The Online Citizen

Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har promise not to back down

October 09
12:00 2011

~by: Ellery A~

“Singapore has sufficient laws (other than the ISA) in place to effect public order” – Francis Seow

I know it may not happen in a thousand years but I will not back down until the Singapore government issues an official apology” – Tang Fong Har

With the Internal Security Act (ISA) being the current hot topic in Singapore, about 150 people gathered in the Diamond Room within Quality Hotel, on the 8th of October,  for a dialogue session organized by the Singapore Democratic Party: “Silenced No More: A conversation with Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har”.

Francis Seow is a former Solicitor-General who was elected as President of the Council of the Law Society in 1976. His appointment led to confrontations with then-Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew over the role of the Law Society in legislation. He also ran for the 1988 General Elections in a Workers’ Party team. However just before the elections, he was detained without trial for 72 days under the ISA; accused of having received funds from the United States. He later left the country and was convicted in absentia. He now resides in Massachusetts.

Tang Fong Har is a lawyer who was detained in 1987 during Operation Spectrum under the ISA. She stated that while detained, she was physically abused and forced to admit guilt of subversion of state. She was released on 12 September 1987 and subsequently left Singapore. She now resides in Hong Kong.

Francis Seow began with a sharing on his ISA ordeal. He said that the government did not accuse him of Marxism, rather they alleged that he was under the influence of the United States’ CIA. “Either way, they win”, he said with a wry smile.

The floor was then opened to members of the public, political figures and inquiring journalists to pose their questions. A notable question from one individual dwelled on whether the removal of ISA would be a risky move, exposing the nation to terrorist threats.

Without hesitation, Francis slammed this notion, saying that the Singapore had sufficient laws in place to effect public order. Seow also regularly talked about then Prime Minister Lee Kwan Yew referring to his experiences with the man. “I worked with Lee Kwan Yew, given half the chance, he will manipulate you all again”.

A certain sadness rested upon Francis Seow, as he recounted his failed attempt to renew his expired Singapore passport. Sadness turned to understandable bitterness and cynicism towards Singapore’s judiciary system. “I have no hope for the judiciary system”, he remarked, stating that the judiciary and the ruling party worked “hand in hand”.

However, it seemed that Francis was divided in his opinions. On one hand, he advocated the abolishment of the ISA, trusting that Singapore had other laws that would not leave it vulnerable. On the other hand, his troubled past appeared to have stripped him of whatever faith he had in Singapore’s government and legal institutions. It would give the impression that abolishing a single law would not be enough if the whole system is wrong.

Nonetheless, Francis did not look to be in defeat. Rather, he still had in him a strong sense of justice and a fiery spirit that showed strongly, even on screen.

Next up was Tang Fong Har, calling from her home in Hong Kong. The questions directed to her seemed more personal and Fong Har answered them honestly. At times, Fong Har wore her heart on her sleeve, showing that she was still emotionally affected by that dark period of Singapore’s history so many years ago.

When asked whether she regretted doing what she did in the past, she shook her head. “If anything, I regret doing too little”, she said, to loud applause from the audience. Tang replied that those who stayed in Singapore were “the unsung heroes, they should be applauded”, referring to the eight who were detained again after Operation Spectrum.

Fong Har’s story was an emotional one and her narrative was marked with honesty. “I have a grudge against so many people” she admitted, adding that she would not back down until the ruling party issued an “official apology”.

However, several questioned the relevancy of an issue that seemed almost buried in the past. Would the younger generation care about the stories of the detainees? And if they did, what would they do about it? Fong Har responded by emphasizing that she would not impose on the new generation. Instead, she said that there were far more crucial social issues weighing down on our society.

Instead she wanted people to be aware of what happened all those years ago, of the wrongs that were brought upon so many people. “Something that is wrong, is wrong”, she said. There were no two ways about it.

It was clear from hearing the two speak, that the events of Operation Spectrum still haunted them to this day. Fong Har’s emotional recounting and Francis’ fiery words were testament to this. The two did go through traumatizing experiences and lived in a time when the nation was shrouded in a climate of fear. Both thus wanted to right the wrongs done to them, they wanted justice.

Francis emphasised ISA abolishment, while it appeared that Fong Har wanted more than that, she wanted a sense of closure. However, both knew that their demands were still a tall order for the Singapore government.

Still, Singaporeans, and especially the younger generation, should hold their experiences as an important part of Singapore’s rich past. Remember their tribulations, remember their bravery and learn from their experiences. For what then is history, if we do not learn from it?

