AWARE.
Mah Kiat Seng, awarded $20,000 in damages for being wrongly imprisoned on basis of mental illness

Mah was detained under the Mental Healthcare and Treatment Act for a day. The judge found that the police officer and the doctor at the police lock-up made false claims about Mah’s symptoms to justify the arrest. Mah was awarded $20,000 in damages for unlawful arrest.
PAP MPs missing “the elephant in the room” about fiscal health of the Budget 2023

The deficit budget presented at this year’s budget debate relies on an accounting sleight-of-hand – money moved to endowment funds is counted as this year’s expenditure, while the money is only disbursed over a number of years. This over represents annual government expenditure, which has been used to justify conservative welfare policies as well as the recent GST hikes.

Members' Voices

Add your voice to the TJC newsletter! It could be a post, reflection, visual, drawing, or anything you'd like to express related to the work we do. Write-ups are to be 300-500 words, visuals are preferred to be in the ratio of 16:9. Contact Sasha on Tele: @princex_sasha or Discord: sasha (#3425), or email us at, and we’ll connect you to Sasha.

The Newsletter Team


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Transformative Justice Collective · New Bridge Road · Singapore 059299 · Singapore