LIM CHIN SIONG ：I AM NOT A COMMUNIST
Lim Chin Siong’s letter in “Straits Times” of 31st July 1961
Your editorial comments and news reports in the last week have focused attacked on me. By repeating the fiction that I am a Communist front-man I suppose my political antagonists hope that it would stick in the minds of some.
While Mr. Lee and his men keep crying Communism to cover up a multitude of sins, let me, for my part try to get the record straight.
Let me make of clear once and for all that I am not a Communist or a communist front-man, or for that matter, anybody’s front-man.
My political association with Mr. Lee began in 1954 when together we conceived and brought into existence the PAP. I was at one time its assistant secretary general and a PAP assembly man.
Since 1956, and particularly since my release from jail in 1959, Mr. Lee has sought to isolate me from the rest of my colleagues and the party by smearing me as a Communist front-man. Despite this sustained smear in private, he found it fit to persuade me to accept the post of political secretary.
Not only was I reluctant to accept the post, but I had offered to withdraw from politics if he so desired it. He did not desire it. Instead he wished to show the people that I was identified with the government.
For my part I was prepared to do what he urged of me, because I felt I should do everything in my power to support the PAP Government so that there could be stability in Singapore and we could get down to solving some of the problems that face our people.
Having denied me any participation in the party and Government, I was still to be used as political secretary to give the impression that the workers and the Government were one.
But this position could not go on for ever. During the Hong Lim by-election I gave my categorical support to the PAP though the election sub-committee was instructed by Lee not to allow me to appear at any party mass rallies.
After the defeat at Hong Lim the campaign against me was intensified. At the party conference some Ministers tried to attribute the causes of defeat to me and my associates in the trade unions.
Every protest or criticism from the party branches against the absence of the internal party democracy or the policies of the Government was considered to be engineered by me. By trying to turn me into a whipping-boy it was hoped to cover the failings and sins of the leadership.
However, I and my colleagues had felt it our responsibility to remind the leadership of its every deviation from party policies in respect of civil liberties, trade unions and the release of detainees in the hope of getting it to rectify.
In spite of the blatant disregard of our advice, we continued to emphasise the important of the left-wing unity. This was taken to mean that we add no alternative but to support the Government.
On the question of our constitutional future we had proposed, what we considered, certain minimum and realistic demands so as to help point the way ahead. Instead of considering these proposals the party leadership had committed the entire people and party to Malaysia proposals without letting anyone know the details.
Even when they acted in this callous manner, we sought for the details in the hope that proper consideration could be given to the matter.
The leadership, on the other hand, was more interested in playing politics. They said they were going further than we – who are now branded as the Communist left- by demanding ‘the total eradication of colonialism’ .
Quite obviously, it was their intention to impress the people by this apparent militant stand, but when we asked for certain concrete steps to be taken to strength the anti-colonial stand we saw how nervous and jittery the leadership became.
In their nervousness they began the shout about Communism and chaos, ex-pecting to frighten some people into believing them. The Communist left who are supposed to be arch-conspirators have now, we are told, been taken for a ride by the British. How funny can people get?
My meeting with Lord Selkirk have been few and far between. If meeting Lord Selkirk makes one a plotter then Mr. Lee is the greatest of all plotters for he has dealings with Lord Selkirk more than anyone else in Singapore. By crying Communist on the one hand and British Imperialism on other Mr. Lee must have hoped to win sympathy from both the Chinese-educated and the English educated.
Unfortunately, he treats the people as simple on-lookers who could be impressed by his political acrobatics. This time of course he has learnt that the people are not all that simple.
Amid all his song and dance, Mr. Lee has been forced to make three important admissions:
1.He has agreed to consult the people on the question of merger, and this what we have asked for all the time.
2.He now declares that he will not start a wave of arrests of political opponents, in contrast to his threats of earlier days, though he still hopes that the British will do it for him.
3.He now openly promises to release the detainees. Sometime ago Mr. Lee stated that so long as the Federation Government remains anti- Communist and there are British bases in Singapore it would be impossible for Singapore to become Communist. He now raises the alarming prospect of a Communist Singapore.
Mr. Lee contradicts himself this time without his usual sophistry. We may look forward to such further contradiction.
LIM CHIN SIONG
ATTACHMENT：DETENTION ORDER ISSUED BY MINISTER OF DEFENCE： LIM KIM SAM
Statement as required under Section 11(2)(b)of the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960
Detainee’s Name: LIM CHIN SIONG
Grounds on which a Detention Order is made:
That you since 1948 has consistently acted in a manner prejudicial to the security of Singapore in that you have been actively, knowingly and willingly assisting the illegal Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) by promoting subversive activities initially amongst youths during your school days and later amongst the masses in the labour and political fields.
Allegations of Facts
1. That you in 1948 were a member of the New Democratic Youth League (NDYL) a Communist satellite organisation banned by the Government in 1948 for Communist United Front activities. You then became leader of the Little Devils Corps, an ancilliary organisation of the CPM using young children for intelligence and courier purposes to assist the Communist Terrorist Organisation. You were also active in CPM underground work amongst students in Pontian.
