Sunday, February 03, 2008

45th Anniversary of Operation Coldstore - Abolish ISA

If you don't know what Operation Coldstore or the Internal Security Act are, I've got links. My friend I. [not completely sure if he'd like his name printed] alerted us to this:

"Yes, Yi-Sheng. And on 3rd of February [1957], a Sunday like today, breakfast was served together with the news that more than 100 politicians, unionists, journalists et al. were caught in the dragnet. Among those arrested in this first haul, were those who went on to be detained without trial for the longest period in Singapore history under the draconian ISA. They are:

Ho Toon Chin (alias Ho Piao) - ex-Secretary of National Seamen's Union. He was detained for 18 years. Sadly, Mr Ho, passed away on Feb 8, 2007 in London from a stroke.

Dr Lim Hock Siew - ex-member of University Sosialist Club, ex-CEC member of Barisan Sosialis. He was detained for over 17 years including his exile to Pulau Tekong. I believe he's still practising medicine.

Said Zahari - ex-editor of Utusan Melayu, ex-president of Parti Rakyat Singapura (for a matter of hours only). He was detained for 17 years including his exile to Pulau Ubin. He's now living in Kuala Lumpur. Still writing and just recently returned from hajj (pilgrimage).

Dr Poh Soo Kai - ex-assistant secretary-general of Barisan Sosialis. He was detained for nearly 17 years. He was released in Dec 1973 but was rearrested in June 1976.

17 years from now, I'll be 50. I can't see that yet. They saw through it. Now, a quiz question for you, Yi-Sheng. In 1975, a student leader spoke these words. Tell me, who this person is?

' I was conditioned to have my eyes blinded so I see no social evils;
my ears plugged so that I hear no cries of the people; and in case
I did see or hear evil, my mouth was to be gagged so that I speak
no protest. I broke the rules altogether. I ripped the blindfold and
saw the pathetic living conditions of neglected old pioneers of
Chinatown and the exploited workers of Jurong; I dug out the ear
plugs and heard the voice of Said Zahari ( a journalist under
detention without trial for 13 years) coming from behind the prison
walls. Finally, I took the decisive step to liberate myself - I spoke up.'


Abolish ISA
I.

1 comment:

Edgar said...

Tan Wah Piow?