  • iVOTEahMENG

    who is francis seow?
    he was onced an apple to leekingyou
    the most fearsome public protitutor who literally can charged you a death sentence without a body…
    later he turned over a new leaf…and was xiled to usa for life..
    he hates the royale prince for he labelled him a mama’s boi(in real ife..he is still a mama’s boi)
    his son the other siowed tried to enter politics under the alternate party..butt too suffrred a heavy defeat..off all the grcs.. he picked on holland…

  • andrew leung

    The Minister of Home Affairs should issue them their passports and let them come back. They should be given a fair trial if MHA want to impose charges against them. PAP must give a full account in the Parliament meeting on ISA.

  • ngpy

    What have the Authorities got to say about it and what will the mass Population and the Whole World think of it.
    Right or wrong, true or false of which I have no qualms about because it is the past and its politics. Let people live in dreams and their concience, be it right or wrong.
    BUT I DO CARE WHEN THEY WILL BE PAYING ME BACK MY CPF IN ONE SUM INSTEAD OF PIECE MEAL AND STOP TO SUPPRESS ME INTO GIVING MORE BEFORE I M ABLE TO RENEW WHAT I NEED TO RENEW BY WAY OF GIVING INTO CPF MEDISAVE WHICH IN MY OPINION IN NO WAY I AM ABLE TO GET IT BACK TILL I AM DEAD AND GONE.
    Anyone who do not agree with me please give me reasons, I m will to listen and accept.

  • Titiana Ann Xavier

    The late 2nd PM, Tun Abdul Razak, father of the present PM of Malaysia described LKY in unflattering terms: “He does not care what happens to people as long as he can get into power”. All those who were detained felt the full force of his power. No one was spared and no quarters were given to annihilate dissent.

    Father D’Souza who edited The Catholic News, had articles criticising multi-national corporations, Newspaper and Presses Act, etc published was demonised as “a Don Juan in Holy orders”

  • I Believe Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har

    It is scary listening to Francis Seow and Fong Har speak about their confrontation with the govt. I believe every word they say because there is no modicum of concrete proof to show, in the court of justice, that they are guilty. The govt should not hide behind the ISA to put away political opponents or anyone it deemed a political threat.

    To use an expression from Shakespeare, the ISA is only fit for the, “barbarous caves” and certainly not for modern Singapore.

    The writings are on the wall for the ruling party. There is no escape. The Singapore public demands a Committee Of Inquiry (COI)to get to the bottom of things and to see that justice is done to all those who had suffered for years under the ISA. Until A COI is convened, the public has every right to assume that the victims are innocent. The guilt of the rulin party is exacerbated by its refusal to conduct a COI.

    It is for the ruling party to call for an immediate COI or for an opposition party to do so when it finally comes to power in the not- to- distant future. The ruling party must understand that it is really Hobson’s choice. As a nation, we should move forward without having this burden of guilt on our backs. Let the truth be told so that we can move on in a clean slate. The ruling party owes the people of Singapore to call for a COI or it will be an indelible black mark on its rights to rule Singapore.

    From a True Blue Singaporean,

  • popcorn

    Then we now demonise all those PAP members, including the soon to be up the lorry Mafia King, as Don Juan in easily wet pants.
    No backing down, ISA is for suppressing political dissent, keep up the heat.

  • doppelganger

    There is nothing like an encounter with the ISD to convince you that the country is in shit. I and my family was set upon by the ISD for two years because there is a divorce in the family and the divorcing party engaged a Law firm with close connections with the top guns of the PAP. This Law firm soon set the ISD hounds on us. The ISD interviewed one of us, threatening him with the Shari’ah (as if they are also the Religious Authority too), stopped us at checkpoints everytime we had to travel, checking us to no purpose, just to humiliate us.It all stopped when the litigation ended. Of course we lost every Court Hearing as there was no chance for justice between the ISD and a compliant judiciary. The system left us with just basic rights that would be highly incongruous in a civilized multiracial and multireligious state and would certainly attract the public’s attention if these too were denied us. During my contact with the ISD I noticed how arrogant and insolent they were as they openly regarded themselves as our talisman. In my desperation at an immigration checkpoint, my plane was moving and I phoned one of the ISD man and he insolently told me to not depend on him so much as he is not my Talisman.

    Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har experienced almost the full extent of the ISD and the puppet judges of Singapore. I say ‘almost’ because they were not incarcerated for any length of time like some others ( even 30 years long). Maybe because the two were seen to be capable of public support if the ISD had kept them behind bars for any length of time. I and my family had by comparison only a whiff of their horrid smell.Yet it has convinced me that the whole police and Law systems in Singapore is no better than the systems in the middle east now undergoing violent upheaval.

