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(中英文对照) The Battle for Merger re-staged: SG 50 and the killing of two birds with one red herring 再版《争取合并的斗争》:新加坡建国50周年 和一石二鸟

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作者: Dr. Hong  Lysa  孔莉莎 (网址:http://minimyna.wordpress.com/) ——中文译者:伍德南   日期:November 25, 2014

Note: This is the original posting of ‘The Battle for Merger re-staged’. (minimyna essay number 11, posted on 7 November 2014)  When I learnt that the Film Appeal Board had just heard Tan Pin Pin’s presentation in her appeal against the ‘Not Allowed for All Ratings’ classification for To Singapore, With Love  and its decision would be released in a matter of days, I deleted references to the film, and retitled the essay ‘ The Battle for Merger re-staged: SG 50 and the art of shadow-boxing’.   The section, ‘Pesky Birds’  has been updated following the Appeal Board’s decision.

12讲     《当前宪制斗争的任务》

(Chinese text: Lim Chin Siong (editor), The Constitutional Struggle Ahead. The first in a series of compilation of speeches and essays  on merger published in 阵线报 the Chinese language paper of the Barisan Sosialis. Courtesy of Ong Sooi Eng 王瑞荣)

Pomp and Circumstance

A few weeks ago, those in Singapore who listen to ministerial speeches would have felt that the 1950s and early 1960s had descended on them.  The airwaves were blasting out rhetoric from the cold war era of stark political categories in all its unabashed crudity and oppressiveness. The most senior cabinet members, the prime minister brigadier-general (res) Lee Hsien Loong and rear-admiral (res) Teo Chee Hean, deputy prime minister, coordinating minister for national security and minister for home affairs dispensed a singular history lesson emanating from what is clearly a polemical political tract from the last half a century.

The full weight of the government was thrown behind re-sanctifying as gospel truth the 12 radio talks of then prime minister Lee Kuan Yew: how he rescued the country from being over-run by communists who were ascendant, subversive and violent, in a period of great upheaval and civil unrest manipulated from behind-the-scenes by communist hands. The Battle for Merger, delivered between 13 September and 9 October 1961, and published in 1962, was ‘pivotal in lifting the curtain on the communists and exposing their hidden manoeuvrings’ and won public support for the referendum on merger.

The fanfare orchestrated to greet the gravely-intoned regurgitation of the communist vs non-communist framework to understand Singapore’s past was accompanied by students making the requisite school excursion to visit to the allied exhibition, and the hint of public disciplining two academics for their works.

Despite the hype, the 1961 text was simply recited.  There is no new evidence or perspectives that would justify its reprinting.

Most significantly former prime minister/senior minister/minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew himself viewed the exhibition, and it was relayed by the deputy prime minister that the author had praised the team who had put up the exhibition for their ‘thorough research’.

Incredibly the government decided to put its credibility on the line to defend and propagate this document whose value fifty years since it was written surely lies in its historicity, not its veracity.

What thorough research?

The re-print includes an introductory chapter ‘The Battle for Merger—the Historical Context by Associate Professor Albert Lau, National University of Singapore.  It does not read like a work written in 2014 at all. It simply echoes the key lines of the Radio Talks, citing only like-minded publications without engaging at all with either documentary material or analyses which have emerged which question the premises of this PAP narrative.

This essay goes overboard in its zealousness, kicking an own goal in the process.

In one telling elaboration on just how brilliant and righteous it all was, we are told that at one point in the negotiations between the governments of Singapore and the Federation on the merger scheme, Singapore citizens were going to be accorded Malaysian nationality, not citizenship. The opposition Barisan Sosialis pointed out that Singapore citizens would become second-class citizens.  By his own account, and repeated in the 2014 essay, the Barisan’s challenge immediately instigated the prime minister Lee Kuan Yew to ‘implore’ both London and Kuala Lumpur to ‘use similar terms’ for the people of Singapore and of the Borneo territories, who were to be conferred Malaysian citizenship. If the Federation refused, merger would certainly be rejected by the people of Singapore in the promised referendum.

Clearly, the PAP government had not given due attention to the most basic of concerns for the largely immigrant population.   The vigilance of the Barisan and the pressure it asserted contributed to the outcome that Singapore citizens automatically became Malaysian citizens, even though the Barisan insisted that the change was only cosmetic as the representation that Singapore had in the Malaysian parliament was way below what its population figure warranted.