2. That you in 1949 whilst studying in Chinese High School, Singapore, maintained contact with the CPM by becoming a member of the Anti-British League, another CPM satellite organisation.
3. That you on 13.8.51 were arrested on suspicion of being a member of the Anti-British League.
4. That you in October 51 undeterred by your arrest, next became involved as one of the organisers of the Communist-inspired examination boycott as part of the CPM supported agitation against the Government and that you were subsequently expelled from the Chinese High School for your Communist activities.
5. That you in 1952 through your zeal and efficiency in Communist indoctrination work, were promoted to leader of a cell consisting of Seet Chay Tuan and Koh Thong Eng both of whom have been arrested for Communist activities. You conducted Hsueh Hsih (Communist indoctrination) cell activities using Marxist, Leninist and CPM publications for study.
6. That you in 1954 were one of the leaders of the Communist–inspired agitation against National Service Registration and that you passed on CPM directives to the student leaders who organised illegal assemblies and “stay in” strikes.
7. That you in 1955 were transferred from underground activities within the Singapore People’s Anti-British League to open front work in political parties and trade unions in furtherance of CPM United Front policy.
8. That you in 1955 became Paid Secretary of the Communist-controlled Singapore Spinning Works’ Union and later together with other CUF workers, you penetrated the Singapore Factory and Shop Workers Union (SFSWU). Secured in the post of Secretary-General, you succeeded in aligning 27 other Unions under SFSWU leadership and used this mass body as the principal vehicle for CUF activities in Singapore. The SFSWU was banned by Government following the Communist inspired October 1956 riots.
9. That you by September 1955 became the undisputed leader and spokesman of the trade union movement under your guidance, Communist indoctrination through Hsueh Hsih discussion groups and pro-Communist cultural activities e.g. Communist songs and dances were introduced into the Unions. You made numerous inflamatory speeches and press statements attacking the :..colonial government, the emergency regulations and the national service.
10. That you in November 1955 solicited international support for CPM. on the eve of the Baling Peace Talks in a congratulatory message to the Communist movement for colonial freedom in London. In the message you propounded the CPM view that independence in Malaya could not be achieved • without the repeal of the Emergency Regulations and the Public Security Bill and legal recognition of the CPM.
11. That you in September 1956 played a leading part in stirring up agitation amongst the workers and students over the proposed introduction of the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance (PPS0). At the instigation of the CUF cadres under your leadership, widespread rioting by workers and students broke out in October 1956 and that you were arrested in late October 1956 together with other CUF workers for Communist activities and released in June 1959.
12. That you after your release in June 1959 and on your appointment as Political Secretary to the Ministry of Finance, returned to the CUF scene, and were appointed advisor to several pro-communist trade unions the most important being the Communist trade unions the most important being the Communist-controlled Singapore General Employees’ Union. Under your guidance the SGEU grew in influence and assumed a position similar to that occupied by the SFSWU in 1956.
13. That you in 1960 were selected to the Secretariat of the Singapore Trade Union Congress (STUC and that in May 1961 when the Malaysia Plan was enunciated, you and 5 other pro-communist secretaries of the STUC Secretariat came out in June 1961 to oppose Malaysia in support of the CUF policy. Your plans were foiled when the STUC was dissolved.
14. That you and your pro-Communist associates then set up the Singapore Association of Trade Unions (SATU). Since August 61 the SATU of which you were the advisor, had won over the support of firstly 43 and later 37 other pro-Communist trade unions and has become an important and integral part of the CUF movement in Singapore.
15. That in May 61 when the Malaysia plan was enunciated, the Communist saw that a strong Central Government capable of dealing more strongly with the Communists would be created when the PAP came out in support of the Malaysia Plan, the Communist saw that their hopes of capturing the PAP was foiled. Led by you, the pro-Communist broke away and form a new party, the Barisan Sosialis where you held the vital poet of Secretary-General.
16. That you were personally responsible for winning over many PAP supporters for the Barisan Sosialis. Realising that the CPM failed in the Federation because it had failed to win the Malays over to its cause, you set out to win over Malay support for the Barisan Sosialis. You started off in this direction in August 61 by :-
a. Advocating strong support for the Utusan Melayu Strike；
b. Visiting a Malay fishing village at Tuas；
c. Inviting two foremost Malays involved in the Utusan Melayu Strike (Said Zahari and Hussein Jahiddin, both now under detention) to attend Barisan Sosialis inaugural meeting.
17. That you in March 61 were responsible for publication of the Party’s newspapers in Malay – the “RAKYAT” when told that “RAKYAT” would never sell to the Malay public you replied that you were determined to see that “RAKYAT” came out in print even if it had two or three issues as what you wanted most was to see that the party’s aims and policies were put across to the Malays in their language.
18. That you were mainly responsible for formulating and implementing CUF policies of the Barisan Sosialis which was from its start the vehicle of CUF line on these issues.
19. That you were quoted in a December 61 article in the “Bintang Timur” a left—wing Indonesian paper as preferring a merger between S’pore and Indonesia rather than with the Federation of Malaya. Well in anticipation of Indonesia’s confrontation towards Malaysia, you had in September 61 warned that the “Mighty Malaysia Plan” inspired by the British colonial Power so that when Indonesia claims back the Borneo territories it will have to tangle with Malaya. That this is to create an artificial struggle 5etween the Asian People so that British influence would remain in the area to protect and defend Malaya.
