Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ex-detainees to mark 25th anniversary of arrests

That We May Dream Again
Saturday 2nd June 2012
Speakers' Corner, Hong Lim Park

3pm:           Exhibition starts.
3.30pm:     Songs by Patrick Chng and Joshua Chiang
4pm:           Speeches by Braema Mathi, Martyn See, Ravi Philemon, Jeannette Chong Aruldoss, William Yap, Alfian Saat, Jolovan Wham, Siew Kum Hong and Vincent Wijeysingha
5.4opm:      Statement by MARUAH, Statement by Function 8
5.50pm:      “Lim-kopi” session with survivors of the 1987 ‘Marxist Conspiracy’
Come and help raise awareness on the potential abuse of the ISA.
Your presence will help reconcile past hurts and unify Singapore again.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Photos : Hougang by-elections 2012

By James Tan : "WP rally in 2012 & PAP rally in 1959. Both rallies response were amazing. The PAP were once the popular party like today's WP. What went wrong with PAP today?"
By Bob Lee : WP vs PAP

By Edwin Koo

By Pritam Singh

By Edwin Koo
By Edwin Koo

By Edwin Koo

By Edwin Koo

By Edwin Koo

More pictures
A symphony of people in celebration by Ko Siew Huey
Let it BE (log into facebook to view) by Edwin Koo

International reports
Singapore’s PAP Fails to Regain Support in By-Election
Landslide loss stings Singapore PM
By-election setback for Singapore's ruling party
Singapore’s ruling party misses comeback chance
Singapore ruling party rebuffed in by-election

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Reprehensible History: The Internal Security Act

Further readings on :
The Ghosts of Whitley Road 
Interview with Edgar D'Souza : I Have Always Loved The Catholic Church
Withdrawn edition of Catholic News on "Marxist conspiracy"
Govt must address "Marxist" arrests of 1987
May 1987 still holds relevance today
The courage of a lone voice and the young 
Third Stage: Theatre company or "Marxist network"?

On :
ISA’s scar on Singaporean society
‘Marxist Conspiracy’ and the Hougang by-election

by Dr Vincent Wijeysingha

The Emergency Regulations Ordinance, enacted in July 1948, allowed the police to arrest without evidence or warrant anybody suspected of having acted “or being likely to act” in a way that would endanger national security. It also empowered the authorities to hold detainees for investigation without recourse to legal advice and to detain them indefinitely without charge or trial.

The successor to the Emergency Regulations Ordinance was the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance (1955). Strong opposition to its enactment emanated from the People’s Action Party. Lee Kuan Yew, then on the opposition benches, said:

“But we either believe in democracy or we don't. If we do, then, we must say categorically, without qualification, that no restraint from the any democratic processes, other than by the ordinary law of the land, should be allowed… If you believe in democracy, you must believe in it unconditionally. If you believe that men should be free, then, they should have the right of free association, of free speech, of free publication. Then, no law should permit those democratic processes to be set at nought, and no excuse, whether of security, should allow a government to be deterred from doing what it knows to be right, and what it must know to be right…” (27 April 1955)
“If it is not totalitarian to arrest a man and detain him, when you cannot charge him with any offence against any written law – if that is not what we have always cried out against in Fascist states – then what is it? …If we are to survive as a free democracy, then we must be prepared, in principle, to concede to our enemies – even those who do not subscribe to our views – as much constitutional rights as you concede yourself [sic]." (21 Sep 1955)

In 1960, three years after Malaya's independence, the Malayan Internal Security Act was passed with much the same powers. Prime Minister Abdul Rahman stated the Act would only be applied against the remaining Communist insurgents. The Malayan Communist Party eventually capitulated in 1989 but the ISA was retained. Mr Mahathir used it to great effect in his stifling of opposition to his government.

When Singapore entered the Federation of Malaysia in 1963, the ISA entered the Singapore jurisdiction. After separation in 1965, Singapore retained the ISA and placed it upon the statute book at Chapter 143 where it still stands.[1] Lee has been silent upon the subject of democracy since.