Yet then and now in the 2014 chapter, their intervention has been called ‘propaganda’, and another proof that they were against merger and therefore they were communists.

The 2014 chapter credits the radio talks with playing a vital part in defeating the ‘communists and pro-communists’ and winning the people over as seen in the referendum where 71 % voted for the PAP ‘option’.

The whole referendum exercise was nothing more than the government fixing the rules at every turn to obfuscate and confuse, playing on the people’s fear of what the Federation government might or might not do if merger fell through. Those responsible have continued to congratulate themselves for being very clever about it.  Then PAP chairman Toh Chin Chye said of the referendum in a 1996 interview,

‘The ballot paper was crafted by Lee Kuan Yew. Whichever way you voted, you voted for merger. …Few understood the ballot paper….How do choose? Which way do you vote? But we got away with it. We won… ‘ [Melanie Chew, Leaders of Singapore (1996), p. 92]

The National Museum of Singapore’s new interactive exhibition SINGAPURA 700 YEARS reportedly includes ‘hands-on experience’ such as casting a vote to decide Singapore’s merger with Malaya and taking a history quiz. One wonders if the museum visitors ‘reliving’ that ‘experience’ will understand the ballot paper more clearly than those casting their votes on 1 September 1962.

The PAP government had simply rammed through its terms of merger.  The Battle for Merger was one key propaganda exercise to this end. One blogger, a former political detainee has shown far greater understanding of the nature of the publication than academics seem to have. Ong Sooi Eng (王瑞荣) has juxtaposed the Radio Talks with booklets that the Barisan Sosialis published at the time explaining its position on merger.

They are ‘propaganda’ only as much as Battle for Merger is, and the publications should be read against one another.

Singapore’s merger with Malaysia proved to be a failure with consequences not necessarily for the better for the people and the societies in the long term.  The Barisan’s pointing out that if the fundamental difference in the politics of ethnicity adopted by the Federation and Singapore were not addressed, merger would only lead to conflict was but stating the obvious. And that was exactly what came to pass.

The well-worn ‘what if’ scenario, almost in verbatim refrain since the days of S Rajaratnam in the 1960s has it that if the

‘communists and their pro-communist CUF allies had won, and Singapore had fallen under communist rule in the 1960s…we would have gone a different path….Even if Singapore had survived, life would have been harsh and miserable.’

The re-printing of Battle for merger brings another ‘what if’ scenario to mind:

what if merger was intended to work, and the result of genuine consultation with the people of all the political units concerned, and not an immediate political expedience. What if the Federation, Singapore, Sarawak and Sabah had negotiated a Malaysia that actually had a chance of working? We would all have gone on a different path….

What revisionist history?

The battle for merger has been re-staged ostensibly out of concern that ‘revisionist writers’ have emerged who ‘portray the fight as a merely a peaceful and democratic disagreement over the type of merger. They ignore the more fundamental agenda of the communists to seize power by subversion and armed revolution’. Historians Geoff Wade and Thum Ping Tjin have figured in the footnotes appended to deputy prime minister Teo’s speech as two such purveyors of this at best ignorant view.

The deputy prime minister actually appended ‘a sampling of the more credible books on the CPM and the communist struggles between the 1940s to the 1960s’ in the written copy of his speech. It comprises a number of authors who were given access to the documents of Singapore’s Internal Security Department.  One has to wonder why these individuals were deserving of such trust. Included in this list and cited in the 2014 essay is the poisonous and scandalous Dennis Bloodworth, Tiger and the Trojan Horse (1986). Bloodworth was also given interviews with the top PAP leadership, and even Mrs Lee Kuan Yew. Would all this make the book more credible or incredible?

Also making it to the minister’s recommended reading list is hagiographic accounts by MCP leaders and members.

However, the idea that ‘revisionist history’ is the work of historians in Singapore today who challenge the state narrative on the dangers of communism in the 1950s and 1960s, perhaps with an agenda in mind is quite misconceived. The seminal work of such ‘revisionism’ was in fact written more than a decade ago.

林清祥 2-page-001

 

As any undergraduate who has done modules on Singapore, or even  eighteen-year olds in junior college who have done a research project on that part of Singapore history would know, Cambridge University historian TN Harper’s ‘Lim Chin Siong and the “Singapore Story”’  [ in Comet in our sky: Lim Chin Siong in history, edited by Tan Jing Quee and Jomo KS, 2001] cited then commissioner of police Linsett’s 1959 report to the Internal Security Council to the effect that in his estimate, MCP strength was low: 40 full party members, 80 ABL (Anti-British League) cadres; 200 or so ‘sympathisers and less than 100 ‘released for ‘white area work’.