    In Singapore, the PAP does not yet dare to go the whole way with the people unlike in the middle eastern countries now under siege. In these countries,people are hauled out of cars and houses and defiled openly by the secret political police. Confiscation of property, genocide and rape are routinely executed by the governments against their own subjects. Here in S the tyranny is executed by the Rule of Law on only a very small proportion of the population, sporadically not routinely, so the backlash will not likely be an Arab Spring.

    The form the backlash will take however depends on the speed the Law and Police System in S is overhauled for attaining justice. I cannot speak for the PAP, but I think they will be smart enough to dismantle their talismanic force which now terrorize the indigenous population of Singapore. ( You must know that the ISD has never touched the foreign talent in Singapore).

  • Robert Teh

    Singapore being a signatory to the UN Human Right convention, it is answerable to any forms of human right abuses to the 16 Marxist detainees and many others like Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong, Chia Thye Poh, Dr. Lim Hock Siew and others.

    Where human rights as defined and signed as signatory by Singapore are breached, Singapore government can no longer rely on the usual excuse of interferences in the internal affairs of the signatory.

    Evidences need to be produced by MHA to show to the UN Human Right Council that the detainees have committed acts of treason, and security threats to the state, failing which the honorable way out will be for MHA on behalf of government to issue apologies to all these people who by far were only righteous citizens whose only mistakes or perceived mistakes were only for holding of different views and opinion on how government should behave and be run out of patriotic spirit.

    Younger citizens including the 4th generation leaders should discuss the matter among themselves on whether we can afford to run a country in the same manner and ask for true change and not cover up such skeletons in the cupboard pretending they did not happen.

  • Name (required)

    Regardless of all kinds of reasons given by the PAP government for keeping ISA, all Singaporeans know in their heart that ISA is used for suppressing political dissent, a tool to entrench PAP in power.

  • Sobeit

    You better believe that Francis Seow, as Solicitor General of Singapore then and having served Singapore and LKY before turning his back on him, knows what he is talking about. That LKY will continue to manipulate the people of Singapore,now behind the scene, to justify his control and dominance of the island is quite obvious and blatant. LHL is helpless against what Papa is doing.
    LKY’s personality is such that he will never admit wrong, never give in to legitimate claims and human rights, and never show any compassion for others as he only feels with his head, a typical sign of Lucifer, Satanic arrogance and obstinate unyielding brazenness of the powerful…
    Young Singaporeans better beware and know that this current bunch of lawyers in politics as Ministers and MPs are also of such character and categories, counted upon and depended on to use the CPIB, CID and ISA on future generations of young to maintain the corrupt power and control by the PAPies…In Singapore the best legal brains are not appointed, recruited or promoted to the ruling elite; the most subservient and most devious and manipulative, driven by money and corrupt power are in to be PAPies…so if the young are not astute and not be-warned, they will get a taste with a new wave of LKY styles activities, of foul justices and law very soon.
    PAPies are right now already plotting on how to control and obliterate social media.
    Judges are chosen to serve PAPies, not the common honest folks of Singapore. But PAPies karma will take its course as you will see soon.

  • Chicharito

    ISA, when misused is legalised ‘hooliganism’. The likes of Francis Seow and Tang Fong Har.. plus many others who were the detained, were victims of such draconian law. It is a law, or should I call it a lame excuse to put away innocent poeple who could be a political threat when common laws could find no faults. Therefore it is like a thrump card to LKY.. used to carry out illegal act in a legal way..

  • oms

    Singaporeans, and especially the younger generation better learn from LKY.

  • Every Singaporean Stands In Support Of The Politicl Detainees

    Every Singaporean identifies himself with the detainees because we can become the next Francis Seow, Teo Soh Lung,Tang Fong Har, etc if we are deemed to have crossed the threshold of political tolerance as determined by the ruling party.

    We, as Singapore citizens, have the right to demand a COI under the supervision of the United Nations or an official state apology if COL is not forthcoming but with punishments meted out to those who violated human rights law and and also an abolition of the ISA. Otherwise,we will throw out the ruling party with our votes in 2016 and demand that the new govt carry out an official COI in accordance with International Laws.

    We request that TOC keep this issue burning like a Torch of Justice until it is resolved in a formal and just way.

  • Pingback: Francis Seow says he would like to return to Singapore

  • Ex Singaporean

    Marxist conspiracy? The years leading to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the communists’ influence were wanning. It was a good excuse at the time because Singaporeans were too timid and scared to go against them with their tight political grip. Nothing could break through.

    CIA gave money to Francis Seow? Yes, probably. Because political parties at the time did not get monetary support from anyone, the CIA, to enhance political freedom, might have given some money which was not enough to fight the mighty machinery of the PAP.

