Monday, December 19, 2011
Award for Asia’s ‘forgotten’ man
Chia Thye Poh commended
Largely blackout by English media, Lianhe Zaobao reports that Chia Thye Poh receives the Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award.
Translate as below.
Former political detainee Chia Thye Poh receives the Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award in view of his love and fight for the mother tongue (Chinese) education.
Chia said "I have receives much but contributed little towards Chinese and Nanyang University. Compared to those who sacrifices long time in silence, I am really nothing. This award should be rightly belonged to those who love Chinese education and Nanyang University".
Chia was borned in Singapore, graduated 1961 from Nanyang University, 3rd batch of physics graduate. During 1963, he won a seat of parliament representing Jurong constituency. He was arrested on 1966 under ISA and was released as late as 1998.
The reason for winning the award is being "prisoner of conscience, perseverance in idealism, fearless under incarceration, manifesting the spirit of Nanyang University. This is coherent with Lim Lian Geok spirit of standing firm under pressure of physical harm and under the lure of wealth".
Chia said "University is not an ivory tower. The value of university does not depend of good facilities, but most importantly on character, on its zeitgeist, and on answering the call of people; on cultivating people into somebody who are patriotic, who love human values, who contribute to human advancement and to the peace of the world".
He pointed that the founding of Nanyang University is as what Tan Lark Sye had said, the crystallization of the guts and aspiration of 3 million Chinese". It was force out of business by Singapore government.
He cited a phrase from Lim Leong Geok "One can destroy our body, but our spirit will prevail".
Chia is coming back home.
Malaysian newspaper reported. Asked if he would make his first public appearance in the island nation, he said he would wait for the "right occasion" to do so.