The Act empowers detention without trial. Section 8 reads:

8 (1) If the President is satisfied with respect to any person that, with a view to preventing that person from acting in any manner prejudicial to the security of Singapore or any part thereof or to the maintenance of public order or essential services therein, it is necessary to do so, the Minister shall make an order —
(a) directing that such person be detained for any period not exceeding two years; or
(b) for all or any of the following purposes:
(i) for imposing upon that person such restrictions as may be specified in the order in respect of his activities and the places of his residence and employment;
(ii) for prohibiting him from being out of doors between such hours as may be specified in the order, except under the authority of a written permit granted by such authority or person as may be so specified;
(iii) for requiring him to notify his movements in such manner at such times and to such authority or person as may be specified in the order;
(iv) for prohibiting him from addressing public meetings or from holding office in, or taking part in the activities of or acting as adviser to any organisation or association, or from taking part in any political activities;
(v) for prohibiting him from travelling beyond the limits of Singapore or any part thereof specified in the order except in accordance with permission given to him by such authority or person as may be specified in such order,
and any order made under paragraph (b) shall be for such period, not exceeding two years, as may be specified therein, and may by such order be required to be supported by a bond.
(2) The President may direct that the period of any order made under subsection (1) be extended for a further period or periods not exceeding two years at a time.
(3) For the purposes of subsection (1), “essential services” means any service, business, trade, undertaking, manufacture or calling included in the Third Schedule.
(4) Every person detained in pursuance of an order made under subsection (1)(a) or of a direction given under subsection (2) shall be detained in such place as the Minister may direct (hereinafter referred to as a place of detention) and in accordance with instructions issued by the Minister and any rules made under subsection (5).
(5) The Minister may by rules provide for the maintenance and management of any place of detention and for the discipline of persons detained therein.

That the PAP invoked the Act to imprison 2,460 people between 1959 and 1990 alone against whom nothing could be, or was ever, proved, is not the principal objection to the Act, heinous though that record is. But to every person who values his freedom, who expects to know what the society allows and disallows, who does not welcome the capricious hand of government to restrain him without knowing why, the true offence must rest against these operating words of the Act: “If the President is satisfied…”. This innocuous sounding provision effectively removes the right of a citizen detained under it to the protection of the law.

Crimes and offences are defined in law and written upon the statute book for all to know. The famous phrase, Ignorantia juris non excusat, or Ignorance of the law excuses no one, finds its forceful justification precisely in this principle. No one should be excused by claiming not to know a particular law. But the individual’s reply is that the authorities should undertake to punish no one who has not breached the laws. Hence, the hallowed principle known as the Rule of Law.

A properly constituted legal process is the proper place to determine if a citizen has committed an illegal act and then apply a sanction accordingly. Why? Because the law is, by definition, impartial. The courts take no thought to the purpose or morality of one’s actions except if they breach the laws. And as John Rawls suggested in his famous essay, A Theory of Justice, societies should always be made on the presumption that the maker does not know how he might preferentially benefit from it. And equally so the administration of them. In other words, Justice must be as open and recognisable as she is blind.

This undergirding of the Rule of Law, and indeed of the wilful blindness of Lady Justice, aims to ensure that we accept no one’s version of things but allow a dispassionate judicial process to arrive at the facts by a process that is, itself, transparent.

For the state to arrogate to itself the right to say, in the absence of evidence, that a person has thought up a particular course of action and therefore merits detention is the foundation of the totalitarian state: essentially (and in simple terms), the state allows itself the luxury of being able to convict a citizen of thought-crime. If, at this late stage in our history we are unmoved by the real threat this poses to our freedom, our very personhood, there are few remaining rights we may justifiably claim possession of. Because we would still be ignorant of our personhood.

The ISA seeks not to punish or deter illegal acts, it sanction PERSONS against whom evidence cannot be adduced. That the authorities have such a reserve power should give any freedom-loving person pause. The British parliamentarian, Anthony Wedgwood Benn, once said,

When you are confronted with someone with power, you must ask him three questions: (a) What powers do you have? (b) How do you use them? And (c) How do we take them from you?

Although just slightly facetious, the import is clear. The power to move against a private citizen is formidable and should be approached with trepidation. And we, as citizens, should attend robustly to the task of defending ourselves against the ravenous optimism of government that it might rule the people in this way. Power, you see, is never surrendered willingly.

The PAP government, which imprisoned an average of seven persons per month during Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s premiership alone, approached the task recklessly. No law that allows the authorities to detain someone without evidence is good law and the government has presumed to do so far too often these last 53 years.

