I derive no inspiration from my country's current (and past) government leaders.
My only source of patriotism is drawn from the scarifices made by political dissidents, both past and present, who has/had been persecuted, imprisoned and vilified by their own government for their beliefs.
They, I believe, are the real patriots of Singapore.
Singapore's forgotten founding fathers.
Dr Chia Thye Poh [left] with Mr Lim Chin Siong.
Picture from National Archives.
Record date : 24/07/1962
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Research by Isrizal Mohd Isa
Extracted from Parlimentary Debates of the Dewan Ra’ayat (House of Representatives)
Thursday, 19th September, 1964
Mr Speaker: You have one more minute left.
Enche' Chia Thye Poh: I think one more minute is too short.
Mr Speaker: I will give you one more minute.
Enche' Chia Thye Poh: I think it is most unfair for me to complete my speech in one minute. I beg you to ...
Mr Speaker: No, I will give you one minute.
Enche' Chia Thye Poh: Sir, when the Prime Minister talks of defending our country, we find it hollow. This Government has betrayed all the vital interests of the people to the British. It has no right to talk of defending the nation. This Government is oppressing the people; more than 200 political leaders and trade unionists are in the jails of Singapore. Our Secretary- General, Mr Lim Chin Siong, is in Changi and political dwarfs like Mr Lee Kuan Yew can strut around and talk big only when giants like Mr Lim Chin Siong are kept out of the political arena (interruption).
Mr Speaker: Do not disturb him.
Enche' Chia Thye Poh: The Prime Minister has spoken about the communal riots in Singapore. He says that the Indonesians and the Communists caused it. We are from Singapore and we know that this is just to cover up the real culprits. The Prime Minister of Singapore is telling, in Europe, that the UMNO politicians have caused it. The UMNO in Singapore says that the P.A.P. has caused it. We who are in Singapore know that the communal riots were the work of the UMNO and the P.A.P. who were indulging in a bitter fight for power . All this nonsense about the Indonesians and the Communists causing these riots is just to hide the truth that the main culprits belong to the ruling parties.
SOME HONOURABLE MEMBERS: Nonsense! Lies
Enche' Chia Thye Poh: We challenge the Government to have a public enquiry into this. When the riots started . . . .
Mr Speaker: Order, order! Your time is up—it is already one minute.
2 years later, at the age of 26, Member of Parliament for Jurong Mr Chia Thye Poh was arrested and detained without charge or trial. He spent a total of 23 years in prison and another 9 years under restrictive orders in Sentosa. Upon his release in 1998, he publicly called for the abolition of the ISA. He attained his phD recently, but his last known whereabouts are uncertain.----------------------------------------------
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