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May 10, 2006



As a Singaporean, I remember living during those frightening times. It was during this sad affair, that I woke up and realized how evil my government was. During this period, the so-called "Marxists" were actually Catholic social welfare workers and volunteers (mostly young working people and students) who were involved in some way or other in protests against the government's policy (then currently being reviewed in parliament) of giving priority placement to the children of graduate parents where the enrolment of kids in primary school was concerned. In other words, if you were a kid born of parents who were not graduates of any tertiary institution, you would be placed at the back of the queue to enter primary (our equivalent of elementary) school.
So, of course, you can imagine why the Catholic Church in Singapore, through its concerned social welfare workers and volunteers, protested against this policy which effectively discriminated against the lower-educated and therefore lower-income families in Singapore. Fortunately, mainly due to the efforts of these social activists, the majority of Singaporeans realized the ugly truth behind this goverment policy whose real aim was to encourage the so-called intellectual elite in Singapore to reproduce more "quality" people who might be the future rulers of Singapore. The government said it was mainly to arrest the falling birth rate problem, but in truth it was actually the ruling party's attempt to put into effect the first phase of a eugenics programme to ensure the continued social and economic dominance of the dominant race. Even today, vestiges of this policy can be found in the unpublicised practice at our govt. clinics and hospitals to discourage well-educated and/or well-off Chinese couples from opting for abortion by sending the respective expecting Chinese women for "counselling." As far as I know, no such similar counselling is offered to discourage the choice of abortion by women who are either from a minority race and/or who do not possess tertiary education. I know this is true, because I have friends who are social workers working in government medical facilites who have told me these things.
So, not long after the protests against this thinly-disguised eugenics policy, the public sentiment of the majority of Singaporeans swung against the ruling party where this issue was concerned and the government was forced to make a humiliating u-turn on this policy. It was precisely because the social activists had succeeded in shaming the government into doing the morally correct thing of scrapping this discriminatory policy, that the latter took revenge by arresting many people involved in (mainly Catholic) social welfare organisations which the govt. deemed were involved in the recent protests against the government.
If I remember correctly, as many as 22 or more people were arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act for supposedly being involved in what the govt. called a "Marxist conspiracry to overthrow the government by armed struggle." I remember seeing Vincent Cheng (a mild-mannered Catholic social welfare worker whom the authorities had singled out as being the "mastermind") being put on TV, and giving a so-called confession (while being totally devoid of any facial expression) as being part of this so-called conspiracy to overthrow the govt. I just could not believe what I heard or saw when I saw Vincent Cheng's expressionless face and heard his monotonous voice on TV.
At the time, I was doing National Service in the national armed forces (it's compulsory for all male Singapore citizens to be conscripted when they reach the age of 18), and I just didn't know where the truth lay. Ever since I was little, I had trusted and admired my government for bringing such economic success and prosperity to our country. But then, little by little, mainly because of this episode, I started asking questions of other people, and eventually I learned that there was an ugly truth and terrible price hidden behind my country's success.
That was not all. A few days after Vincent Cheng's "confession" on TV, I was called in, after my working hours as a storeman at the army camp I was stationed at, for a chat with my army unit's DYS1, who was also the camp's Intelligence Officer. At the time, I didn't actually understand why the DYS1 (the next highest in rank after the Commanding Officer of the unit) was interested in finding out my opinions and feelings about the whole "Vincent Cheng and the Marxists" affair. But on later hindsight, when I remembered his line of questioning which included questions like, "You're Catholic, right? So how do feel about (fellow Catholic) Vincent Cheng and his confession on TV? Do you think he really is guilty?" - that it slowly dawned on me that this "friendly chat" was actually an intelligence gathering exercise to suss out the extent of support for Vincent Cheng and his "co-conspirators" amongst the local Catholic community. Thank God, something told me to be on guard during my chat with the DYS1, and so I answered him with something like, "Well, if he confessed to doing it, then he must be guilty, isn't it?" Just imagine, if I had answered the DYS1 with something like, "I'm not convinced Cheng is guilty. I think it's all a frame," who knows, I might even have been dragged straight away to detention at Whitley Road as another one of Cheng's collaborators!
So, there you have it, my friends. On the surface, Singapore may be a technological utopia where almost everybody has all the material comforts anyone could wish for. But behind this veneer of normality is a rotten, stinking, inhuman, corrupt, power-mad, power-hungry regime that thinks nothing of devouring its own people to ensure its perpetual hegemony.

