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(中/英文对照)Speech of Dr Poh Soo Kai at the launch of his historical memoir “Living in a Time of Deception” at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium on 13 February 2016 作者傅树介医生的讲话 2016年2月13日历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》发布会

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作者傅树介医生的讲话

2016年2月13日历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》发布会

封面1

生活在欺瞒的年代(中文版封面)

主持人、同志们、朋友们:

首先我要感谢大家拨冗出席我所写的《生活在欺瞒的年代》的新书发布,这是一部历史回忆录。

当8号功能(Function8)受托承办这次发布会的时候,他们万万没有想到租用场址的过程竟会如此困难重重、一波三折。他们先是选定位于欧南区的医科校友会礼堂(Medical Alumni Auditorium), 我毕竟是个医生,又是毕业于本地大学,论资历算是医科校友会的“校友”;况且, 我的第一本书《华惹时代风云》还是于2009年在该礼堂发布的。令人纳闷的是,自那一年以来,到底发生了什么变化?为何医科校友会竟会如此缺乏礼仪地对待校友会的一名校友?

后来,筹备负责人找上新加坡医药协会(Singapore Medical Association)求助;该协会是一个维护新加坡医生专业及道德利益的独立组织,协会的几位会员给予大力支持,还出面以自己的名字申请,让我们使用该礼堂。但礼堂的拥有者是医科校友会,它最终拒绝了我们的申请。我想乘这机会,对新加坡医药协会的通力支持,表示万分的感激。

值得一提是,我还是新加坡医药协会的创始人之一,也是第一任秘书长。请允许我借这机会向医药协会的创始会长斯里瓦桑(B R Sreenivasan)医生表示我的敬意,他后来于1962-63年间出任马来亚大学校长,是第一位任此高职的本地人。
他是个坚持原则的人,担任校长期间,他拒绝顺从强制推行“大学入学准证”政策,因为那是筛选学生报读大学的一道政治工具。他认为大学是教育机构,不应实施此类政策;只要申请者达到所需的学业成绩,不应拒于门外。斯里瓦桑医生随后被解雇。他病重时,我曾上门探望,他对所作所为毫无遗憾,不愧是刚毅之士。

8号功能的申请被医科校友会拒绝后,他们决定租用新加坡中华总商会的大会堂“嘉庚堂”。我是陈嘉庚的外孙,如果能够在“嘉庚堂”举行这本新书的发布,可说是相得益彰,美事一桩。

“嘉庚堂”原本在2月20日有个空挡,于是8号功能便决定租用,预付500元的押金。总商会的广告写的一清二楚,公众可以租用商会场所,举办活动。然而,事隔不到一星期,中华总商会的理事会却通知张素兰,他们决定取消大会堂的租用预订,原因何在,没有具明理由。

作为陈嘉庚的外孙,竟然不能在以我外祖父命名的会堂进行我的新书发布,我深感心酸;更何况书中有一篇章是专写他老人家的光辉事迹,颂赞他的态度品德。我认为,这个社会是病了,而且是病得很厉害。

尽管如此,我们今天还是得以聚集一堂,参与《生活在欺瞒的年代》的新书发布。

接下来我要谈谈我的这本新书,我称之为“历史回忆录”。这本书不仅仅是记录了我的人生历程,更重要的是,这个历程结合了我身历其境的本地历史发展事项。

对我而言,历史必须要以事实为本,任何人对事实可持有不同的见解,或可对不同的见解进行争论,但绝对不得脱离事实。在我的回忆录中,我们对取自英国档案馆、议会议事录(the Hansard)及其它资讯出处的事实,煞费苦心地进行核实验证。历史并非童话,它绝不可任意捏造、无中生有;新加坡的历史绝不能由官方版的新加坡故事权充取代。

我在此想举出两个例子,来说说他们是如何把捏造的故事当成历史事实,招摇过市。
第一个是1956年10月的所谓“pah mata” (打警察)事件,这事件纯属虚构,是为了逮捕、监禁林清祥而制造的借口。

丹尼斯•布拉德沃斯(Dennis Bloodworth)受人民行动党委托,书写新加坡历史,他乐此不疲、不厌其烦地重复人民行动党版的故事,污蔑林清祥于1956年10月在武吉知马美世界举行的人民行动党群众大会上号召群众“pah mata”(打警察)。

