基于这个特殊的历史背景，FUNCTION 8尝试要在中华总商会的嘉庚堂为傅树介医生撰写的新书《生活在欺瞒时代》（Living In A Time Of Deception）举行新书发布会。
Function 8的成员Tan Tee Seng 先生认为，
本书的新书发布会已经改在2016年2月13日在（合洛路与欧南路之间）假日酒店举行。详细请到下列网址查询。(more details HERE).
SCCCI cancels book launch at auditorium named after author’s pioneering grandfather —Decision was made by Chamber’s council, with no reason given
By The Independent – February 8, 2016
By: Howard Lee
If you were writing your memoirs which includes the history of your grandfather, who also happens to be a pioneer with an auditorium named after him, would you not want to have your book launched in that same auditorium?
So thought Dr Poh Soo Kai, founding member of the current ruling People’s Action Party, former assistant secretary-general of Barisan Sosialis, and a political detainee under Operation Coldstore, whose grandfather also happens to be Chinese businessman and philanthropist Tan Kah Kee.
Which led his publisher, social enterprise Function 8, to try and book the Tan Kah Kee Auditorium at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), for Dr Poh to launch his memoirs, “Living In A Time Of Deception”.
The plan went well initially, with SCCCI confirming the booking on 23 December 2015, sufficient time for Function 8 to organise the event planned in mid-February.
However, the company received word from SCCCI seven days later, stating that their booking has been cancelled.
“I am sorry to inform you that your Application for Venue Rental at our Auditorium has not been approved by our council members,” wrote SCCCI. “I shall proceed with the refund process for your application. Thank you for your kind understanding.”
As the venue was the most appropriate venue that they could match to Dr Poh, Function 8 tried to appeal the decision. Emails were sent to SCCCI’s president, Mr Thomas Chua and various council members.
The final response on 13 January, another seven days after the appeal was first made and written on behalf of Mr Chua by SCCCI’s assistant secretary-general, gave the same answer:
“We regret to inform you that there is no change in the decision of our council. Sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
TISG (this publication) understands that Function 8 has requested for SCCCI to provide an alternative date for the same venue, but received no alternative proposal.
No reasons were given as to why the booking was cancelled, nor any clarification provided as to why SCCCI’s council, consisting 56 members, should have any inputs on a single booking of the Tan Kah Kee Auditorium.
While the publisher has managed to find another location for the launch, Mr
Tan Tee Seng, a member of Function 8, felt that
SCCCI’s actions reflected badly on how the Chambers conducts it activities with business entities.
SCCCI’s current president, Mr Thomas Chua, was a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) in the last term of government and was slated to represent the interest of the business community. With the new government elected since GE2015, he has recently expressed his interest in renewing his term as an NMP.
“As the President of the Chinese Chamber, I do have a lot of opportunities to engage with businesses and trade associations. So, this is what I did in the previous term, I tried my best to reflect the problems and challenges faced by businesses, and SMEs in particular,” he was quoted by media as saying.
NMPs are not elected by the people but nominated by their community and approved by Parliament for their term. NMPs must not be members of any political party at their time of appointment, although their political affiliations are normally unquestioned.
The ruling People’s Action Party mooted the idea of NMPs as a means of increasing diversity of voices in Parliament, and the scheme was implemented in September 1990.
TISG has sent a few questions to SCCCI asking about how the Chambers conducts its business of renting out its premises to business entities. At time of publishing, SCCCI has not responded. We will publish their reply in a separate article when we receive it.
Dr Poh Soo Kai plans to travel to Singapore from his residence in Malaysia to speak at the book launch. “Living In A Time Of Deception” is expected to cover his personal account of Operation Coldstore. As a result of the cancellation, the book launch has been changed to 13 February and will be held at Holiday Inn Singapore (more details HERE).