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(中英文版)(中英文版)怀念林福寿医生Remembering Dr Lim Hock Siew Remembering Dr Lim Hock Siew

怀念林福寿医生

21 /2/ 1931 – 4/6/ 2012

作者:张素兰TEO SOH LUNG

林福寿医生于2009年《华惹时代风云》新书发布会上说,

“一个生命如果没有了信念,没有了理想主义,那只是一个无意义的生存,而相信你们中的许多人会同意,一个生命意义是要远比这种情况来得国家精彩……”

就因为基于这样鉴定的信念驱使下,林福寿医生一身就在不经审讯在监牢里牺牲了20年、与家人分离和抛弃了自己的医学事业。当林福寿医生被捕时,他的孩子只有五个月。

今天是我们的自由战士林福寿医生逝世五周年的冥诞。

他是一个在菜市场卖鱼的鱼贩孩子。他在求学时期,在莱佛士学院是一名口才和辩论的杰出者。他是头脑敏捷的人。在80年代,他在演讲时是不需要对着稿子的。他在学校时是一名班长和学校出版的刊物编辑。

林福寿医生莱佛士学院毕业后,与傅树介医生一起进入了(当时的)马来亚大学医学院就读。他们在1957年毕业。作为一个坚定的反殖民主义者,他与傅树介医生还在马来亚大学就读时期,协助李光耀成了人民行动党。

1959年,李光耀以不再更新人民行动党党籍的方式被开除出人民行动党。两年后,林福寿医生与其他人共同组织成立了社会主义阵线。他成为了社阵党的英文版机关报《人民报》(“The Plebeian”)编辑。社阵当时对1963年举行的大选充满信心将会取得胜利。无论如何,在当时的马来亚总理东姑阿都拉曼和英国人的协助下,李光耀通过的政治伎俩阻止了社阵可能取得的胜利。李光耀在196322日在“冷藏行动”下 ,林福寿医生与其他133名反对党领导人在“防止公共安全法令(简称“公安法令”)”被捕。“防止公共安全法令(简称“公安法令”)”是“内部安全法令”的前身。

林福寿医生于2011年在Function 8’s举行的《改变中的世界》新书出版仪式上发表了讲话。他说,

“冷藏行动的整个问题的症结所在就是要阻止反对党通过和平、宪法的途径取得政权,以及确保行动党继续掌握政权。所有哪些有关安全、暴力之类的说辞,仅仅就是宣传伎俩吧了。在英国档案出所解密的资料显示,(当时)并没有任何证据显示涉及暴力或者共产党阴谋。

李光耀和他的政权的残酷证据就是令人难于置信地长期监禁林福寿医生和其他的政治拘留者。林福寿医生从196322日被监禁到198296日,长达近20年。他在被监禁期间在不同的监狱里经历了各种残酷和非人道的虐待。

作为一个为实现理想而战斗的战士,林福寿医生与其他五名政治拘留者在1967年向法院申请人身保护法令要求当局予以释放。他们赢得了在法院的申请。当时在被带到监狱外后又立即被逮捕并押送到当时的中央警署被虐待。他被囚禁在一间肮脏、到处跳蚤的黑暗单独监禁牢房里。他在2009年《华惹时代风云》新书发布会上谈到了自己被虐待的经历。(见网址:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aia_lZ7ccdI )

1966年,林福寿医生起诉了《海峡时报》和《星洲日报》以及其他媒体诽谤名誉,并赢得胜诉。这场起诉官司是涉及它们报道有关他与林清祥之间在章宜监狱发生互相殴斗的事件。战士一起毫无根据的报道。因为,他与林清祥两人是被关在不同牢房,怎么可能在不同的牢房互相殴斗呢?南大他们自己与自己殴斗不成!

