Sunday, January 5, 2014

Missing You (2014)

Missing You
Seelan Palay

Dr Chia Thye Poh (born 1941) is a Singaporean former political prisoner who was detained in 1966 under the Internal Security Act of Singapore for allegedly having led a call for the revival of armed struggle – an accusation he denied till today. Prior to his arrest, he was a physics lecturer and member of the Parliament of Singapore.

He was imprisoned without trial for 32 years – five years more than the late Nelson Mandela. However, there is little knowledge of Dr Chia and his actual ideas among the generations of Singaporeans after him.

Upon his release in 1992 and having his rights to speak to the press finally restored, he said, "The best years of my life were taken away just like that without a charge or trial". Tears swelled in his eyes as he contemplated his lost chance of marrying and raising a family. He then spent most of his time abroad, and the details of his past and present were mostly available in fragments found on the Internet.

Adapting the most recent online photograph of Dr Chia, I printed and photocopied a poster similar to a "missing persons" notice. You are welcome to make a copy and put it up anywhere.

Let viewers ask themselves, "Who is this man?", "Why is he missing?", "Is this a notice... or a statement?".