On 21 May 1987, Operation Spectrum swung into action.
A total of 22 people were detained under the Internal Security Act in two different operations – one in May and another in June.
Those arrested were subsequently accused of being involved in a “Marxist Conspiracy” to overthrow the Singapore government.
In this special feature week, The Online Citizen re-looks the events of 1987 with reports, write-ups, interviews and going back to the archives to see how the local broadsheet, The Straits Times, reported the events then.
“Although I had no access to state intelligence, from what I knew of them, most were social activists but not out to subvert the system.”
(Tharman Shanmugaratnam, 2001, Straits Times).
The detainees were never brought to trial.
For My Friends
Do not feel guilty because I am here
For guilt has no place in your heart or mine
Do not feel sad because I am here
For sadness too has no place in your heart or mine
Do not think I am bitter because you have gone home
For such thoughts show your ignorance of me
Do not think I am demoralized because you have gone home
For by such thoughts you insult me
I am happy that you are released
I am confident that you will see better days
I am confident that you will overcome all pains
I am confident that I will see you one day
Teo Soh Lung
Ex-detainee, wrote this poem after her friends were freed from jail when they abandoned legal proceedings.