林福寿医生在被监禁期间是受到牢里的同伴尊敬的。他是牢里的同伴的医生、协调人和顾问。在1972年。他与监狱里的其他政治拘留者一起进行的长达三个月的绝食斗争。政治拘留者进行的这场长达三个月的绝食斗争,是要反对监狱当局要政治拘留者进行体力劳动工作,并每天给予8分钱的酬劳。经过这场绝食斗争后,政治拘留者不必像牢里的其他刑事犯人一样进行体力劳动。

   

林福寿医生在80岁时发表了一篇热情洋溢的讲话。在2011年,他受Function 8邀请,在没有准备讲稿的情况下,他回答了在场出席者的提问。以下是他与回答出席者的提问;

问: 在社会主义阵线内,有许多人,包括您和您的同僚,都预知1963年将会有逮捕行动。当天晚上您是怎么想的?你们当中是否有人打算在内部安全局人员到来之前逃走?

答: 我想,在社阵干部当中,有部分人决定逃走,有人确实走避了。但是,我们的最高级干部全部都被捕,因为不知道谁会被捕。我确信,在英国人、东姑和李光耀三方的逮捕名单中,都有我的名字;可作的选择是逃离新加坡。我们曾经讨论过成立一个流亡政府,但是,后来放弃了这个想法,因为在当时没有太大意义。我们决定去坐牢,在监狱里进行斗争,希望在合并后会获得释放。

然后,我们将在马来西亚的框架内,跟我们在马来西亚的同志一道,组成社会主义阵线,在马来西亚的四面八方,共同进行斗争。我们相信,到了那个时候,形成一股团结力量的左翼势力,能够在全马来西亚的政治框架内,带来重大的变化。

我们全部遭镇压造成马来西亚眼前的局面,那里的封建保守分子开始推行种族主义政策。假设我们能够为马来西亚产生影响力,种族主义政策就不可能出现,因为我们的斗争是建立在阶级路线上,而非在种族主义路线上。我们将会团结马来族农民和华族工人,组成统一阵线,推翻封建制度和英国人的控制。

……

问: 当您还在行动党、跟李光耀是同志时,两人关系如何?您曾激怒过他吗?

答: 那个时期,在我们分裂前,我随时可到他家去。即是晚上,我也可敲他家的门见他。我们讨论政治课题,讨论行动党的创党宣言。在他的其中一次补选时,我帮忙他进行沿户访问,我们的关系非常好。他在立法议院发表演讲后,往往会征求我对他演说的意见。两人关系非常好。我对他没有个人成见,但他存有许多个人恩怨。

在我们分裂后,我只在两次公开座谈会上跟他碰面,在会上激怒了他;在吉隆坡马来亚大学举行的那次公开座谈会上,让他下不了台。因为他一直在说谎,一个谎接一个谎,我必须揭露他的谎言,令他无法接受。

……

1963年,我是31岁。在战争年代,我们成熟得很快。我们经历过许多事情,还在14岁或15岁时,我们就在思考国家如何摆脱殖民统治。我们生活的大环境,每个人都在为争取独立而斗争。1947年,印度取得独立;1948年,苏卡诺宣布印尼独立;1949年,毛泽东宣布中华人民共和国成立了。我们都受到这些事件的鼓舞。当时,加纳和肯亚正在为争取独立而斗争。在肯亚的毛毛党遭到英国人的残酷镇压。我们知道英国人镇压我们的习性,跟英国人进行斗争,我们的头脑是清醒的。

说来,我们可算是幸运的能活下来。他们为了保护自己的财产,是可能会把你杀掉,他们可以轻易地找人为他们干这类事。请看看,在加尔各答,他们是如何使用机关枪扫射、屠杀在街上示威的大学生。悲天悯人的所谓英国绅士风度去了哪里?只要你威胁到他们的利益,他们为了维护自己的利益,就会不惜一切、全力以赴。在肯亚,毛毛党就是这样被残酷镇压的。

在刚果,卢蒙巴(Patrice Lumumba)是美国总统艾森豪威尔下令加以杀害的,英国广播电台(BBC)揭露了内情。卢蒙巴被捕后,艾森豪威亲自下令杀害他,这是一场生死斗争。要和英国人斗争,就必须准备牺牲性命。

我们就是本着这种精神参加斗争,也凭这股精神在监牢内坚持度过许多年。这是获得全部或丧失一切的决战,不能半心半意。我们知道自己的立场!我们知道自己在反对什么!

