“Marxist conspirator” Vincent Cheng to speak

UPDATE (27 May 2010 @4.35pm):

“We have been told by the National Library Board that the event has now been put on hold. All registered participants will receive an email by tonight.”

Bernard Chen, President, NUS History Society


Vincent Cheng, a former political detainee and alleged leader of a Marxist conspiracy against the Singapore government, will speak in public for the first time at a seminar on Singapore history next Friday (4 June).

Cheng was one of 22 people detained by the Internal Security Department (ISD) during Operation Spectrum in May and June 1987 for allegedly conspiring to depose the People’s Action Party government and create a Marxist state.

Then a social worker with the Roman Catholic Church, he was detained for three years but never faced trial.

Cheng will be sharing his experiences and views on the operation at the National University of Singapore History Seminar 2010, an annual forum organised by the university’s History Society.

Also speaking are Associate Professor Yong Mun Cheong, head of the NUS history department, and Dr Loh Kah Seng, a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asia Studies. They will cover topics such as decolonisation, Singapore’s political and social crises, and the city-state’s socio-political landscape during the 1950s.

This year’s forum, titled “Singapore History: Who Writes the Script?”, will also discuss personalities, events and agendas that shaped Singapore’s history, as well as the impact of alternative historical narratives on nation building.

Mrs Jean Marshall, wife of the late former Chief Minister David Marshall, will also be attending as a special guest.

The event will take place on 4 June (Friday) from 2.30pm to 5pm at The Pod, located in the National Library Building.

Members of public are welcome to attend the seminar, and can register their interest with the NUS History Society via email at [email protected] by 2 June (organisers will provide priority entry for registered individuals).

Further details on the NUS History Society and updates on the event are available on its Facebook Page.


By Wong Chun Han