In his response to the announcement that Malaysia intended to repeal its own ISA, the Home Affairs Minister asserted that no one has been detained only for his or her political beliefs. This is lamentably untrue. The vast majority of all those who have been detained – from the political opponents of his party in the 1960s under Operation Coldstore, to the so-called Euro-communists in seventies, to Operation Spectrum in 1987 – were detained precisely for their beliefs and not their threat to security. None of them posed a threat to security and the government knows it. If they had, and if the government possessed evidence of it, it has inexplicably kept it to itself since 1963. Only one conclusion might reasonably be drawn from its silence unless it wishes at this stage to refute it; I imagine it will remain silent.

Mr Chia Thye Poh, probably the longest-serving political prisoner in the world, detained for 32 years, was neither tried nor convicted. It was only at the end of the second decade of his imprisonment that it was suggested that he make a confession so as to save Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s face. He did no such thing and to his credit remained under detention into his fourth decade unbowed and with his dignity intact. The same could not be said of Mr Lee who from that day on was condemned to carry a sullied copybook before him.

His party degraded its reputation even further when on this day, 21st May 1987 – a quarter century ago – it detained without trial 22 young men and women who were social workers or welfare workers; actors and actresses producing plays that highlighted social injustice; Workers’ Party volunteers; and student activists. An elaborate story was concocted to suggest their guilt but none of the elements of the story ever stood the test of truth. Or indeed of evidence. For the best of reasons: they were all entirely engineered in the fevered minds of the PAP high command, worried that the People Power movement in the Philippines that had swept President Marcos from office the previous year might threaten the PAP government which had, in 1984, seen a further swing in its popular vote and the election of two opposition MPs to Parliament.

The government has never brought any evidence whatsoever against those detainees. It has had 25 years to do so. With the exception of the unsubstantiated and unsupported assertions made in the Home Affairs statements last year, it finds itself unable to say anything that even approaches a convincing argument in favour of Operation Spectrum. When I stated on a Channel News Asia forum in April last year (at which PAP minister, Tharman Shanmugaratnam, and PAP MP, Josephine Teo, were present) that all the allegations against the detainees of Operation Spectrum were untrue and that history had shown them to be so, neither of them denied it. Let me repeat that for the avoidance of doubt: Neither of them denied it.

In fact, Mr Shanmugaratnam said on another occasion that he doubted the government’s case. And he should know: He was himself interviewed by the police at the time although never detained. And we now also know that former minister, S Dhanabalan, resigned from the Cabinet because he disagreed with the detentions. That they keep silence to this day is a matter for their own consciences.
This was the 'clandestine Marxist network' the government discovered. There was only one thing wrong with it: it was entirely fabricated.

The detainees of Operation Spectrum did not have an ‘ideology’, much less one that advocated the violent overthrow of the state to usher in a Marxist utopia. And neither did those who were detained in the 1970s or the 1960s have an ideology that met the criterion of Subsection 8(1) of the Act.

The only reason why the government was able to proceed without challenge, able to make statements of such ludicrous enormity, was its vice-like grip on the media which did not suffer alternative evidence to be put or the detainees’ case to be heard in the court of public opinion. Or indeed the vast groundswell of opposition to the detentions across the world, which men like S Rajaratnam and Jek Yuen Thong attempted to counter, albeit dismally. In the absence of citizen media such as this one where I share my views today, the government was able to make its assertions, obtain confessions under torture, and imprison the 22 for up to three years.

This morning, the silence of the government is deafening. And shameful. The two weak, mealy-mouthed statements that came from New Phoenix Park late last year do not even begin to weaken its guilt. The minister relied on assertion and hyperbole exactly as his predecessors did 25 years ago. This morning he should be ashamed of himself.

The minister’s statements also took shelter in the terrorist threat which he says we are shielded from by the continuing existence of the Act. Interestingly, the vast majority of detainees who have been detained for suspected terrorist activity have not been eventually found to be a threat and were quietly released.

But nevertheless, let us accept, since this threat is a real one in the current period, that a preventive law is necessary. What is to be done? How can we safeguard our fellow citizens without making them potential casualties of a statute which, in the vast majority of cases, has been used against the government’s political enemies and not terrorists? How can we establish an equilibrium between the right of the community to be safe and the right of the individual not to be held hostage to it?