The report also spoke of ‘much uncoordinated ‘cell activity without either lateral or vertical contact’, [ EJ Linsett. ‘the security threat to Singapore (Communism and nationalism)’ 24 July 1959, DO 35/9870, PR0]

Harper’s ‘revisionist’ essay has long become the established paradigm for scholars. Credible research on post-war Singapore history has to be cognizant of it. Wade and Thum build on Harper’s study. A document featured in the study which has become de riguer to cite reveals that at the height of the bargaining among the ISC members on the list of people to be arrested, deputy high commissioner Philip Moore asserted:

 

While we accept that Lim Chin Siong is a Communist, there is no evidence he is receiving orders from the CPM, Peking or Moscow. Our impression is that Lim is working very much on his own and that his primary objective is not the Communist millennium but to obtain control of the constitutional government of Singapore. It is far from certain that having obtained this objective Lim would necessarily prove a compliant tool of Peking or Moscow. [Selkirk, British high commissioner, Singapore to Secretary of State D Sandys, 8 September 1962CO 1030/1159 in Harper p. 41]

The PAP Story denies that Lim Chin Siong was capable of thinking, discernment, and comprehending and adjusting to political developments in Singapore that he himself was in the forefront of. It freezes him in this caricature that is applied generally the Chinese-speaking students, trade union leaders and members. It alleges that the self is alive, and has human agency. The ‘other’ is one-dimensional and timeless in its perfidy.

Pesky Birds In his heyday, Lim Chin Siong was the PAP’s feared political nemesis; he has become the albatross around the party’s neck. Any hint that Lim was not a MCP member, was not a subversive and had no intention of supplying arms to the Brunei rebellion would raise questions about Operation Coldstore, and the morality of how the PAP came to rule Singapore. Yet Lim, who died in 1996, is not the main target in the 2014 exercise of re-staging the Battle for Merger.  Similarly the historians who write ‘revisionist history’ are but sideshows or collateral damage.

That honour goes to the former political detainees who have in the last decade step by accelerated step made their narrative public through interviews, speeches posted on youtube, and credible publications.  They have continued to insist that they have never been communists or subversives, and  refused to sign any ISD statements, the only way to obtain release. Said Zahari, Lee Tee Tong, the late Dr Lim Hock Siew, Dr Poh Soo Kai, and Chng Minoh endured imprisonment for as long as it took for them to earn the right to demand accountability.They have also reaffirmed that Lim Chin Siong was their legitimate and respected leader.

 

The former long-serving political prisoners and their counter-narratives have been studiously avoided by the authorities, leaving it for academics to sniff condescendingly that one has to be aware that they may have an ‘agenda’. They do indeed have an agenda, and have made that very clear: demand for evidence of the charges they were accused of, and the abolition of the Internal Security Act which as their cases show has been thoroughly abused.

The re-staged Battle has been carefully circumscribed to those couple of years; there is no mention at all of Operation Coldstore, which remains the elephant in the class/room.

Instead the MCP is served as red herring.

Tan Pin Pin’s To Singapore, with Love has been given the same treatment. The MCP members from Singapore who are not allowed to return to home unless they first report to the Internal Security Department featured in the documentary have been made fair game in the re-staging of the Battle for Merger, which apparently had been planned for SG 50 way before To Singapore, with Love made its appearance. The film was given a Not Allowed for All Ratings classification on 10 September 2014.

The interviews with the MCP members from Singapore have been condemned by the prime minister as ‘self-serving personal account, conveniently inaccurate in places, glossing over inconvenient facts and others, which will sully the honour and reputation of the security people, and the brave men and women who fought the communists, all those many years.  (Today, 3 October 2014)

Yet the MCP members who could produce evidence of citizenship within a specified time frame were allowed to return to Malaysia unconditionally as part of the Hadyai Peace Accord (1989)  by which the MCP agreed to disband their armed units and destroy all their weapons. The Malaysian security forces were engaged in jungle warfare against the MCP for fifty years. Since 1989, there have not been any official statements to the effect that the returnees have posed security risks to the country.