  • LOYAL

    Both of them must get their singapore passport back.They are treated like pariah when We take foreigners who are not even loyal to singapore.I hope one day the singapore will change and recall all singaporeans who have in exile

  • http://= bangmasterclass

    Nothing will change until after the MAN goes to the happy hunting ground and LHL steps down. Then all change.

  • White supporter

    Though old man has resigned, he could still give the junior his words of advise at home right?

    hahaha.

    change.

    hahahaha!!!1

  • Yuhui

    Francis Seow abandoned Singaporeans by hiding in the US. Now become US citizen, point finger here and there. create trouble.

    -.-

  • iVOTEahMENG

    Yuhui9 October 2011
    Francis Seow abandoned Singaporeans by hiding in the US. Now become US citizen,
    ………….
    indeed..leekingyou hav no part in it @ all
    right?
    do you hold a credit card?
    leekingyou can manupilate the credit card companies to let the whole wide world know ow you spent/buy your barangs….

  • Yuhui

    Har?

    Shipping expensive. Last time i tried vPost. But they lost my parcel -.-

  • LKY style

    Francis Seow came to the attention of LKY when realised the potential of FS. So LKY plotted to bring down FS and at the first opportunity, did so. The whole thing is so petty, just like LKY did to CSJ, Devan Nair etc. The ISA is LKY. It is the saviour of LKY. Whenever LKY fells threatened, up goes his iron fist, and the ISA is released to do its job. The ISD people are bred to be like LKY, think like LKY and behave like LKY. That is why LKY can stay in power for so long(at the same time becoming the richest man in the world). So what is so great with LKY? Remove the ISA and you remove LKY.

  • Kampong boy

    How come the Pap can so easily take away the citizenship of born and bred Singaporeans while so easily give citizenship to foreigners born and bred in other countries?

  • HYPOCRITES in White

    We want to know more .
    Will appreciate if Francis Seow and TFH can tell us more details on the net,tell us directly, one way or other, skip TOC because TOC is still afraid to report, tell us from where you are, dont come back singapore, because the country under pap has betrayed you. It is not worth a place to stay, many singaporeans dying to leave this sickening SICKapore.

  • F-pap

    What use for this thing called ISA when they let mas salamat escaped, and had to depend on our neighbour country to catch him.
    What a laughing stock!
    Joke of the Century.

  • Yuhui

    okay lah. not happy with Singapore just leave lah. Go to United States, get a US citizenship. Then critisize SIngapore with SDP lah, like how Francis Seow does.

  • yeoman

    it is an irony we decry lack of local talents and even gladly welcome true blue commies form the PRC.

    NOW,GUYS SYCH AS FRANCIS SEOW are born n bred local talents we threw away.

    these are brains that could have helped the govt to think more -out-of-the-box and helped build a better Singapore for all SINGAPOREANS.

    oftentimes,differring views are seen unfairly in negative light instead of being given its due consideration.

    no one person possess all the answers to a SINGLE problem’the best solution often comes from honest brainstorming,whether in corporate or public enitities.

  • Singaporean Expatriate

    @HYPROCRITES in White: Do a search on YouTube for Francis Seow. He published a whole bunch of videos on Singapore and his views. They should answer most of your questions.

  • Singaporean Expatriate

    Yuhui said: “okay lah. not happy with Singapore just leave lah. Go to United States, get a US citizenship. Then critisize SIngapore with SDP lah, like how Francis Seow does.”

    —-

    That’s exactly what Goh Chok Tong said and labeled us “quitters” way back when. Then the Gahmen decided recently that they would run “Singapore Days” in various US cities to try to entice us back because they were running short of homegrown “talent” (if you attended any of those funtions, you’d have seen the booths set up to blatantly try to encourage us to return using “Singapore Is My Home” themes). With inbred examples such as Yuhui, no wonder they are running short of “talents,” thus needing to import foreign ones…

  • Quanxi

    This Nazi like secret police call ISD is the tool of LKY to dominate politics in spore.Fear is a technique always used by PAP ,no wonder during last election they did not assure the public that vote is secret ,only the opposition did.We need to expose all these atrocities with videos n pics in social media a tool that is spontaneous n enable truthfulness

  • sidewinder

    Surely,they are fugitives from injustice!
    How many of our brightest have been brought down by the ISA, it is unconcionable. Yet they hang on to it and threaten with it to maintain their stay in power.
    A bunch of useless self-serving goons.

  • Isthistrue?

    This reminds me of my ex-wife.

    10 years ago, she was caught having an affair and I decided to divorce her. She pleaded that I do not use her adultery as the reason for divorce and she will not ask for any maintenance from me. I agreed.