The alternative is to have a specific Anti-terror Act. The prototype exists worldwide. The United Kingdom, for example, which has faced extensive terrorist activity for the last 50 years has never found the need for a preventive detention statute because it is aware, as is the general consensus of international policing (and the government knows this), that simply having preventive detention provisions do not, of themselves, prevent or limit terrorism. An Anti-terror Act works as part of a menu of safeguarding and administrative mechanisms to keep the community safe.

When the British government tried to raise the limit on the period of investigation before a person has to be brought to trial from 14 to 49 days, a fierce public outcry prevented them from doing so. It had to settle for 28 days. Nothing further would be countenanced in the law. This is remarkable for a community which, as I mentioned above, has seen much terrorist activity. When I first landed in London in August 1993, it was still recovering from a massive IRA bomb that had detonated in the City of London a few months previous. The streets were still covered with shattered glass. It was a chilling reminder of human vulnerability.

I was still in the UK in 2005 when the government attempted to amend the law to extend the 14 days. What struck me most was that, in the face of terrorist carnage of recent memory and stretching back decades, the people of that nation still fought tooth and nail to prevent their government from taking more autonomy from them. The Rule of Law won.

Singapore, despite its claims to vulnerability, has used the ISA in the vast majority of instances to detain not those who were a threat to security but, let it be said and said loudly so that it may be heard even at the Istana Annexe, those who were a threat to the PAP. This is a reprehensible history.

There are those who say that the events of the past should be laid to rest as we look to the future. The second half of the statement is axiomatic. But as a community, a nation, we cannot move into the future if we do not exorcise the ghosts of Whitley Road Detention Centre which continue to plague the marketplace of our ideas and actions.

The ISA, and particularly its application in May 1987, was such as to render so many of us to this day still afraid to speak our minds or even think thoughts we are afraid might offend the government. This is no basis upon which to build a community.

The long arm of the ISA may seem to have been crippled by the march of time. And maybe that is so. And if it is, it is good. But I ask you, my fellow citizens, not to forget two things: That the liberty of thousands of people, our fellow citizens, our neighbours, was trammelled in our name and their future destroyed. And that our own courage and humanity, which should be our finest qualities, were abridged. Please remember, at least, this.

Dr Vincent Wijeysingha is a lecturer and is involved in social work. He is also the Treasurer of the Singapore Democratic Party. He writes in his personal capacity. This article was first posted by The Online Citizen

On Saturday 2 June 2012, That We May Dream Again, a commemoration of Operation Spectrum including speeches by Dr Wijeysingha and others as well as an exhibition, will take place at Speakers’ Corner from 3 to 7pm.

[1] The government has always maintained that it will consider the repeal of the ISA should Malaysia do so; the last time being in 1991. As far back as October 1958, Lee Kuan Yew said in the Legislative Assembly: “When the time comes we shall justify our view and our stand, that there can be no abolition of the Emergency laws in Singapore until they have been abolished in the Federation.”

Friday, May 18, 2012

Postponement of Event

From link

Postponement of Event to be held on Saturday, 19 May 2012 at Speakers’ Corner, Hong Lim Park

We have been informed by the police on the evening of Tuesday, 15 May that the exemption granted under the Public Entertainments and Meetings Act to Speakers’ Corner, Hong Lim Park has been revoked with effect from 16 May to 26 May 2012 because of the upcoming by-election. A police permit is therefore required for our event on 19 May 2012.

Owing to the short notice and uncertainties in obtaining a police permit, as well as the prospect of inconvenience to our guests and contractors should the permit be refused, we are sorry that our event at Speakers’ Corner, Hong Lim Park, has to be postponed.
We deeply regret that a by-election in the single-member constituency of Hougang, has disrupted and inconvenienced Singaporeans from enjoying activities at Hong Lim Park which is not part of Hougang.

We will now hold our event on SATURDAY, 2 JUNE 2012 at 3.00 p.m. The programme remains unchanged and, we hope to continue receiving your support.
We are aware that this notice may not be read by all our guests and members of the public who have made plans to be at Hong Lim on 19 May 2012. As organisers, we will be at Hong Lim to meet those who may turn up because of our inability to reach them.

The organisers,
Function 8 Limited and MARUAH
17 May 2012


Read also :
We are all marxists
The ISA has been used on every Singaporean and here's why

Reflections on 1987

 by Lim Li Kok

At 5 am on the morning of 21st May 1987,  loud ringing of the doorbell and banging of the door woke me. I went to the door and looked through the peephole. There were a number of people standing outside. I knew immediately that they had come for me. I rushed to inform my husband and my aunts. Chong, my husband went to open the door.