新加坡的警方拥有当时大会的录音档案,布拉德沃斯是看过有关档案的,深知那并非事实;他列下的参考书目也指明他的编史资料是来自新加坡内部安全部门。在其著作的146页,他讲述林清祥在美世界的演说。还有,他为出书也访问过林清祥,后者肯定否认了他当时曾发出“打警察”的煽动性号召,正如Melanie Chew在她的《新加坡的领袖人物》(Leaders of Singapore)一书中所记载,林清祥被问及号召“打警察”之事时,断然否认有这回事。

约60年后的今天,多亏历史学家谭炳鑫的精心钻研,从英国档案馆挖掘出来的警方档案文件,为我们提供确凿证据,证明林清祥根本没有呼吁参加人民行动党大会的群众去“打警察”。而且完全可以肯定,他讲的话恰好相反,他是呼吁群众“mai pah mata”(别打警察),之后他还语重心长地对大家说:正如在场的群众,警察也是打工仔,我们应该欢迎他们到场。
然而,事过约60载,官方版的新加坡故事却一直把“打警察”的虚构事件当成历史事实。这里顺便指出,1986年出版由布拉德沃斯编写的书是获得当局推荐的几本历史书之一。

当时,林清祥是家喻户晓、人人爱戴的人物,也是新加坡立法议院的当选议员,居然如此受陷害。这不得不让人不寒而栗,那些不经审讯而遭无理监禁的数以千计的学生和工会积极分子,他们的命运又会是怎样呢?内部安全法令就是罪魁祸首,让此类逮捕监禁得以合法化。在一个维护人权的社会里,是容不得这种法令的!

另一个无中生有的例子就是关于我跟妻子陈义真和G Raman到柔佛南部马塞镇(Masai)去治疗一名受伤的炸弹手的故事。故事是这样说的,我们分别开两辆车,一前一后,在深更半夜静悄悄地、充满戏剧性地驱车通过长堤的两个关卡。到底我们去了或没去,移民局的纪录可轻易揭开谜底,可惜证据从未亮相。

这出戏被头条新闻有声有色地大肆渲染,人们也信以为真,不假思索地加以接受。多年后,一位年轻友人这样告诉我,说他当医生的老婆认为作为医生,我有权医治任何伤者,不管他是谁;他老婆深信确有其事,并重申作为医生,我有义务履行己任。

回头再来说我这本历史回忆录,只要是根据事实和证据,我一概欢迎对我所写的内容进行批评。

最后,我应该针对憋在我心中挺久的另一桩事讲几句话。

随着1963年2月及1963年9月社阵领袖相继被大肆逮捕后,我们历经充满恐惧、彷徨无措、进退两难、彻底受挫的极其黑暗的时段。我们一贯遵循和平及宪法途径,竟会不经审讯,遭此强暴无理的监禁;竟会在夜深人静的时刻遭军警强行把我们从家里带走、跟家人和亲人分开,得不到联合国人权宣言所维护的法律程序的应有保障!
然而,就在1963年的最艰难时刻,一批主要是来自南大的年轻男女,在我们被大批逮捕监禁后,奋勇挺身,填补空缺。他们熟知基层的现实情况,特别是感受到当时左翼工会所面对的如何组织进步力量的种种困难。为配合实况,他们主张采取较温和的立场进行反对;当社阵陷于瘫痪和面对摧残的时刻,他们的建议显得慎重小心。

另一方面,统治当局却展开一连串的违反宪法的逮捕行动;不仅如此,他们还变本加厉,采取反民主的政策和行动,不循例召开国会会议等等。凡此种种,使社阵内部的一些人感到极度失望,甚至引起过激反应,主观要求采取立场强硬的反对行动,甚至摈弃议会民主。当时担任社阵主席的李绍祖医生,是该强硬立场的领头羊。