Tan Pin Pin’s appeal against the Media Development Authority’s classification was rejected by the Films Appeal Committee on 12 November  citing the Film Classification Guidelines which provided that “films deemed to undermine public order, national security and/or stability will be disallowed for all ratings”. The FAC agreed that the film condoned ‘the use of violence and subversion as a means to achieve political ends in Singapore’. This verdict was of course no surprise, despite mainstream commentators’ view that the film showed that the old men and women interviewed were once ‘militants who would have used violence to overthrow the legitimately elected, non-communist regimes in Singapore and Malaysia if they had a chance.’ (Chua Mui Hoong, ‘To JB, for a movie’ Straits Times 28 September 2014). One would have thought that read this way, there was every reason for the the film to be screened from the point of view of ‘national education’.

Yet while the segments of the To Singapore with Love which were given most public attention were the Chinese-speaking septuagenarian former MCP members resident in South Thailand and Bangkok, their narratives would not be the ones that the audience would find the most compelling.

The most forthright, reflective, poignant and inspirational interviewee who holds the film together has been carefully left out in official disparagement of the interviewees.

Just as the former political prisoners who continue to insist that they were political threats to the PAP, not security risks to their country, have not received any direct rebuttals from the authorities, there has not been any explanation given for Dr Ang Swee Chai having to remain in exile, standing by her husband Francis Khoo Kah Siang.

 

The late Francis Khoo (d 2011), lawyer, church and civil society activist  managed to escape in February 1977 while his friends were arrested under the Internal Security Act on charges of being Euro-communists. Most were released within three months, after signing statements and for some, television confessions. Khoo made his way to England. His return to Singapore entailed an Internal Security Department interrogation. Doubtlessly he would have to reveal the identity of those who helped him get across the causeway.

As Dr Ang tells the story in the film, Francis’s mother, a feisty peranakan matriarch who had been pressuring him to return, said to him ‘If you come back, I’ll take a gun and I’ll shoot you, then I will shoot the chief of ISD’ when she understood the situation.

By Dr Ang’s account, Francis Khoo did not simply pine for home, but continued his commitment to social justice in the new land and beyond. A refugee, she lent her surgical and organizational skills to the cause of the Palestinians—a nation of refugees, particularly the victims of war. She co-founded the British charity Medical Aid for Palestinians,  and co-authored War Surgery Field Manual (1996), based on her experience of  treating Palestinian victims of war atrocities.

Dr Ang sought special leave from the Ministry of Home Affairs to journey home with Francis’s ashes. She would not dream of doing that on a British passport as an expatriate widow.

In ordinary circumstances, Dr Ang Swee Chai could well be lauded as a model Singaporean.  As it is, she is reconciled to the fact that her siblings would bring her ashes home when she dies.

The elderly MCP members in To Singapore, with Love serve as red herring in being additional ammunition for the re-staging of the Battle for Merger, and as the reason for the NAR decision, which in effect shuts out Dr Ang’s narrative, the most difficult to re-write into a security risk story. Reality Check

张志贤

It has been endlessly said that every society needs a narrative that knits it together. Such a narrative should articulate the fundamental and attractive values underlying it.

  The Battle for merger does the opposite.

 

Its idea of the ‘essential facts of our nationhood’ is that students should be able ‘to name one communist or one communalist.’

 

Sg 50 can indeed be an occasion for Singaporeans to reflect and take stock of their society’, to ask ‘how did we get here from there, in the span of 50 years’.

  An occasion for breaching the polarization that afflicts our history.

 

The occasion for the authorities to demonstrate that they possess wisdom, are ‘their own men’, even-handed, inclusive, humble, forward-looking.

And above all true to themselves and to the people of Singapore.

再版《争取合并的斗争》:新加坡建国50周年 和一石二鸟

注:本文原题是“再版《争取合并的斗争》”   (见《minimyna》博客2014年11月7日贴出的博文http://minimyna.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/the-battle-for-merger-re-staged-sg-50-and-the-art-of-shadow-boxing/)。当获悉影片上诉委员会刚聆听过陈彬彬针对媒体发展管理局将其纪录片《星国恋》列为“任何分级均不允许”(Not Allowed for All Ratings)评级决定的上诉,并将择日宣布决定,我便不提该纪录片,而把文章的题目改为“再版《争取合并的斗争》:新加坡建国50周年 和太极拳”。在上诉委员会作出决定后,‘恼人的鸟儿’一节也作了补充。

《当前宪制斗争的任务》                 12讲

 (左边的《当前宪制斗争的任务》一书,是新加坡社会主义阵线华文机关报《阵线报》刊印的第一册专辑,是林清祥等人有关合并的演说和文章。照片由王瑞荣提供)