A man called out my name. He said, “If you cooperate, we will not search other rooms.”

They entered my small room, which was less than 120 square feet. It was filled with boxes. I had just moved back to live with my two elderly aunts, a retired school principal and a teacher in a HDB unit after leaving home 12 years ago. I was supposed to look after their well-being and not give them trouble. I felt really bad that my arrest had to happen in their presence. I wanted to call my mother who lived next door. But I was not allowed to do so. I wished I was Sun Wu Kong who could fly away or disappear. My aunts were really calm. They cooked a traditional Teochew breakfast for me: plain porridge with a few dishes.
I sat glumly as they looked through my belongings piece by piece.  My mind wandered back to the old days.

University days

I became a student activist in my third year at the University of Singapore’s Arts and Social Sciences faculty. That was in 1974. After seeing posters put up by the Students’ Union (USSU) calling for help for the Bangladeshi flood victims, I joined the union with the relief effort, which required me to draw posters and go from door to door to collect donations of clothes and shoes.
A few weeks later, the 28th President of the USSU, Juliet Chin, participated in the demonstration of the Tasek Utara squatters in Johor Bahru. A developer had demolished all the squatter huts to make way for a golf course, which resulted in the victims marching to City Hall in Johor to protest. Juliet and two other USSU members were later arrested by the Malaysian authorities.

In the following year, the 29th President of USSU, Tan Wah Piow, was charged for rioting at a workers’ union office. The month’s trial that followed increased my political awareness.
I later became the Welfare Secretary of the 30th Students’ Union. In that year, I was passionate about the plight of the urban poor living in areas such as Bukit Merah. I witnessed eviction of people in areas such as Clementi and Marsiling. Residents were evicted from their kampungs in the name of national development and settled into HDB flats. I visited these residents and tried to help them obtain better compensation from the land office.

Many arrests were made in the late 1970s by the ISD, including the legal advisor to USSU.
Eventually, I left the university without obtaining a degree and opened a bookshop.
While the ISD officers conducted their search, I had breakfast with my aunts.

During the two hours, they took out all my books from the boxes under the bed. After they concluded their search, they were about to take me away when my fifth aunt shouted, “Wait! You have to drink this bottle of Essence of Chicken that I warmed up!” This chicken essence later gave me the energy to tolerate hours of questioning.

My Father

My father, Lim Cher Kheng Francis, was involved in politics in the 1950s. He was elected  a legislative assemblyman and participated in the negotiations for Singapore’s independence from Britain. After retiring from politics in 1959, he became a successful businessman in the 1970s. However, in the 1980s, his business declined and his property was acquired by the authorities. As a result, my family had to move into HDB flats.

He was in China for business when I was detained. When he heard the news, he flew back immediately and stomped into the ISD office at Phoenix Park. He demanded to be arrested in exchange for my release. Of course, his offer was rejected.

A few months later, during one of the family visits, my father brought a Chinese brush, an inkstone and some paper for me. He said, “Since you have lots of time now, you should practise Chinese calligraphy.”

I told him that I had too many things in my mind and was not in the mood to write. “This is the best time to practise,” he insisted.

And he was right. Writing and reading helped me stay calm and maintain my sanity.

I was a rebellious child and made my family worry a lot. I am grateful for all the support they had given me during my detention. My father and my aunts have since passed away, but their love remains a source of strength for me in facing difficulties in life.


For more profiles and reflections of former detainees,

Madam Yap Swee (Dearest mother of Dr Chia Thye Poh)

This article, written by Teo Soh Lung last December, was reproduced in Aliran in April 2012. I reproduce it here on the occasion of Mothers' Day. - Vincent Wijeysingha

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.

When Chia Thye Poh was arrested at the young age of 25, he was a legislative assemblyman. Three months after his arrest, his mother was taken seriously ill. Thereafter, her health continued to decline as she suffered many strokes, which left her bedridden. Till today, no one can forget the hardship she and her family went through. The family suffered in silence for 32 years and more.

