Neo Swee Lin – It is my vote, and it is precious.

by: Neo Swee Lin/

In 1987, 22 people were detained without trial under the ISA under Operation Spectrum – “a security operation which saw 22 young Roman Catholic church and social activists and professionals detained, without trial, under the internal security law, accused of being members of an alleged Marxist conspiracy bent on subverting the PAP-ruled government by force, and replacing it with a Marxist state” (see HERE).

I just want some soft words for those who were so unjustly mistreated in 1987, and the Presidential candidates should give me some peace, in that if you’re elected, would you be protecting us the citizens if something like this happened again?

Is it too much to expect? The government is never going to apologize or admit any wrong. Could the candidates now as part of their campaign for Presidency give the people some kind of simple show of compassion and hope?

An excerpt from much anticipated The Online Citizen interview with Dr Tan Cheng Bock reads:

“When asked whether he still feels the ‘Marxist conspirators’ are guilty, Dr Tan says with a tone of sincerity, “I really feel they are innocent. They are all social workers and they meant well but unfortunately…(trails off)”
He adds, “I saw the ex-detainees and I really do feel for them. But at that time I believed the information that was given to me.”

Unfortunately the video interview does not show this at all. In fact what Dr Tan says in the video is:

“this is a very sensitive subject… ” and “when all this appeared on the net, I was told to be very careful”


I posted a question on Dr Tan Cheng Bock’s Facebook page, I asked:

“Dr Tan, with respect, there is a question that is burning in my mind and I guess I should just ask it. Knowing what you know today, would you have acted differently with regard to the so-called Marxist Conspirators of 1987? would you heed David Marshall’s call to “save the innocent Teo Soh Lung & Kevin De Souza?”

My question was ignored and eventually deleted from his page. It makes me want to ignore and delete him too.

Friends, I’m just trying to figure out who to vote as our next President.

Someone said on my FB, “you mean you even considered voting for Dr Tony Tan?” Yes, actually I did. But not now. Not after watching him speak on videos – he is so terribly uninspiring and not as sweet as he looks in pictures. Moving pictures tell a different story, he scares the hell out of me actually. And certainly not after the shameless plugging of the Straits Times, beginning with the endorsement by our Prime Minister.

Now I am looking for an alternative. And to everyone’s surprise, Tan Jee Say has got his Certificate of Entitlement. Also I’m not sure if its the savvy “I know how to campaign” Dr Tan Cheng Bock yet.

My dad met Dr Tan Cheng Bock in church few weeks ago, and said he was going to vote for him. But he has now changed his mind, on his own accord!

Teo Soh Lung was right. Change has begun.

Four eligibles for the Elected Presidency. Who would’ve thought we would see the day. People are saying so and so should step down so as not to split the vote etc. I don’t think anyone should give way to anyone else. There is something I learnt from one of my characters in “cooling off day“.

I will not vote according to who I think stands a chance or not. I will not vote in a politically savvy way. I will vote with my heart, my mind, my soul. It is my vote, and it is precious.

Neo Swee Lin first posted this note on her Facebook. TOC thanks Ms Neo for allowing TOC to reproduce the edited version here.

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