大张旗鼓的盛况和实况   

好几个星期前,聆听部长演说的新加坡人好像是置身于1950年 代以及1960年代初期。弥漫空间的强烈声浪,散播着冷战时期的说辞、彻头彻尾的政治腔调,显现露骨的粗暴和咄咄逼人之势。内阁中的最高级成员,总理李显龙准将(战备)和副总理兼国家安全统筹部长及内政部长张志贤准将 (战备)祭出了一堂异常的历史课,追本穷源,明显是过去半个世纪的一场政治论战的事迹。

政府倾全力要把时任总理李光耀的电台12讲,重新供奉为 圣经 :在势力蒸蒸日上、从事颠覆活动、诉诸暴力的共产党人在幕后操控的大动荡、民事动乱的时期,他拯救了国家,不使国家落入共产党人之手。《争取合并的斗争》的电台演讲,是在1961年9月13日至10月9日之间播放的,册子是在1962年出版,它“对揭开共产党人的面纱、暴露他们的隐蔽操控活动,起了关键性作用”,并赢取公众支持合并的全民公投。 大吹大擂的活动,迎来了声调高亢的“共产党对非共产党”节目返潮上演,借以了解新加坡的过去;与此配合,安排学生以必要的课外活动方式,参观配合“再版”活动举行的展览会; 同时,似乎是在训斥两位学术界人士,非议他们的著作 尽管大肆宣传 ,1961年的说词照搬不误,根本没有任何新事证或视野足以说明 再版的必要性。 最具意义的是,前总理/内阁资政李光耀本人参观过展览会,据副总理转述,作者称赞工作团队经过‘透彻的调查研究’,举办了展览会。 令人不可思议,政府竟决定将自身的可信任度的防线置于捍卫和宣扬该文集;可以肯定地说,自发表以来的50年 间,该文集的价值是在于其历史性而非其真实性。  

何谓透彻的调查研究?

再版本加插新加坡国立大学副教授刘坤华撰写的一篇题为“争取合并的斗争――历史事境”的绪言,读来根本不像是写于2014年。它简直就是附和电台演讲的主旋律,仅是引述同类看法的刊物的言论,根本没有触及已面世的、质疑行动党的叙事前提的文献资料或分析文章。 该篇绪言表现得过分热情,冲昏头脑,以致把球踢进自己的球门。

为了表现政府是如何英明和如何伸张正义,我们被告知,在新加坡和马来亚联邦两地政府谈判合并计划期间,一度出现新加坡公民将只获马来西亚国籍而不获公民权之说。对此,反对党社会主义阵线指出,新加坡公民将沦为二等公民。按其说法,作者又在2014年撰写的绪言中重申,社阵的抗争,马上激发李光耀‘恳求’伦敦和吉隆坡当局对新加坡人民和北婆罗洲地区人民的身份“采用相同的名称”,后者将获颁马来西亚公民权。如果联邦政府拒绝,新加坡人民在拟定的全民公投中,肯定会拒绝合并。

显然,行动党政府对以移民为主的新加坡人的最基本利益,漠不关心。社阵的警觉和施压结果,让新加坡公民得以自动成为马来西亚公民,尽管正如社阵所说,这只不过是装门面,因为新加坡在马来西亚国会的代表议席,大大少过按人口比例所应得的席位。 然而,按过去和当今这篇2014年绪言的说法,社阵的介入,反被指为“宣传”,是他们反对合并的又一证据,因此,他们是共产党人。 这篇2014年绪言赞许电台演讲,认为在击败“共产党人和亲共份子”、赢得民心方面,起了关键作用,有71%的人在全民公投中赞成行动党“选项”,就是证明。 整个全民公投的操作,只不过是政府在每一个转折点制定条规,混淆视听,玩弄人民的恐惧情绪,譬如,害怕联邦政府在实现合并后会做什么事,或又不会做什么事。负责其事者一直在自我庆贺,认为自己所做之事是非常聪明的。时任行动党主席的杜进才于1996年的一次访谈中说,

“公投选票是李光耀精心策划的。无论你怎么投,你都是投赞成合并 ….. 很少人明了公投选票 ….. 如何选择?你怎样投票?但我们借此过关了。我们赢了 …” [Melanie Chew著《新加坡的领导人》(1996)第92页)]

新加坡国家博物馆新推出的“新加坡拉700年”的互动展览,据说包括了让人‘亲身体验’的活动,如:投票决定新加坡是否要跟马来亚合并,并参加历史问答游戏。人们不禁会问,让博物馆的参观者‘再历其境’,当真就能比那些在1962年9月1日参加投票的人更明白投票的选项吗?