When Mrs Lee Kuan Yew suffered a stroke and was physically incapacitated, her husband and children were by her side and she was given the best medical care. It was not the case with Madam Yap. The then prime minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew, and his cabinet ministers did not even consider releasing her son on compassionate grounds or putting him on trial. He was literally left to rot in prison and his family left to fend for themselves.

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.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Ex-detainees go public to mark 25th anniversary of ISA arrests

To mark the 25th anniversary of their arrests under the Internal Security Act in a security swoop (now widely acknowledged as a political clampdown) codenamed Operation Spectrum, a group of former detainees have started a blog and are planning a series of public activties.

The blog That We May Dream Again, Remembering the 1987 Marxist Conspiracy was launched on April 15th. Its first post, "Shock and Awe : Enthralling a Nation", provides an overview of the arrests.

While the entire nation was entertained by the live telecast of the first- ever- held Miss Universe contest in Singapore late into the night of 20 May 1987, the secret police had been hard at work from dawn. Hound-like ISD agents fanned out all over the island, trailing 16 peaceful, unarmed people to arrest them in the early hours of 21 May 1987. It was the “shock and awe” tactic – loud and continuous bangings on doors in the still of the night, waking up the dead, shocking all and sundry into a paralysis. Handcuffed and blindfolded, the 16 were escorted to the Whitley Road Detention Centre.
A public event, to be held at the Speakers Corner on May 19th, will feature speakers, performers and exhibitions. Details below taken from the facebook events page.

That We May Dream Again
Date : Saturday, 19 May 2012
Time : 4pm to 7pm
Venue :
 Speakers' Corner, Hong Lim Park

Come join us at an open air exhibition from 4pm to 7pm on Saturday 19 May 2012 at Speakers’ Corner, Hong Lim Park to remember the 25th anniversary of the 1987 “Marxist conspiracy”.

Ruminate with social activists Alfian Saat, Braema Mathi, Jeannette Chong Aruldoss, Jolovan Wham, Martyn See, Siew Kum Hong, Vincent Wijeysingha and William Yap as they share personal thoughts on the 1987 “Marxist Conspiracy” and its effect on civil society.

Participate in guided tours through a unique open-air exhibition detailing the lives of the 1987 survivors before and after their ISA detentions.

Walk through mockups of Whitley Road Detention Centre and go back in time with original artifacts and memorabilia from those ISA arrests a quarter century ago.

“Lim-kopi” with survivors of the 1987 “Marxist Conspiracy”, ask questions and get answers directly from activists who had been silenced 25 years ago.

Buy a host of newly published books by social activists who has never-before-told public stories of how they slipped the ISD dragnet, left the country, and are now in exile.


3pm to 4pm: Arrival and informal chit-chats.
4pm to 5pm: Sharing and reflections by speakers from various sections of Singapore
society. All speakers do so in their individual capacities.
5pm to 6pm: Guided tour of open-air exhibition and exhibits
6pm to 7pm: “Lim-kopi” with survivors of the 1987 “Marxist Conspiracy”

Come and help raise awareness on the potential abuse of the ISA.
Your presence will help reconcile past hurts and unify Singapore again.

There are three things you need to know about Singapore.

1. The only political violence that has happened in the last 45 years in Singapore are the ones inflicted on political prisoners behind the walls of the Internal Security Department.

Links :
Political detention in Singapore : Prisoner case histories
The ISA as a political tool
Life in Singapore's political prisons

Surviving long-term detention without trial
Detention of journalists and lawyers under the ISA
A detainee remembers

2. The Internal Security Act has been abused (to serve political ends) more often than it has been used appropriately (to safeguard national security).

23 years after Operation Spectrum : Ex-detainees recall mental and physical abuses

I'll forgive Lee Kuan Yew if he admits to his error and apologises to me : Lim Hock Siew

3. The people and the institution responsible for the political violence and the abuse of ISA are still in power today. Open discussions on such topics remain sensitive, and even outlawed, in Singapore.

Zahari's 17 Years - rated PG by censors, banned by Minister
Ex-detainee Vincent Cheng barred from speaking in history seminar
Here we go again - Govt bans another Martyn See's film
Operation Spectrum forum cancelled
Police retracts licence request after Minister queried
Zahari's 17 Years remains banned : MICA


Further readings :

That We May Dream Again :
"Marxist Conspiracy" arrests - 20 years on
23 years after Operation Spectrum : Ex-detainees recall mental and physical abuses
Video / Photos : Remembering May 21st 1987