问: 您说您已准备好面对1963年的逮捕行动。您曾否想过会被监禁20年?

答: 没有。当跟太太说再见时,我说:“8年后再见”。当时, 被监禁最久的政治犯是波斯达曼(Ahmad Boestamam),他被英国人关了8年。我确实没想到我的监禁期会这么长,我以为在新加坡加入马来西亚后,不会被关太久。但是,在监禁满10年后,我决定准备再坐牢多10年,我必须从现实情况考虑问题。如果没有做好心理准备,你肯定会崩垮。作为运动的领导人,我们是不可以背叛我们的追随者的,我们必须站稳立场。林清祥要不是精神崩溃,他必然会坚持下去。傅树介、赛查哈利和其他许多人都被监禁了十几二十年。这没什么大不了。

……

问: 有些人被监禁的时间那么长,另一部分则不长,您认为原因何在?

答: 这个您得去问李光耀。我被监禁这么长久,他们的藉口是,我拒绝谴责暴力。1977年,内部安全局局长林再兴(Lim Chye Heng)和前局长王旭之来见我,他们对我说,我只要发表声明谴责暴力,就可以获得释放了。我问他们:“有什么证据证明我一直在鼓吹暴力?”我一向严格遵循和平、合法和宪制途径的斗争。

……

问: 您的个案是个高度引人关注的案件。

答: 国际特赦组织把我列为良知犯(prisoner of conscience)。李光耀要我离开这个国家。其实,当澳大利亚总理惠特兰(Gough Whitlam)到访新加坡时,李光耀告诉他:“这两位医生都是好医生,您可接收他们。”因此他们找我谈过两次,要求我离开新加坡。我说,如果我要离开的话,必须是由我自己做的决定。

问: 您被监禁了20年,您的人民药房怎么还存在?

答: 当我和傅树介(我们俩是人民药房的创办人)都被捕时,另外一位医生是巴卡(M A Bakar)医生接替我们;傅树介获释后,他回去药房恢复行医;后来,他又再被捕。在他第二次获释后,傅树介医生开设自己的药房。我获释后,就回去人民药房工作。

……

问: 遭长期监禁,您是如何保持神志正常的?

答: 是信念,因为你知道自己所做的事情是正确的。我是个社会主义者,相信社会主义主张的一切――在社会主义社会,不存在人剥削人;打个比方,就像一个基督教徒相信“四海之内皆兄弟”一样。我们必须像兄弟姐妹一样,和睦相处。今天,在资本主义社会出现的动荡和发生的金融乱象,让我更坚信社会主义是人类奋斗的最后目标。你正在见证资本主义的没落,这就是马克思在上世纪所说的,这就是资本主义自我毁灭的阶段。资本主义存在的矛盾是无法解决的。财富的积累高度集中在一小撮人手中,大部分人都无法翻身,除非他们把这个制度推翻。这就出现占领华尔街的示威行动。我认为,在一两年内,在西方世界将会出现更激烈的斗争,但愿不是暴力性的斗争,但愿可以通过非暴力手段。

问: 您能够告诉我们您住过哪些监狱吗?