行动党政府简直就是强行贯彻其合并条件。《争取合并的斗争》是应用到极致的主要宣传手段。

一位博客、前政治被拘留者王瑞荣对出版物作用的理解,似乎比学术人士来得更透彻。他把电台演讲跟社阵当时为解释其合并立场所出版的文集,并行阅读。 如果说社阵的册子是“宣传品”, 那么 《争取合并的斗争》不也一样是“宣传品” 吗? 这些出版物应当比照阅读。

新加坡跟马来西亚的合并,证明是失败了,长期来看,其后果对人民和社会不一定会更好。社阵指出,联邦和新加坡两地政府推行的族群本位(ethnicity)政治所造成的基本分歧没有得到解决,合并只会导致冲突,这只是点到显著的恶果。这种事情,恰恰就发生了。

老掉牙的‘倘若 … 将会怎样’的剧本,从1960年代拉惹勒南有影响力的时候开始,几乎是一字不差的台词是这样的,倘若“共产党人及其亲共的共产党统一战线的同盟军在1960年代获胜,而新加坡因此陷入共产党统治 … 我们就会走上了一条不同的道路 … 即使新加坡得以存在,生活将会是艰苦而悲惨的。”

再版《争取合并的斗争》,也把另一出‘倘若 … 将会怎样’的剧本呈现在人们眼前:倘若立意要实现能够运作的合并,达致由各有关的政治组织的人民开诚布公协商的结果,而非一蹴而就的政治权宜安排,将会怎样呢?倘若马来亚联邦、新加坡、砂劳越和沙巴协商成立一个能够实实在在运作的马来西亚,将会怎样呢?我们大家都会走上了一条不同的道路 ……  

什么是修正主义历史?

《争取合并的斗争》 似乎是为了因应‘修正主义作者’ 而再版的,借以指这些作者“认为这场斗争仅仅是一场通过和平和民主方式,对合并形式进行的争论。他们不理会关于共产党人要通过颠覆活动和武装斗争夺取政权的更根本议程。” 

张志贤副总理 的文字版演说辞的脚注,指韦杰夫(Geoff Wade)和覃炳鑫两位历史学者都 犯了这个错误。 副总理的文字版演说辞的一条脚注的原文是: “有关1940年代至1960年代期间马共和共产党人斗争的比较可靠著作举例”。书目的作者中,有好几位曾获准参阅新加坡内安局文件。 人们不禁会感到困惑,为何这些人士可以如此获得信任。 列入书目并由2014年绪言引述的一部书是由极其恶毒、具诽谤能事的作者丹尼斯•布拉德沃斯(Dennis Bloodworth)所撰写的《老虎与特洛伊木马》(1986年出版)。行动党的高层领导包括李光耀夫人都曾接受过布拉德沃斯的访谈。综观这一切,这本书到底是可信还是不可信?

纳入部长推荐阅读的书目,也包括马共领导人和党员的回忆斗争经历的叙事著述。 不过,认为‘修正主义历史’是当今新加坡历史学者的杰作、挑战国家关于1950年 代和1960年代共产主义危险的叙事,也许思想上还存有某个议程, 这种看法是相当错误的。其实,早在十多年前就产生了‘修正主义’的萌芽之作。 林清祥 2-page-001 任何做过新加坡专项课题研究课业的大学生,或者甚至是对新加坡历史做过研究作业项目的十八岁上下的初级学院学生,他们都知道,英国剑桥大学历史学者哈珀(T N Harper)撰写的《林清祥和‘新加坡的故事’》(‘Lim Chin Siong and the “Singapore Story”)[见陈仁贵和K S 佐莫联合编著的《林清祥和他的时代》(“Comet in our sky: Lim Chin Siong in history”)一书];

哈珀在其书中引述前新加坡警察总监琳瑟特(E J Linsett)1959年向内安局所作的报告,大意是说,据他的判断,马共的势力是薄弱的:

