Madam Yap has been relieved of her lifelong suffering. May the PAP government one day realise the sufferings and hardship it has caused to thousands of families and ISA detainees, writes Teo Soh Lung.
How would a mother feel if her eldest son who is so bright and full of promise is imprisoned for no reason and without a trial? How would she feel when that imprisonment turned out to be so endless and so cruel, lasting 32 long years? Madam Yap Swee, aged 94, who passed away on Monday, 26 December 2011 after prolonged illness, was that mother. In the last few weeks of her life, she enjoyed the comfort of being with her eldest son, Chia Thye Poh, who took care of her day and night.
Freed at the age of 57, Chia Thye Poh found it impossible to find meaningful work in Singapore even though he is effectively tri-lingual in English, Chinese and Malay and a Physics and Mathematics graduate of the now defunct Nanyang University. He was compelled to leave his mother when he accepted a scholarship to do his postgraduate studies at the Institute of Social Studies in The Hague. He went on to obtain a doctorate there. His work abroad took him away from his beloved mother and family.
Madam Yap is now relieved of her lifelong suffering. May she rest in peace. And may the PAP government one day realise the sufferings and hardship it has caused to thousands of families and detainees with its ruthless use of the Internal Security Act.
Finally, may we all be vigilant and be prepared to speak out against injustice.