就这样,不可避免地出现了李医生与南大生之间的冲突,导致李医生退出社阵。但为了左翼团结,南大生最终设法劝说李医生重返社阵,并支持他的路线。

但是,左翼工会由于拒绝采取强硬立场的反对路线,被排挤在外;他们由于拒绝跟随社阵的路线,遭受严厉的谴责。南大生和左翼工会就这样不幸产生不和,直至今日仍旧恩怨未消。

我是以沉重的心情谈起这件事。要是大家若能正确分析,它不过是同志之间的矛盾,不应被推至没有回头路的悬崖,以致严重挫伤大家的感情。

今天,尤其是在李绍祖对强硬的反对路线承认错误并亲自道歉之后,我们当中有些曾经毫不留情地攻击左翼工会的人,似乎表示了悔恨,但对政治却敬而远之。

另一方面,前工会领袖似乎仍然坚持要南大生对李医生的错误政策负起责任;更加令人痛心的是,有人似乎要把李光耀伤害左翼运动的责任,完全加在南大生的肩上。
让我们消除嫌隙、携手合作,了结这一段不幸的惨痛纷争,从新燃起往日的政治热情;即使已经步入夕阳岁月,我们还须努力振作,否则我们会把舞台永远让位给当下的主角。正是通过他们的谋划,尤其是对冷藏行动的策动后,使我们从舞台上消失,这是他们求之不得、最想看到的局面。

因此,在我结束今天讲话的时候,我愿跟我的战友们重温保罗.巴兰(Paul Baran)曾经讲过的话,他在1931年发言时正是希特勒的幽灵冒起肆虐的时候:

“如果由于政治乏味的磨难,和我们过去几十年的失望造成你们许多人渴望获得少许政治安宁,渴望政治退役,那您必须力所能及地压抑这个弱点的袭击。退出政治战场的念头,可能会是您犯下危害人类的最大罪行,因为反动落后的势力从未考虑政治退役。如果您由于愤怒怨恨而放弃政治斗争,如果您闷闷不乐、靠边站、摇手拒绝参与,让别人操纵政坛,那么您就是拱手让他们支配自己。”

“千万别放弃政治,否则您生存的意义将离您而去。”

今天是我历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》的发布,我就以巴兰的这一段话结束我的讲话.

谢谢大家!

相关链接:
1.《Lim Chin Siong was wrongfully detained林清祥被拘留是错误的!》
(附录:林清祥在当天演讲稿(中文翻译稿及英国政治部档案原件))
https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1370&action=edit

2.傅树介医生于2016年2月13日新书<生活在欺瞒的年代>的现场视频:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWZGkHUSR4g

 3. 本书作者傅树介医生讲话:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVRImxixTb4
4. 前南洋大学学生陈国防讲话:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kvce8rJ6mo
5. 马来亚大学社会主义 俱乐部秘书长R. Joety律师讲话:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lJiUV89NAU
6. 历史学家孔丽莎博士讲话:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FhkdJOsQgo

Speech of Dr Poh Soo Kai at the launch of his historical memoir

“Living in a Time of Deception” at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium on
13 February 2016

傅树介医生新书发布会封面

生活在欺瞒的年代(中文版封面)

Madam Chairwoman, friends and comrades,

I wish to thank all of you here for coming to attend this book launch of my historical memoir, “Living in a Time of Deception”.

When F8 undertook to organize this launch, it did not envision the many difficulties it would encounter in securing a venue for it. F8 first tried to book the Medical Alumni Auditorium in Outram. After all, I am a doctor and a local graduate, therefore I am technically an “old boy” of the Medical Alumni. Moreover, my first book, “The Fajar Generation” was launched there in 2009. I wonder what had changed since 2009 for the Medical Alumni to take such a discourteous attitude towards a fellow old boy?

The Singapore Medical Association, a separate organization, which looks after the professional and ethical interests of the medical profession in Singapore, was then approached to help in securing the venue. Its members were very supportive and tried to book the alumni hall in their name but for our use. This was also rejected by the Medical Alumni who owns the hall. Here, I want to thank the Singapore Medical Association for its support.

Interestingly, if I may add, I am a founder member of the Singapore Medical Association and its first Secretary-General. And allow me to pay homage to the SMA’s founding President, Dr B R Sreenivasan who became the first local Vice-Chancellor of the University from 1962-63.
He was a man of principle. When he was VC, he refused to enforce the Suitability Certificate – a political screening for students entering the university. He believed that the university, as an educational institute, should not be involved in such matters. If the applicants meet the required academic standard for entrance, they should be admitted. Dr Sreenivasam lost his job. I saw him when he was very ill; he had no regrets. He was made of sterner stuff.

F8 then decided to book the Tan Kah Kee Auditorium owned by the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry. After the rejection by the Medical Alumni, what venue would be more befitting for this book launch other than the Tan Kah Kee Auditorium for I am, after all, Tan Kah Kee’s grandson.