正式党员40人,抗英同盟(抗盟)干部80人;另有约200名‘同情者’和不到100名‘白区工作者’。 该份报告也谈提到没有横向关系或纵向关系的‘不大相互配合的’细胞组织的活动[琳瑟特――‘新加坡的治安威胁(共产主义和民族主义)’ 1959年7月24日,编号DO 35/9870, PRO]。

哈珀的‘修正主义’文章被学者们 视为典范,为时甚久。要对新加坡战后历史进行实事求是的研究, 必须对此有所认知。韦杰夫和覃炳鑫两人是基于哈珀的研究成果,进行深入探索。该研究特载的一份文件,已成为必然要引述的珍贵资料,披露了内部安全理事会成员在就逮捕名单进行争议达到最激烈阶段时,副最高专员摩尔(Philip Moore)断言:

尽管我们都认为林清祥是个共产党,但没有证据证明他在接受马共、北京或莫斯科的指令。我们的印象是,林清祥在很大的程度上是自主工作的,而他的主要目的并非要实现共产主义的黄金时代,而在于掌控新加坡的宪制政府。远远无法肯定,在实现这一目标后,林清祥必然会听命于北京或莫斯科,成为其工具。[英国驻新加坡最高专员薛尔克致英国国务大臣森迪斯的报告,1962年9月8日,CO 1030/1159;见哈珀著作第41页]

行动党的叙事否认林清祥有思考和辨别是非的能力,能够理解新加坡的政治发展形势,并且能够随机应变,他自己是站在斗争的最前线;对林清祥所描绘的负面形象,普遍地扣在讲话语的学生、工会负责人和会员身上。行动党指责对方是思想简单、不识时务的一群,一直是跟国家作对。     

恼人的鸟儿

当林清祥 的声望如日中天之时,他是行动党所畏惧的强大政治对手,成为该党的克星。任何倾向于表明林清祥 也许不是共产党,不是颠覆份子,没有意图要向文莱叛军提供武器 的蛛丝马迹,都会让人质疑‘冷藏行动’的正当性,质疑行动党得以统治新加坡的道德标准。

然而,于1996年逝世的林清祥,却不是2014年 再版《争取合并的斗争》活动针对的主要目标。同样地,撰写‘修正主义历史’的历史学者只被当成过场戏或附带的伤害。 荣誉归于那些坚韧不拔的前政治被拘留者,他们在过去十年来,加紧步伐,通过上载于youtube视频和刊登于诚信刊物的访谈、演说,将自己的叙事公诸于世。他们一再坚持自己从来不是共产党或颠覆份子,拒签内安局的任何声明来换取释放,这是获释的唯一途径。 赛查哈里、李思东、已故林福寿医生、傅树介医生和庄明湖等,经受长期监禁,不肯妥协, 只为了坚持要讨个公道的权利 他们也都重申林清祥是他们所尊敬的理所当然的领袖。 当局刻意回避这些遭长久关押的政治被拘留者以及他们反面叙事,留给学术人士带着优越感和自以为是的态度去嗅察,他们得要觉察出这些人可能有个‘议程’。  然而,经长久关押的前政治被拘留者的的确确有个议程,并且非常清楚地将之表露:要求提供证据来证明对他们的指控,要求废除曾遭彻底滥用来对付他们的内部安全法令。