答: 我住过的许多监狱都消失了。我住过欧南园监狱,拆掉了。接下来是樟宜监狱,也拆掉了。后来去了女皇镇监狱,也拆掉了。我也住过中央警署,还是一样拆掉了;

中央警署是最恐怖的监狱。然后,就是去了樟宜明月湾监狱以及威特里路拘留所。我在女皇镇监狱关了4年。在那里,我们大部分时间是被禁锢。在牢房里放一个小铁皮罐,供拉屎撒尿之用,在隔天早上自己冲洗。到晚上,他们给我一个尿壶和一小碗水喝。我们的伙食,跟普通牢犯完全一样。

曾经有一年多的时期,他们把我安置在很舒适的地方,分别是2名政治部高级人员的住所,一处在露茜山(Mount Rosi),另一处在泽维士路(Jervois Road)。在那里,我可以和他们家人住在一块,像是个自由人。他们鼓励我到住所外面走走,但是我拒绝。如果你照做,他们将会要求你签署声明,我知道他们试图笼络我就范。

问: 您对新加坡的民主抱乐观态度吗?

答: 恐怕不乐观。我看不到民主发展的环境。目前的状况是,他们以赌博产业为支柱,容忍这许多不道德的行为。贸易是依赖美国市场,中国人拥有自己所要的一切,他们并不需要新加坡的产品;实际上,他们要往这里出口。新加坡生存的唯一出路是跟马来西亚合作。但是,新加坡与马来西亚之间的关系恶劣,我是不认为两国可望重归统一。我国社会主义者的终极目标是跟马来西亚合并。当然,很多人是很不情愿的。合并?跟马来西亚那样的国家合并?那里存在许多种族主义!但是,这是因为缺少了左翼的影响的结果。在过去40年,如果我们在国会有代表,情况会是很大不同的。他们逮捕的人,不是数以百计,而是数以千计。他们不得不封闭劳工党和人民党,逮捕他们所有的高级领导人,包括拉惹古玛医生、赛胡申阿里……。这样一来,那些保守集团就可以无拘无束、为所欲为。现在,马来人已经觉醒,认识到特权不能只属于一部份人。除非这些群体的人都觉醒起来,否则,一切照旧不变

基于历史观,我们是乐观的,我们必须抱持乐观态度。

事态将会改变,问题在于如何改变,是通过和平方式,还是暴力方式,我们谁也不知道。但是,改变是不可避免的,我们不能让现状这样继续下去。

……

问: 您在干部党员制实行前是行动党党员。在这个制度实行后,您还是党员吗?

答: 任何左倾分子都不会成为干部党员。我是在1959年被开除出党的。尽管我是党的发起人之一,也没有入选干部党员。当时,由三个人负责审查党员资格,他们是李光耀、王邦文和林使宾。当我的党员证出现时,李光耀把它拿过来,扔进字纸篓里,并看看其他两人的反应,两人沉默不语。后来,林使宾也被捕。

问: 最近,马来西亚总理纳吉宣布将要废除内部安全法令。您认为新加坡政府为什么不情愿废除内部安全法令,特别是鉴于较年轻的领袖没有那么强烈的意愿动用这条法令?

答: 我估计他们会把内部安全法令作为捍卫行动党利益的后备武器。我相信,如果他们在面对可能会败选的严酷现实,他们是会有意愿使用这个法令的。李显龙毕竟是李光耀亲自监督和指导,一手培养起来的。在面临严酷状况时,他是会动用的。他可能先挑衅你,然后制造藉口,利用这个法令进行逮捕。我当然希望他们不会用上内部安全法令,但是,我相信他们会把该法令当后备武器。

林福寿医生的精神一直在激励着我们。我们永远怀念他。

Remembering Dr Lim Hock Siew

(21 /2/ 1931 – 4/6/ 2012)

TEO SOH LUNG

 

 “… a life without convictions, without idealism is a mere meaningless existence, and I’m sure most of you will agree that as human beings, we are worthy of a life much more eaningful than just that.” … Dr Lim Hock Siew at the launch of The Fajar Generation in 2009,

For that conviction, that idealism, Dr Lim Hock Siew sacrificed 20 years of his life, his family and his medical career. He was imprisoned without trial for 20 years. At the time of his arrest, his only son was just five months old.

Today is the 5th anniversary of the death of our Freedom Fighter, Dr Lim Hock Siew.

