Friday, February 08, 2013

Abuse of the Internal Security Act

Someone asked for my views about the Internal Security Act and the people who were arrested in Operation Cold Store in 1962. 

Most people were told that the operation was carried out to put the dangerous communists behind bars, so that they will not cause unrest and violence in Singapore. This message was drummed into the people by the newspapers. The Barisan Socialists were painted in a bad light.

When I was in Secondary School in the mid 1960s, I lived in Thomson Road, near the junction of Balestier Road. The Rakyat Clinic (Malay name for People's Clinic) was located there. The name of Dr. Lim Hock Siew was written on the wall of the clinic; but Dr Lim was not there, as he was arrested in 1962.

I had met Dr. Lee Siew Choh many years later, and found him to be a soft spoken and gentle person. He did not seem to be a dangerous person, although he was a leader of the Barisan Socialists.

I watched a speech by Dr. Lim Hock Siew on Youtube in 2010 and met him once. I got to know of him and his his beliefs in democracy and social justice. It was really sad, that good people like him and his comrades were detained for several decades. Singapore would have been a much better place today, if the Internal Security Act had not been abused by the people in power.

I like to see the ISA replaced, just like it was done in Malaysia.

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