再版《争取合并的斗争》的活动,谨慎地局限在那几个年头;根本没有提到‘冷藏行动’,它依然是教课室里的一头大象,有待剖析。 于是乎,马共被用来转移视线。

陈彬彬的纪录片《星国恋》遭受相同待遇。在纪录片中介绍了来自新加坡的马共党员,他们不获准回返新加坡,除非先向内安局报告;其实,在再版《争取合并的斗争》活动展开时,他们就已成为任由抨击的对象,是早在《星国恋》之前,显然是为了建国50周年活动而策划的。 该纪录片是在2014年9月10日被当局列为“任何分级均不允许”评级。 跟来自新加坡的马共党员的访谈,遭到总理的谴责,说是“为自己辩解的叙事,有多处根本与事实不符、掩饰难以启齿的真相及其他,会玷污保安人员以及多年来勇敢地跟共产党人斗争的男女们的尊严和声誉。”(见2014年10月3日的《今日报》) 然而,马共成员,只要能够在设定的时限内出示公民身份的证件,就可按1989年签署的、马共同意解散武装部队和完全销毁武器的《合艾和平协议》,无条件回返马来西亚生活。马来西亚保安部队曾跟马共在森林中进行过50年 的战斗。 自1989年以来,从未见过任何官方声明指归来者有危害该国的安全之事。 陈彬彬对媒体发展管理局的评级决定的上诉,于2014年11月12日遭影片上诉委员会驳回,援引影片分级准则条文说,“被视为危害公共秩序、国家安全及/或稳定的影片,属于不允许任何分级”。影片上诉委员会认为,该纪录片宽容 “以暴力和颠覆手段在新加坡实现政治目的”。 这一决定并不令人惊讶,尽管主流评论员认为,影片中受访的年老男女,一度是“斗士,如果有机会,他们就会使用暴力推翻合法当选的新加坡和马来西亚的非共政权”。(2014年9月28日,《海峡时报》:“到新山看一影片”,Chua Mui Hoong撰。) 人们将会认为,这样的解读,就更有充分的理由从‘国民教育’的角度,公开放映这部影片。 然而,尽管《星国恋》最引起公众关注的是那些居住在泰国南部和曼谷的、讲话语的七、八十岁的前马共党员,但他们并非最吸引观众注目的人物。 把纪录片紧扣在一起的最坦率的、具思想深度的、扣人心弦的和令人鼓舞的一位受访者,官方在诋毁各受访者的言论中,小心翼翼地没有提到。 正像那些一直坚持自己是行动党的政治强势对手而非国家安全威胁的前政治被拘留者, 却没有受到当局直接驳斥一样,洪瑞钗医生不得不流亡海外、陪伴丈夫邱甲祥的事迹,也从来没有获得官方的任何解释。 已故邱甲祥(2011年逝世)是个律师、教会和公民团体的活跃份子,在1977年2月份,他的朋友们因被指涉入欧洲共产党活动而在内部安全法令下遭逮捕时,他设法躲避逮捕得逞。大部分被捕者在3个月内发表声明后获释,有的还上电视悔过。过后,邱甲祥径直前往英国。他若回返新加坡,必将招致内安局问话。 毫无疑问,届时他必须交代那些帮助他偷渡新柔长堤的人的身份。 洪医生在纪录片中叙事说,邱甲祥的母亲,一位冲动的土生华人老妈妈,原本力促儿子回来,当她知道情况后,就告诫他不许回来,对他说:“如果你回来,我会找一把枪,我要杀死你,然后我要杀内安局的头子。 据洪医生叙述,邱甲祥并不只是渴望回来,而是要在新地方和以外的领域,继续他为社会正义奋斗的使命。洪医生身为难民,则以自己的外科手术技能和组织能力,献身于巴勒斯坦人的事业,为巴勒斯坦难民特别是战争受害者服务。她是‘英国援助巴勒斯坦人医疗公益组织’(British Charity Medical Aid for Palestinians)的共同发起人,也是《战地外科手术实用手册》(War Surgery Field Manual )(1996出版)一书的合著者;该书是她治疗在战争暴行中的巴勒斯坦受害者的经验总结。 洪医生是在内政部的特别许可下,专程护送丈夫邱甲祥的骨灰踏上归途的。身为死者遗孀,没想到竟然要以持英国护照的外国人身份来办理此事。   在正常境遇,可以赞誉洪瑞彩医生为模范新加坡人。既然不能作为‘生于斯,死于斯’的新加坡人,她只有期待在死后也让亲人护送自己的骨灰回故土。 在《星国恋》纪录片中介绍的年长马共党员,被利用来转移视线,借以增强 再版《争取合并的斗争》的火力,同时也作为决定把《星国恋》列为“任何分级均不允许”评级的理由。这样一来,等于是封杀洪医生的叙事,这部分事迹是最难再编入危害安全的故事之列的。 张志贤 老生常谈,每个社会都需要一个叙事来凝聚社会。这样的叙事应当明确地表述该社会潜在的基本的和吸引人的价值。 《争取合并的斗争》正好是与此背道而驰。 ‘我们国家的必知事实’的理念就是,学生们应当要能‘说出一名共产党人或一名种族本位主义者(communalist)’。

本来,可以借建国50周年 的机会,像部长们所说的, 让新加坡人来回顾和清点 他们社会的方方面面,问一问‘在这50年来,我们是如何从那里走到这里的’。 

借此机会寻求突破口,解决折腾我国历史的两极争论。 当局可借此机会来表现他们是富有智慧的、是 ‘有主见的’、公正不偏的、包容的、谦卑的和前瞻的。 总之,首先,他们自己要真心诚意,也要真心诚意对待新加坡人民。

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