The son of fishmongers, Lim Hock Siew excelled in Raffles Institution as a brilliant orator and debater. Quick on his feet, he never had to speak from scripts even when he was in his 80s. He was a school prefect and editor of the school newsletter.

After completing his education in Raffles Institution, Lim Hock Siew and Poh Soo Kai entered the Medical Faculty of the University of Malaya in Singapore and graduated in 1957. A staunch anti-colonialist, he and Poh Soo Kai as ndergraduates, helped Lee Kuan Yew found the People’s Action Party.

In 1959, Lee Kuan Yew expelled Dr Lim Hock Siew from the party by not renewing his party membership. Two years later, Dr Lim and others founded the Barisan Sosialis. He became the editor of the party organ, “The Plebeian”. The party was confident that it would win the general election in 1963. However, Lee Kuan Yew with the help of the Malayan prime minister and the British prevented this outcome by using foul means. They mounted Operation Coldstore on 2 February 1963. Dr Lim Hock Siew together with more than 133 opposition leaders were arrested under the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance, the forerunner of the Internal Security Act.

In a speech delivered at Function 8’s Changing Worlds Series in 2011, Dr Lim Hock Siew said:

“The whole crux of the matter in Operation Cold Store was to prevent the opposition from coming into power through peaceful, constitutional means and to ensure that the PAP carry on its power. All these talk of security and violence are just propaganda. The British archival documents have shown that there was no violence and no evidence of any communist conspiracy.”

The cruelty of Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP regime is evidenced by the incredibly long incarceration of Dr Lim Hock Siew and many others. Dr lim was imprisoned from 2 February 1963 to 6 September 1982. During this period, Dr Lim Hock Siew was subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment in various prisons.

As an idealist and a fighter, Dr Lim Hock Siew together with five others, filed an application for release in 1967. They won and were brought out of the prison gate only to be rearrested and sent to the Central Police Station to be tortured. Imprisoned in dirty bug filled tiny dark cell, he spoke about how he was subjected to torture at the launch of “The Fajar Generation” in 2009. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aia_lZ7ccdI )

    

In 1966, Dr Lim Hock Siew sued and obtained damages from The Straits Times, Sin Chew and other news media for defamation over reports that he was involved in a fight with Lim Chin Siong in Changi prison. It was a baseless report for it was not possible for the two to meet, let alone fight when they were imprisoned in different blocks.

Dr Lim Hock Siew was a respected leader among the prisoners. He was their doctor, mediator and counsellor. In 1972, he participated in the three month long hunger-strike to protest against the order that political prisoners perform manual work and be paid 8 cents a day. That strike saved all subsequent political prisoners from having to work like ordinary convicted criminals.

At 80, Dr Lim Hock Siew gave an inspiring speech, without script, at the invitation of Function 8 in 2011. Below are some of his answers to questions raised by the audience:

Q: Many people in the Barisan were aware of the arrests in 1963, and you and your colleagues were expecting it. What went on in your mind that night? Did anyone of you consider running away before the ISD officers come?

A: I think some of the Barisan cadres decided to run away and some did. But the top cadres were all arrested because we did not know who was going to be arrested. I expected myself to be arrested because I knew I was on the three lists – of the British, Tunku and Lee Kuan Yew.

The option I had was to run away from Singapore. We did discuss the idea of forming a government-in-exile but we dropped the idea because there was not much point at that time. We would just go in and fight it out in prison, hoping that after merger, we would be released. Then we would fight within the context of Malaysia with our comrades in Malaysia to have a socialist front throughout the length and breadth of Malaysia. We believed, at that time, with our united forces – the left-wing forces – we could bring about a radical change in the whole political context of Malaysia. The fact that we were all suppressed has led to this present state of Malaysia where the feudal and conservative elements started propagating their racist policies. These racist policies would not have been able to emerge if we had the influence in Malaysia because our fight would be on class lines, not on racial lines. We would unite the Malay peasants and the Chinese workers to form a united front to overthrow the feudal system and the British…

Q: When you and Lee Kuan Yew were comrades in the PAP, what was your relationship with him? Did you, at times, irritate him?