    Now 10 years on. I had remarried and moved on. But I realised that my ex-wife and her mother had been telling my daughter that the divorce was because I had an affair. This had caused my daughter to hate me. It has been so long and there is nothing I can use against her as it is her words against mine. She can say anything she wants. More so when there is nothing to verify and many had repeated the lie to make it sound like the truth.

  • Robert Teh

    The supremo preempted this, preempted that, now he will be fighting his own shadows.

    Aparisons and ghosts will remain only a figment of his own imagination.

    People in the meantime become divided because some of them (60.1%) believe in ghosts.

  • di

    “Surely,they are fugitives from injustice!”

    Truer words have ne’er been spoken.

  • load of shit

    Yeah right, Francis Seow was a hardcore Jihardist terrorist who planted bombs all over the length and breadth of Stink-a-bore.

    Thank you ISD for throwing the ISA book at him. You have done us proud!

  • Lead Example

    What will come will come. It is not a matter of whether it will come, but when it will come! The alternate Hard-Truths?

  • Standing together

    The PAP govt were able to get away with all their abuses and excesses. BUT NOT THIS TIME. We are ALL STANDING TOGETHER. They cannot be allowed to once again wield ISA like a sword over our heads. It is time we the citizens wield it over their heads.

    They should be indicted for abuse of power. No country apart from North Korea has had the same govt for more thab 50 years.

  • sang kanchil

    LKY was the lawyer for the “communist terrorists” Lim Chin Siong and co: He should be the first to be jailed for terrorist acitivites, the way Francis Seow was jailed for aiding his client. Anyway LKY is always telling every country what to do: he does it because he became so arrogant with the Americans backing him. What is he without American backing? Just another “smelly foot soldier”.

  • Really?

    If they want to fix you, it does not matter whether you are ‘left’, ‘right’ or ‘center’. Or even religious. They can always cook up a reason.

  • Observer

    LKY appears aggressive, bully, like an undefeated fighter, talked about knuckleduster, alleyways, challenging everyone, always right, intolerant of opposing views. I believe he is just a coward hiding behind a big machinery (ISD, newspaper act, compliant civil servants, etc). Before coming to power, whilst as colleague to people like LimChinSiong, he appeared sheepish. Since then he is acting like a wolf or hyenas, jealously guarding his spoils.

  • Pingback: My News Summary – 11 Oct 2011 « Posts by Barrie

  • rockabyebaby

    Has this not been the crux of the issue up again and again in the internet new media!

    As TOC has now been registered like a political party. If any media discusses about government policies and failures, won’t there surely be content that cowardly PAP will partisanly construe as being political? Hubris, LKY-PAP HUBRIS more aptly is still hubris by any other name.
    1956 – ON Repressing And ILLICIT Love-Making!

    “Repression, Sir is a habit that grows. I am told it is like making love – it is always easier the second time! The first time there may be pangs of conscience, a sense of guilt. But once embarked on this course with constant repetition you get more and more brazen in the attack. All you have to do is to dissolve organizations and societies and banish and detain the key political workers in these societies. Then miraculously everything is tranquil on the surface. Then an intimidated press and the government-controlled radio together can regularly sing your praises, and slowly and steadily the people are made to forget the evil things that have already been done, or if these things are referred to again they’re conveniently distorted and distorted with impunity, because there will be no opposition to contradict.” – Lee Kuan Yew as an opposition PAP member speaking to David Marshall, Singapore Legislative Assembly, Debates, 4 October 1956

  • MayRulersBeRighteous

    Whatever the reasons for the detention without trial of these former political dissendents, unless they can be proven in a court of law that they are violent terrorists, a society that put away its citizens in jial just because they held opposing political views is a shame and uncivilized. We are long way away from a civil society with the ISA.

  • All Sgreans incl PAPayas

    Chucking one’s political opponents in jail without a trial is a barbaric chicken’s way of doing politics, in any country, in any language. There ain’t two ways about it!

    Calling Stink-a-bore a democracy is a not a very subtle joke.

  • Damn

    I’m afraid supremo would have long kick the bucket before anyone can have a fair trial!

  • amn fr sky

    I believe they are telling the true. If lky wanted to catch Francis Seow he got no chance to leave Singapore. lky purposely let him off ’cause Francis Seow know many of his evil deed. Is better to let him to b a fugitive than staying in S’pore digging his evil doing.

  • Pingback: Breaking news: Police investigates private forum under Public Order Act | The Online Citizen

  • Pingback: Breaking news: SDP’s ISA Forum being investigated by police | The Online Citizen

  • Pingback: Zoroukah – SDP’s ISA Forum being investigated by police

  • Independent Observer

    Tang Fong Har looks the same as 24 years ago. Her youthful charm will outlast the ISA. Definitely!

