by Yoong Siew Wah
I am asking this question because I think I should share my experience with the public.
I was educated at the Methodist Boys’ School in Kuala Lumpur. It was an American Mission school and bible study was part of the school curriculum. But I was not baptised and I was a free thinker all my life until lately.
I had never believed that God would perform miracles. In 1961 I was an Inspector in the Special Branch and was the main dramatis personae in an American Central Intelligency Agency (CIA) adventure to recruit me as an agent to provide them with sensitive security intelligence. I had the prime minister’s authority to go along with them. They regarded me as such an important recruit that they decided first to put me through a series of stringent tests to prove my authenticity.
The final test was to put me through a lie-detector test. They regarded my recruitment as so important that they brought two veteran polygraph experts from their war theatre in Saigon to conduct the test. I was completely unprepared for it and it caught me with my pants down. I was warned that the two polygraphers were vulnerable and that their personal security could not be compromised in any way and at any cost.
I was placed in the most vulnerable situation. If I were to go through the polygraph test I would be exposing myself as having betrayed them. One of the questions that the polygraphers would put to me was whether I had reported my CIA recruitment to the Special Branch. Whatever it was I think the polygraphers were experienced and shrewed enough and that there was not an earthly chance that I could pass the polygraph test. I was desparately trying to find a convincing excuse to defer the polygraph test because it would mean that they would do anything not excluding assassination to protect their security. The only reason I could think of to convince them to defer the test was that I had never experienced such procedure and that I feared that my health would be adversely affected. It was so puerile that it could not even convince a common man and how could it convince the experts? They wanted to discuss this among themselves and left me alone to sweat out.
After what seemed to be an eternity they surprisingly told me that I could go and they will conduct the polygraph test another time. I could hardly believe my ears but I recovered quickly to make a prompt exit from the safe house where the meeting was held. As soon as I emerged from the house, Special Branch arrest teams which had been earlier deployed around the house immediately moved in to make the arrests.There was some Hollywood style pursuit when the two polygraphers managed to escape in a car but they were eventually captured.
This had been the part that had been excercising my mind and that of my colleagues and friends on what had actually transpired that so miraculously lifted me out of danger. The CIA officers were discussing what to do with me and it could only be the benevolence of God that influenced them to release me. It’s just not believable or possible for a group of security experts to have been convinced with my puerile excuse to defer the polygraph test.
As a gratitude to God for his protection of me at a time of grave personal danger I became baptised at the Cornerstone Community Church on 2 February this year. It has been a long time since the CIA adventure but I accomplished my wish to serve God before I depart from this world.
Mr Yoong Siew Wah, was the Director of Singapore’s Internal Security Department (ISD) from 1971 to 1974. He was Director of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) in the 1960s, and had a distinguished career in the Singapore Special Branch in the 1950s.The erudite (i.e. learned and knowledgeable) Mr Yoong, who is in his 90s, keeps a blog called Singapore Recalcitrant.
Mr Yoong’s post is in reference to a 1961 incident when he was involved