A: At that time, before we broke up, I could go to his house at anytime. Even at night time, I could knock on his door to see him. We discussed politics, we discussed the manifesto of the PAP. In one of his by-elections, I helped him with house to house campaigns. We were on very good terms. Very often, after he had given a speech in the Legislative Assembly, he would ask me what I thought about his speech. We were on very good terms. I had nothing personal against him but he had a lot of personal things against me.

It was only after we broke up, that I faced him at two public forums. There, I irritated him. At the public forum held at the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur, he lost face. He was telling lie after lie and all I had to do was to expose his lies. He just couldn’t take it.

In 1963, I was 31. We matured very fast during the war years. We went through a lot of experiences. I was 14 or 15, we were thinking of how to free our country from colonial rule. We were living in a climate where everybody was fighting for independence. India obtained independence in 1947, Sukarno declared independence for Indonesia in 1948; Mao Zedong declared the People’s Republic of China in 1949. We were inspired by all those events. Ghana and Kenya were fighting for independence. In Kenya, the Mau Mau were brutally suppressed by the British. We knew of the British tendencies to suppress us. We fought the British with our eyes open. In a way, we are lucky to be alive because you could expect to be killed as they were safeguarding their properties. They had no problem getting people to do the work for them. Note how they massacred the university students in Calcutta – machine-gunned them in the streets. Where were the so-called merciful British gentlemen? You threaten their interests, they would defend that to the hilt. In Kenya, the Mau Mau were brutally suppressed. In Congo, Patrice Lumumba was assassinated on the orders of American President Eisenhower. This was revealed by the BBC. Eisenhower personally ordered the assassination of Lumumba after he was captured. It was a life and death struggle. You wanted to fight the British, you must be prepared to sacrifice your life. It was with that kind of spirit that we went in, and it was with that kind of spirit that we spent so many years in prison. It is all or none. You don’t go in half-heartedly. We knew where we stood, We knew what we were up against.

Q: You said you were prepared for the arrest in 1963. Did you anticipate that you would be imprisoned for 20 years?

A: No. When I said goodbye to my wife, I said: “See you in 8 years’ time.” The longest serving detainee then was Ahmad Boestamam who was imprisoned by the British for 8 years. I did not expect my imprisonment to be so long. I thought Singapore would merge with Malaysia, and I would not be detained for so long. But at the end of 10 years, I decided to make another 10-year plan. I wanted to be realistic. If you are not psychologically prepared, you would surely break down. As leaders of the movement, we could not betray our followers, we had to stay firm. Lim Chin Siong would have stayed firm if not for his mental breakdown. Poh Soo Kai, Said Zahari and many others were imprisoned for decades. It was no big deal.

Q: Why do you think some were detained for a long time, while others were not?

A: You have to ask Lee Kuan Yew. The excuse they gave was that I refused to renounce violence. In 1977, I was approached by the head of the Special Branch, Lim Chye Heng also former head of the Special Branch, Wong Su Chi. Both of them came to see me. They said all you have to do is to release a statement to renounce violence. I asked: “Is there any evidence that I have been advocating violence?” I have been strictly following peaceful, legal, constitutional struggle.

Q: You were a high-profile case.

A: I was adopted as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International. Lee Kuan Yew wanted me to leave the country. In fact when Gough Whitlam, prime minister of Australia came to Singapore, he told Whitlam: “These two doctors are good doctors and you can take them. So they approached me twice to leave the country. I said if I wanted to leave, it would have to be my own decision.

Q: How is it that your Rakyat Clinic is still around today when you were imprisoned for 20 years?

A: When Poh Soo Kai and I were arrested (Soo Kai and I were founders of the clinic), another doctor, Ahmad Bakar took over. When Soo Kai was released, he went back to the clinic. Then he was re-arrested. After his second release, he opened his own clinic. Then I came out and returned to my clinic.