    Indeed, Frances Seow may not have to wait in vain for an official apology. The victims of the ISA will be exonerated sooner than we think.

    But seriously, can we expect the PAP Government to indict itself by convening an independent Commission of Inquiry? Can the PAP leaders responsible for the ISA arrests since 1959 say that there were no evidence of terrorism on them and that the Cabinet had merely acted in good faith by ‘nipping in the bud’ to checkmate their terrorism ‘tendency’?

    No decent common law will allow any admissible evidence if ‘forced confessions by others’ were used as hearsay basis. Hence, the politics of convenience of using the blunt ISA instrument i.e. detention without trial to cover up the PAP’s travesty of justice and transgression of the moral rights of the victims to a proper court trial!

    But is there a compromised solution to it? Ok. Let me provide a basis for such a solution.

    The Amenable Background Story

    Tjong Yik Meng, the ex-director of ISD responsible for ‘Operation Spectrum’ screwed up big-time. One could surmise from reading between the lines in MSM news reports to-date that those accused of being Marxist conspirators were detained for the wrong reason given that a number of them were planning to contest the then upcoming legally-constituted GE1988 under the WP banner of JB Jeyaretnam. That was why PAP Dhanabalan had to leave the Cabinet holding high his Christian faith and conscience. But more interestingly was PM Lee Kuan Yew who in 1991 had put the responsibility of arrest squarely on Goh Chok Tong and his team while concurrently praising them for their tough decision.

    The Great Escape

    Now that Malaysia has decided to abolish its ISA and the 1987 background arrest story has been made amenable for PM Lee Hsien Loong to follow suit as promised in 1991, there is now a good reason to hope that he would eventually apologize on behalf of past PAP Governments dating back 1959. Indeed, the stage has been set for LKY Great Escape to posterity!

    The MCP Delink

    How did Tjong screw up? Well, I suppose he could not have understood Marxism as it had evolved in Europe since Karl Marx spoke at the First Socialist International in 1864 that believed, as explained in Dialectical Materialism Friedrich Engels, in the essence of the inevitability of historical development, the center-piece being the class struggle between the bourgeoisie (owners of the means of production) and the proletariat (the working-class men) in the transition from Capitalism to Socialism and then Communism.

    But in its 147 years of transformation in Europe from the quarreling 1864 to the bloody failure of the Paris Commune (1871), the Bolshevik victory in industrially backward Russia (1917), Stalin’s Marxism-Leninism (1929), the emergence of Soviet Union’s Revisionism and Social Imperialism as in the Hungarian suppression (1956) to the born-again Social Democracy (1950s) and Euro Communism (1975) on the one hand and the militant offshoot of Marxism-Leninism-Mao Zedong Thought (MLM) in Asia, Africa and Latin America (1949) to the rise of Deng Xiaoping (1978) with priorities on China’s national economic interest and peaceful rise at the expense of Mao’s Third World revolutionary obligations on the other hand, there was an unmistaken parallel evolution of Marxism from violent class struggle towards democratic reforms within and parliamentary politics without in the 1950s onwards as in Europe or towards the abandonment of armed insurgency as in SE Asia from 1981 onwards.

    Political Opponents

    In fact, the ISA being a British anti-terrorist instrument targeted at MCP should have been abolished long before the 1987 Marxist arrest when the Malayan Emergency ended in 1960 – with self-government accorded to Singapore in 1959 and Independence ceded to Malaya in 1957. This was a principal demand of the MCP in 1945 when the British returned to re-occupy Malaya and Singapore after Japan’s defeat in World War 2.

    But the ISA abolishment was not to be. Its use was continued by one faction of the ruling PAP in need of power consolidation against its break-away faction which had formed the Barisan Sosialis in 1961. The political divide became more acute after ‘Operation Cold Store’ was launched in 1963 rounding up key leftwing members who were erstwhile PAP comrades but turned political opponents outside of it. The PAP Government had not produced evidence, if any, to back up its terrorism charge against the detainees.

    One ISD Ignoramus and a Cabinet full of Ignoramuses

    So we had an ignoramus in charge of a highly sensitive ISD not updating his Marxism or MLM knowledge but plotting nevertheless against a Marxist Conspiracy that existed only as a figment of his imagination. Tjong saw an unchanging Marxism dating back to Marx 1864 before the 1889 Second International, Lenin 1917 before 1929 Stalin, Khrushchev 1956 before Gorbachev 1985, Mao 1949 before 1978 Deng rise. As MLM was Marxist and MCP was MLM, then Marxism was MCP terror as well. So he found administrative expediency in affixing the Marxist label to rationalize ‘Operation Spectrum’!