The hall was available on 20th February and F8 proceeded to pay a deposit of 500 dollars to reserve it. The SCCCI advertises that it has venues for the public to rent for their functions. However, in less than a week, the council of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry informed Teo Soh Lung that it had decided to cancel the reservation. No reason for the rejection was forthcoming.

It is sad to note that I, a grandson, cannot make use of a hall that is in my grandfather’s name to launch my memoir which also pays homage to the old man. This, to me, is a sign of a very sick society.

In any case, here we are gathered today for the launch of “Living in a Time of Deception”!

Now I would like to talk about my book. It is termed a historical memoir. It thus deals not only with my life but, more importantly, my life in the context of the historical developments in Singapore as I lived through them.

History, to me, is a subject that is based on facts. One may have different interpretations of the facts and one can argue over the interpretations but the facts must be there. In my memoir, we have taken great pains to verify the facts from the British archives, the Hansard and other sources. History is not a tale that can be fabricated or conjured out of thin air. A Singapore story cannot masquerade as the history of Singapore.

I want to give you just two examples of such fabrications or tales passing off as historical facts:

One, the “Pah Mata” (Beat up the Police”) event of October 1956, fabricated to justify the imprisonment of Lim Chin Siong.

Dennis Bloodworth, a writer commissioned by the PAP to write Singapore history, was happy to regurgitate the PAP version that Lim Chin Siong had called upon those attending the PAP rally, held in October 1956 in Beauty World, Bukit Timah, to “Pah Mata” (Beat up the Police).

Bloodworth had access to the Singapore police files that recorded the event and therefore knew this to be false. His bibliography states sources from the Security Department. Page 146 of his book is on the Beauty World speech. Moreover, he also interviewed Lim Chin Siong for his book. Chin Siong would have definitely denied making such an inflammatory statement as “Pah Mata” as he did when interviewed and recorded by Melanie Chew in her book, “Leaders of Singapore.”

Today, some 60 years later, thanks to historian PJ Thum’s painstaking research, we now have concrete proofs from the police files in the British Archives that Chin Siong categorically did not call on the PAP crowd to “Pah Mata”. There can absolutely be no mistake that he said the contrary, which is “Mai Pah Mata” (which is Do Not Beat up the Police), as Chin Siong followed up this phrase by telling the rally in Beauty World that the police were wage earners like those attending the rally and therefore welcomed in their midst.

Yet, for some 60 years, this “Pah Mata” fabrication has been treated as historical truth in the Singapore storytelling. Bloodworth’s book, published in 1986 was named as one of the recommended history books by the authorities.

If a person as well known and popular as Lim Chin Siong, also an elected Assemblyman of the Singapore Legislature, could be fixed up in this manner, one shudders to think of the fate of the thousands of students and trade-union activists, whisked off into arbitrary imprisonment without trial. The Internal Security Act which legitimizes these arrests, has no place in any society upholding human rights.

The other example of creating a story from thin air is my visit, with Grace (my wife) and G. Raman, to Masai in South Johore to treat an injured bomber. We were supposed to have driven across the two immigration checks at the causeway in two separate cars, one following the other, stealthily and dramatically, in the middle of the night. Evidence from immigration records could easily have proven whether we did go or not. But the evidence was never produced.

This fiction, propagated on front page headlines and in vivid details, was swallowed hook, bait et al by everyone! Many years later, a young friend told me that his doctor-wife supported my right as a doctor to treat any injured person.So convinced she was that the event actually happened, that she reiterated that it was my duty as a doctor to do so.

So coming back to my historical memoir, I would welcome criticisms of what I write if based on facts and evidence.

Lastly, there is one more matter that is heavy in my heart and spirit that I should take this opportunity to say a few words on.

We all have lived through the very dark period of fear, uncertainty, dilemma and downright frustration that followed on the heel of the mass arrest of the leaders of the Barisan Sosialis in February 1963 as well as in September 1963. How could we – who have abided by peaceful and constitutional means – be dealt such a violent card as detention without trial, to be plucked with force by armed police from our families and loved ones in the still of the night, and denied the due process of law that is enshrined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights?