colin vivian white

The so-called "Marxist conspiracy" of 1987 angered many Catholics and many started voting agst the PAP, especially in Cheng San and the Katong area. They lost respect for their Catholic MPs like George Yeo who kept quiet. Please lah, George Yeo, are you Taoist or what? Do you love God or do you worship your ancestors with a joss stick? God will judge you okay. I am not frightened in rebuking you in this forum ok? Harry Lee in his statement told a "litany of lies" in trying to fix the Church and accusing it of staging a Marxist conspiracy. He said the ringleader was a dissident Tan Wah Piow! Please lah, Harry, you think we stupid, IS IT? Tan Wah Piow isnt even Catholic ok. Vincent Cheng studied Marxism as a seminarian bec its part of the philosophy module. His interview was cut, meaning they put an answer to a differnet question - the lighting was different. That's how they discovered how PAP fixed up the Catholics. The stupid archbishop at that time Gregory the Coward shivered in his cassock - so when Harry shouted Sign, he signed meekly, later told his flock Harry was so fierce like a dragon, he had no choice - he was cornered and signed! Basically Casanova priest Edgar d'Souza was the main threat - because as editor of the Catholic News, he had criticised the trade union movt and the lack of support for Filino maids who were often abused by their employers. Harry asked the Catholic Church to stop criticising him and PAP policy. The priests refused because "justice and peace" and speaking up for the lowly and oppressed is part of a Catholic's upbringing and culture. We dont force pp to convert - we believe in showing them kindness and compassion - and hoping they will convert - by example ...

So stand up to this mad regime - there's nothing to fear okay. i live overseas - bec i cannot live in a place that reminds me so much of Animal Farm.

James Malcolm Taenaka

Harry Lee once told Parliament " "Repression is like making love. It gets better the second time. There are no pangs of conscience, less guilt." I read abt this on the online petition for James Gomez. Singaporeans, despite their dour image, seem to have an enormous appetite for witty statements. I hope DIRTY HARRY comes out quick. The Japanese Americans are waiting for it! All I can say is that it's very sad when a great man like Lee Kuan Yew despises the aspirations of his own pp for liberty and freedom of expression - and chooses to force them to live like the animals in Animal Farm. George Orwell was such a genius. When he wrote Animal Farm - it was a critique of the communist system in Russia. Communism has fallen in Russia, but it's thriving in Singapore. Harry and his eunuchs, the PAP, are no better than the aristocrats of a bourgeois society - they earn million dollar salaries whilst thousands of their pp - especially the minorities are unemployed - my friend told me that those in their mid forties cannot even get jobs ... Does Harry care? Does his son Lee Hsien Loong care? Does his foolish wife-bitch- HO Ching, care? Of course not- she dresses in ugly flapping pantaloons and wears a ridiculous GI hairstyle - she looks like a witch! Please lah, Harry, for heavens sake, before we have a people power revolution, step down and give singaporeans their CPF money, ok?

Keti Hoxha

I wonder whether Singaporean citizens noticed a few interesting coincidences:

1)In May and June 1987, there were massive demonstrations for democracy in South Korea, which eventually forced dictator Chun Doo Hwan out of power. The "Marxist conspiracy" was "revealed" in Singapore precisely in this period.

2) The two most important leaders of the South Korean democracy movement, Kim Dae Jung and Kim Young Sam, were (and are) devout Christians. KDJ is a Catholic, KYS is a Presbyterian elder.

3) The South Korean elections of December 1987 resulted in the victory of Chun's hand-picked successor, Roh Tae Woo. Not long after, most of the persons arrested in Singapore were released, not having been charged with any specific crime anyway.

IMHO, these coincidences were by no means accidental. Lee Kuan Yew got scared by the Korean democracy movement, and saw to it that Singaporeans should be intimidated enough not to gain inspiration from the Korean example. A short but telling footnote to the story: In the 1990s, Kim Dae Jung was one of the harshest critics of Lee's "culture is destiny" and "Asian values" doctrine.

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