    Tjong probably could not understand that he was concocting a conspiracy. He was not immediately promoted to permanent secretary but was sent to repent at the SPH for a few years. Indeed, it was preposterous that a tiny gang of mostly young do-gooder Catholic lay-workers would want to violently overthrow the status quo without any weapon in hand or countryside to surround the Singapore city for their urban takeover and set up a MCP-connected Marxist state? But observers were aware that his political masters, at least one of them, knew exactly how the ball game was played.

    Prisoners of Conscience

    I am not sure if the 16 English-educated new generation ex-detainees were also a hotchpotch of ignoramuses when it came to evolutionary Marxism since Communist or Leftwing literature on MLM was banned in Singapore. Was the blind detaining the blind? Some of the detainees might have a rudimentary knowledge of Euro Communism emerging in Western Europe in the late 1970s. But this Euro Communism was harmless as its advocates subscribed to parliamentary politics.

    That said, Marxism has its roots in Christianity. Marxism does not have a monopoly of ethical values and moral precepts. Tjong was educated at the sort-of bilingual Catholic High School, which was hardly a learning institution that, unlike the then radical Chinese language-stream Chinese High School, could teach MLM politics as an extra-curriculum subject for his generation of cohorts!

    This is a sad commentary. It was tragic. Apparently, the terrorism threat was in all probability a pure conjecture. Fairness and compassion were not Tjong’s qualities. He did not understand evolutionary Marxism. He did not study hard enough the background of his victims. Nor had he to as he was trained as a zombie. Those factors were the PAP political arrogance built overtime into its fast decaying monument. That’s karma!

    Justice in Historical Development

    Justice will prevail. The innocent ISA ex-detainees will be exonerated by historical development. If there is any comfort, may I suggest we read below a never before officially published poem of Mao Zedong “读封建论理” or “Reading Feudalism” written for his long-time literary acquaintance and historian Guo Morua 郭沫若 in 1973. Mao had predicted the coming collapse of the CCP Government in China under certain conditions:

    劝君少骂秦始皇 ,焚坑事业要商量 。
    祖龙虽死秦犹在 ,十批不是好文章 。
    百代都行秦王政 ,孔学名高实枇糠 。
    熟读唐人封建论 ,莫从子厚返文王 。

    In the poem, Mao had advised Guo to scold less of First Emperor Qin Shihuang 秦始皇. He said that the book-burning against Confucius 孔子 by the emperor must be discussed. The emperor might have long passed away but his legacy remained alive and kicking. Criticisms of him would not produce accomplished works. The fact remained that successive dynasties had practiced the Qin governance right at their start. Confucius teachings which later supplanted it in the final stage of their respective rule might have high reputation and influence. But we should not bring back the stagnant structure of 周公 (Wen King of Zhou Dynasty before Qin) – to entrench the political status-quo that was out-of-touch, corrupt and incompetent to the core.

    Mao foretold and accurately described the allegorical circumstances in which the CCP could disintegrate if it did not launch the self-cleansing Cultural Revolution every 7 or 8 years i.e. Confucius would be invited back from history if the CCP were to lose its ideological relevance and political will to govern China. In fact, Li Ruihuan 李瑞环, the retired former head of China People’s Congress, had reportedly suggested that the CCP be renamed China People’s Party or China Socialist Party to stop any regime change.

    And so it was hardly a surprise that in January 2011, a giant 10M tall statue of Confucius was boldly moved to a prominent site in Beijing Tiananmen Square as if tolling the bell for the CCP. Whereupon, Mao Yuanxin, the disgraced victim alongside the Gang of 4 in 1976 and now a retired nephew of Mao Zedong, publicly re-released the poem via the internet. That stirred immediate excitement among young China netizens as well as Overseas Chinese. But the vociferous condemnation came fast and furious from the CCP princelings 太子党 who were naturally running scared of their coming loss of privileges and political fortune if Mao were to prove prescient.

    Why should they the princeling descendants of the Red Army heroes not have the divine if inherent right to preside over everlasting CCP rule? 老子英雄儿好汉。 咱们要当秦二世,秦三世,乃至秦万世。江山永远一片红。So in March 2011, the Confucius statue was discreetly removed from Tiananmen Square to an obscure hideaway. Indeed, the hybrid or neo Maoists are expected to take center-stage at the 18th CCP Party Congress in 2012 next year. 不管白猫还是黑猫,能永远执政才是好猫。 Paraphrasing Deng’s famous quote, the indignant princelings do not care if the cat is white or black; but as long as they can rule China forever it is a good cat!

    PAP is CCP?