20. That a CPM propaganda document in Malay entitled: “Utusan Warta Berita” published in South Thailand in October 61 by the Central Department of Malay works carried long extracts of your speech at the inaugural of the Barisan Sosialis on 17.9.61. Your speech which dealt with the problems of Merger and Malaysia was described by the CPM as of “great significance” and a “counter blast which crushed all the intimidating charges from Abdul Rahman”. This favourable comment in a CPM publication implies complete endorsement of your views by the CPM.
21. That you in January 62 exploited the Malaysian Socialist Conference in Kuala Lumpur, and through your pressure and influence, successfully used it as a means of furthering CUF activities and that you successfully persuaded the conference to adopt the following pro—communist deliberations.
(a) That the conference would pass a resolution opposing Malaysia and expressing no confidence in the PAP policy on Malaysia.
(b) That the PAP delegates would be allowed little opportunity to speak during the conference and if possible, to force them out of the Conference.
(c) That no anti—Communist resolution would be passed at this conference.
(d) That the Barisan Sosialis would be fully consulted on all developments concerning the conference before, during and after the proceedings.
22. That you had a decisive say in matters pertaining to the Permanent Liaison Secretariat formed at the 2nd Malaysian Socialist Conference. The CPM has announced its approval of the Malaysian Socialist Conference on several occasions in propaganda documents. Clearly the CPS’ sees in the conference especially the Permanent Liaison Secretariat, a valuable asset for the CUF workers which all the left—wing parties in Malaysia can be united under Communist Leadership.
23. That you throughout 1961 and early 1962, you warned of violence in the event of Merger and Malaysia being forced through. That you at an SGEU 2nd District Branch Meeting on 29.12.61 warned that more conspiracy with the British could be expected if merger comes through and that they (the pro—Communist) would have no choice but to counter with force.
24. That you in the latter half of 62 in conformity with CPM policy and in reappraisal of the political situation discarded any talk of violence. In its stead, you advocated peaceful constitutional struggle S7eaking at a SGEU 2nd District Branch meeting on 15.6.62 on violence and peace “you said that victory in the anti—colonial movement must depend on the people’s feeling being roused and this could only be done by organization and education and that the difficulties which faced the CUF today should not dishearten them and they should seek to achieve their aims thro peaceful and legal means. You added that violence could only be justified against violence.
25. That you on 12 September 1962 made a policy speech at a comfort Party for Referendum Workers at the Hokkien Association. You analysed the trend of the future struggle after defeat of the CUP at the Referendum. You said that the struggle would continue on the present constitutional basis as long as peaceful constitutional means were open to them. Your main objective was to strike down the PAP and win the next general election and that you could do this by winning over the petty bourgeoisie. The Referendum, you said showed that you had to win over the entire people which could only be done by uniting the middle class around the workers and farmers. This is in line with the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) strategy of a “Worker-Peasant Alliance” as a base on which the Government should operate.
26. That you repeated the policy you laid down at the Sept. 12 speech on at least two other occasions – at Barisan Sosialis 62 Annual Conference and in his 62 New Year message.
27.That you on 14 October 62 at the annual conference, laid down the stages of future struggle as follows:
a. extend activities outside Singapore and get the cooperation of all leftwing anti-colonial forces in Malaysian and Afro-Asian countries;
b. try their best to form the Government and through constitutional means, establish a Central Government of Malaysia;
c. consolidate and strengthen the Party by perfecting its organisation and by intensifying political education. This was to be done by holding more cadre-training classes to “educate” all the party members so that they may not be politically mature, but also well-trained ideologically.
28. That you on 1 January 1963, as Secretary-General of Barisan Sosialis, issued a New Year message which reiterated the stand taken at the September 12 speech and at the Annual Conference in October 62. In addition you warned that “reactionary forces are massing their strength to end democracy in this country. “By this you meant the emergence of neo-colonialism in the form of the Malaysian Federation and the exclusion of the leftwing- from participation in constitutional politics by repression and police terror under cover of anti-Communist propaganda. You added that if this continued, the country would end up as a facist and military dictatorship and “the leftwing forces must then make the necessary judgement on the matter” possibly a hint of possible adoption of more militant CUF tactics.
29. That you and the Barisan Sosialis advocated support for Indonesian claim over West Irian and the Brunei Revolt of 8th December 62. This was conformity with the Communist policy of supporting any uprising against colonial powers for self-determination.
30. That you provided guidance to a mass rally held on 19 December to declare support for. the Brunei rebels and especially to arouse Malay support for the revolt.
(十四) 你与你的亲共同僚也成立了‘新加坡工团了会总会’（SATU）。从1961年8月起你 当顾问之SATU先取43工团而接着37亲共工团之支持成为马共在新加坡统战工作重要组成部门。
c. 通过健全党组织与政治教育以巩固及加强党。这可通过开办更多干部训练班以教育他们， 使他们不但政治上更加成熟，思想上也提高。