Q: How did you keep your sanity during those long years in prison?

A: It’s a question of conviction. You know what you are doing is right. I am a socialist. I believe everything in socialism – in a society where man does not exploit man. It is something akin to a Christian who believes that all men are brothers. And we should all live like brothers and sisters. The turmoil in the capitalist world – all the financial trouble today, convince me even more that socialism is the answer to mankind’s struggle. You are witnessing now, the end of capitalism. This is what Karl Marx said in the last century, that this is the self-destructive phase of capitalism. The contradiction cannot be settled. The accumulation of wealth is so concentrated in such a small section of the population that the majority cannot turn around, unless they turn the system around. That is why there is the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. I believe in another year or so, there will be an intense struggle in the western world. Hopefully not in violence. Hopefully they can do it without violence.

Q: Can you let us know which prison you went to?

A: I survived many prisons. I went to Outram. It has been demolished. Then Changi, also demolished. After that Queenstown. Also demolished. I was in Central Police Station. Again that was demolished. That was the most horrible prison. Then I went to Moon Crescent, Changi. Then to Whitley Road.

I was in Queenstown for four years. We were locked up most of the time. Inside the cell was a tin can for your toiletries which we washed the next morning. At night we have chamber pots and a small bowl of water to drink.

The food was practically the same as that supplied to common prisoners.

For over a year, they put me in a very luxurious place. The home of two top special branch men. One at Mount Rosie and another at Jervois Road. There I was allowed to live with the families as though I was a free man. They encouraged me to take walks outside, which I refused. If you did that, they would ask you to sign a statement. I knew they were trying to bribe me into doing that.

Q: Are you optimistic for democracy in Singapore?

A: I am afraid not. I do not see how this place can develop. Now it’s dependent upon casino industries with all these immoral practices. Trade is dependent upon American markets. Chinese don’t need Singaporean goods, they have all they want. In fact they would want to export here. The only way to survive is with Malaysia. But the relationship between Malaysia and Singapore is so bad that I cannot think of a reunion. The ultimate goal of socialists in this country is to have merger with Malaysia. Of course many people will be reluctant … Merger? Malaysia– that kind of country? So much racism? But that is the consequence of the lack of left-wing influence. If we had been in parliament in the past 40 years, it would have been very different. They have arrested thousands, not hundreds. They had to close down the Labour Party and Partai Rakyat … all the top leaders were arrested. Dr M.K. Rajakumar, Syed Husin Ali … so it is a free for all for those conservative groups. Now the Malays are awakened, that privilege must not only be for one. Unless these groups of people wake up, there will be no change.

We are optimistic in the sense that historically, we have to be optimistic. There will be change. How it comes about, whether peacefully or by violent process, we may never know. But change is inevitable. We cannot go on like this.

Q: You were a member of the PAP before the cadre system was implemented. Were you a member after the cadre system was started?

A: Anyone who was pro-left was not made a cadre. I was expelled in 1959. I was not even a cadre even though I was a founding member. At that time there were three people in charge of reviewing membership. Lee Kuan Yew, Ong Pang Boon and Lim Shee Ping. When my membership came up, Lee Kuan Yew took it up, threw it into the waste paper basket and looked at the other two. They kept quiet. Shee Ping was subsequently arrested.

Q: Najib recently announced that the ISA would be abolished. What are your views on why the Singapore government is so reluctant to abolish it, especially in view of the fact that the younger leaders will not have the stomach to use it?

A: My assessment is that they are going to use the ISA as a reserve weapon to safeguard the PAP’s interests. I believe they would have the stomach to use it if they are faced with the grim reality of losing the elections. After all, Lee Hsien Loong is groomed by Lee Kuan Yew. Monitored and mentored. When faced with reality he will use it. He might provoke you. And then use it as an excuse to arrest. I hope it will not be used but I think it will be their reserve weapon.

Dr Lim Hock Siew continues to inspire us. We will always remember him.