Yet in that very dark depth in 1963, a group of young men and women, mainly from Nantah (Nanyang University), bravely rose up to fill the vacuum in the Barisan leadership, created by our mass imprisonment. They were in touch with the concrete reality on the ground, in particular, the difficulties at that time to organize the progressive forces, as experienced by the left-wing unions. In tune with the ground, they advocated taking a less robust stand in opposition which would appear prudent at a time when the Barisan was crippled, decimated.

On the other hand, however, the series of unconstitutional arrests – exacerbated by further anti-democratic policies and actions on the part of the ruling regime, such as the refusal to call parliament into session, – created deep frustrations and provoked intemperate responses in certain quarters of the Barisan, resulting in a subjective urge to take a robust stand as opposition and even, to reject parliamentary democracy. Dr Lee Siew Choh, chairman of the Barisan Sosialis, headed this stand.

And so it came to pass that a clash became inevitable between Dr Lee and the Nantah group, to the point that Dr Lee resigned from the Barisan. The Nantah group finally managed to get him to return and for the sake of left-wing unity, the Nantah group fell in line behind Dr Lee.

However, out in the cold were the left-wing trade unions, who refused to take a robust stand in opposition. Hence, they came to be on the receiving end of harsh criticisms for not toeing the party line. An unfortunate rift developed between members of the Nantah group and the left-wing trade unions that have persisted till today.
I say this with a heavy heart for, given a correct analysis, it is a contradiction among comrades and should not have been pushed to the precipice of no return, gravely bruising personal feelings and sentiments.

Today, it would seem that there is remorse and political withdrawal from those among us who had gone on the offensive to attack the left-wing unions especially since Dr Lee had subsequently acknowledged and apologized for the policy of robust opposition.

On the other side, it would seem that persistence still remains to call the Nantah group to account for Dr Lee’s erroneous policy; sadder still, it would seem that there is an attempt to heap the harm done on the left-wing movement by Lee Kuan Yew, upon the shoulders of the Nantah group.

Let us close ranks by recognizing that we must bring closure to this unfortunate and painful strife. And return to political activism, we must all strive, even now in the twilight of our lives. Or we would have abandoned the stage to its present occupants who most gleefully welcome our absence, which they have engineered – notably with Operation Coldstore.

Therefore, to my comrades in arms, let me end this speech by quoting from Paul A Baran, who said in 1931, in the looming spectre of Hilter:

“And if the tribulations of the political humdrum and the disappointments of our last decades have caused many of you to desire some political tranquility, to desire a vacation from politics, you must repress this attack of weakness with all your might. This desertion from the political battleground is the greatest crime against humanity that one can commit, because the others, the reactionary backwards striving forces never allow themselves a vacation from politics. And if you, infuriated and embittered, now renounce the political struggle; if you sulkily stand off to the side with a dismissive wave of your hand; then you leave the politics to the others; then you subject yourself to their domination.”

“Take no vacation from politics – otherwise the meaning of your existence will leave you!”

With these words of Paul A Baran, I close my speech in the launch of my historical memoir, “Living in a Time of Deception”.

Thank you.

Related link:
1.《Lim Chin Siong was wrongfully detained林清祥被拘留是错误的!》
(附录:林清祥在当天演讲稿(中文翻译稿及英国政治部档案原件))
https://wangruirong.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1370&action=edit

2.傅树介医生于2016年2月13日新书<生活在欺瞒的年代>的现场视频:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWZGkHUSR4g

3.Book Launch of “Living in a Time of Deception” – Dr Poh Soo  Kai:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVRImxixTb4

4.Book Launch of “Living in a Time of Deception”, Tan Kok Fang:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kvce8rJ6mo

5.Book Launch for “Living in a Time of Deception”, R. Joethy

:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lJiUV89NAU

6.Book Launch for “Living in a Time of Deception”, Hong Lysa:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FhkdJOsQgo

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4 thoughts on “(中/英文对照)Speech of Dr Poh Soo Kai at the launch of his historical memoir “Living in a Time of Deception” at Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium on 13 February 2016 作者傅树介医生的讲话 2016年2月13日历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》发布会

  1. Pingback引用通告: 历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》发布会 作者傅树介医生的讲话 | 新国志

  2. Pingback引用通告: 历史回忆录《生活在欺瞒的年代》发布会 作者傅树介医生的讲话 | 新国志

  3. Pingback引用通告: 敢于阎王论生死、横眉小鬼挡门槛; 拨歪反正扬正史、寄语旧雨盼新苗 | 人民论坛

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