    Substitute CCP with PAP and we will get the poetic justice of PAP coming collapse? Yes, we haven’t heard much about our Confucius in Singapore of late? Has Confucius been kept incommunicado as a way of exorcising its bad omen so that the inevitable historical development can be delayed or even prevented from coming into fruition for at least another 50 years of PAP rule? Judgment Day will come sooner, regardless!

    Two Options and One Inevitable

    Faced with such a dire prospect in historical development, the untainted PM Lee Hsien Loong has one of two options. Option 1, sit tightly and use the ISA blunt instrument again for power entrenchment and prolonged survival to await whatever cruel fate that will entrap the PAP arrogance. Option 2, ride on historical development and proceed with political reforms (just like what PM Wen Jiabao had proposed in China crying desperately over 9 times since 2010). PM Lee’s first task is to abolish the ISA.

    In either option, the PAP is doomed. However, the lesser-evil Option 2 is preferred and the patriarch 祖龙 will be glad to know that after his passing the risk of the born-again King Louis the 16th and his Queen Maria Antoinette being rushed to the guillotine in an Orchid Spring or Tiananmen Incident II is minimal. Heaven has mercy!

    The Redemption Package

    In lieu of the Commission of Inquiry which in any case is not going to prove anything for anybody, PM Lee Hsien Loong as PAP leader will issue a blanket official apology – along the line of a general amnesty – to all ISA victims and their families on behalf of past PAP governments.

    Both former prime ministers Lee Kuan Yew and Goh Chok Tong can issue an optional joint apology to the innocent victims the way MCP Chin Peng did in 1989 when he publicly apologized to families of unintended innocent victims killed or suffered during the Malayan Emergency.

    President Tony Tan, as custodian of moral authority over 5 areas including ISA, must apologize to the nation. He must also step down from the presidency as he is still an unrepentant member of the GCT team responsible for the arrest of the so-called Marxist conspirators, as highlighted in the TOC F2F2 debate with then presidential hopeful Tan Jee Say. In the event, Tan Cheng Bok can take over the Office of the President by a constitutional amendment in parliament.

    Use past reserves to compensate the innocent victims and/or their immediate family members. President Tony Tan must approve the drawdown and he would be forgiven if he wants to stay on as head of state. The list of victims (inclusive of those already dead) and the compensation formula will be determined by PM Lee and his Cabinet alone.

    A monument with the following banner inscription: 建国英雄永垂不朽 i.e. ‘Eternal Glory to the Nation Builders’ is to be built in memory of the victims whose individual names must also be inscribed on it. The monument must be sited prominently in a public square e.g. Hong Lim Park 芳林公园. Be gracious and magnanimous!

    This is a national redemption package intended to assuage a politically divided people going forward to avoid a national divide so feared by 祖龙 LKY. Let him rest in peace and not get up as a zombie after he is lowered into the ground. History will be kinder to PM Lee and his descendants. He would not have to worry about the integrity of his Mandate of Heaven and not become another [指鹿为马] 的秦二世!

    The LKY Legacy

    As for LKY, how long will Singaporeans have to wait before he is finally acknowledged as the Singapore-equivalent of First Emperor of China? Emperor Qin took 2,000 years to repent for his 暴君 tyranny and thus suffered in the interim unrelenting abuses from an unending stream of Chinese scholars and historians alike before Mao hailed him for his lasting contribution of expanding and unifying the world’s longest-recorded Chinese Civilization (书同文, 车同轨).

    Will LKY suffered the ignominy of 10,000 years of abuses and insults, assuming of course Singapore still exist then? Or, will it instead become forever an unresolved case of human cruelty lost in antiquity? That will be worse than cruel for losing even a small footnote mention of this great name in any history book!

    I am not sure what lasting contribution LKY has made to human civilization and whether Singapore the sovereign entity will even last a sobering 100 years! As suggested in Dialectical Materialism and if the leftwing dissidents so subscribed to it, nothing is permanent and every matter will change into a new form or eventually perish.

    The Right Option

    So PM Lee, start with abolishing the ISA now while LKY is still around! 一万年太久,只争朝夕! Otherwise, he will forever be a repenting 万古罪人 guilty person of 10,000 years. Yes without recognizing his contributions, he will only be remembered for the collective debts – mental, physical and financial including CPF – owing to all past, present and future Singaporeans!

    Timely Tribute

    This commentary is a tribute to the late Steve Jobs for his new technology in social media that has rendered the ISA impotent as a weapon of mind destruction a.k.a. WMD.

  • liberte

    whoever who messed with LKY will be punished. whoever who outlived LKY will be the final winner. this guy will not have more than five years. take it easy and smell the roses.

TOC TV

Archives