《1987 SINGAPORE MARXIST CONSPIRACY 30 YEARS ON》是由1987年在“光谱行动”被捕者为纪念被捕30周年而共同撰写和出版的。这本书与2017年5月21日正式出版发行；（中文译音为《1987新加坡的马克思阴谋30周年》 ）
1970年代他在英国谢菲尔德大学（University of Sheffield）修读工商管理与经济学（Business and Economics）本科，期间，出于课程需要也到日本学习了一年。他是英联邦与爱尔兰新马留学生运动组织（Federation of United Kingdom and Eire Malaysian and Singaporean Student movement, FUEMSSO）的主要成员之一。1976年陈华彪流亡英国时，他和其他同事在英国各地举办集会，揭露当时新加坡压制对付不同意见的情况。在英国的伙伴们都亲密地把他叫做“老郑”，因为他年纪比他们都大些，也因为他的老成持重。一篇纪念他的文章这么说：
还在谢菲尔德期间，方生曾经参与舞台剧《大山只是偶尔睡着》（Only a while the mountain sleeps）的演出。他当时在谢菲尔德的伙伴们，对此仍有美好的记忆。
他在1981年回返新加坡，继续保持对文化与政治的热忱，开始在思想相似的朋友（一些是他在英国念书时认识的朋友，一些是参与1970年代新加坡学运的人）之间串连。联合其他十个伙伴，他们创设了戏剧团体“第三舞台”（Third Stage）。方生为我们委托的课题负责编剧与导演，最终于1983年7月在戏剧中心公演。他也和黄淑仪（Wong Souk Yee）联合编写了《希望》（Esperanza）剧本。
Together We Remember Tay Hong Seng
(9 September 1950 – 26 November 2012)
Written collectively by the Monsooners, a group of former student activists in the United Kingdom
Tay Hong Seng worked for the Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao and had written some 600 articles under his by-line.
He studied Business and Economics at Sheffield University in the 1970s and spent a year in Japan as part of his course. He was one of the key members of the Federation of United Kingdom and Eire Malaysian and Singaporean Student movement (FUEMSSO). In 1976 when Tan Wah Piow sought exile in the UK, he with his other colleagues organised various meetings throughout the country to publicise the repression that was then going on in Singapore. He was fondly called “Lao Tay” by all those who knew him in the UK because he was slightly older than them and also because of his mannerisms. A tribute described him as follows:
Tay Hong Seng and I first met when I was a student in Sheffield. He
introduced me and some other Sheffield friends to the world of student politics and activism. He was the key person to develop the Malaysian and Singaporean Society of Sheffield (MSSS) into a politically active society.
Hong Seng often did his work in a quiet but very effective manner. Besides his active political involvement he often found time to cook. He was a really good cook.
Another of his friends commented:
Initially I found him to be slow, old fashioned and difficult to understand due to my own ignorance and impatience at the time. As I
slowly began to talk to him and understand him more, I realise that he
had in-depth knowledge of politics and an analytical mind. I had truly
learnt and benefited from him during our student days in Sheffield. Due to his very slow style of speaking, impatient people like me always
interrupted him when he spoke during meetings. He would not get angry but let others finish their interruptions. After some time he would raise his hand and say “Please may I continue, I have not finish yet.” Yet another had this to say:
To be honest, initially I was very annoyed by his persistence. He would cling to you like a leech, talking to you for hours from breakfast to lunch or from the student union cafeteria to your hostel. But his perseverance paid off. Gradually, many of us became endeared to him
and he was like a big brother to us.
During his time in Sheffield, Hong Seng participated in a stage roduction called Only a while the mountain sleeps . It was an activity that is still fondly remembered by his contemporaries in Sheffield.
After graduation in Sheffield, Hong Seng moved to London and was involved in the production of a student magazine called Fijar, a publication of FUEMSSO.
Tay returned to Singapore in 1981 and consistent with his enthusiasm for cultural and political activism, he started building bridges with like-minded friends, some of whom were those he met in the UK during his student days and others were activists during the 1970 student movement period in Singapore.
With ten other friends, they formed Third Stage. Hong Seng wrote and directed Things we paid for which was performed at the Drama Centre in July 1983 and he also co authored Esperanza with Wong Souk Yee.
In 1987, the Internal Security Department arrested 22 people four of
whom were key members of Third Stage. Hong Seng was one of the four. He was imprisoned for nearly a year. It was an irony that Third Stage was accused of being a front to subvert the social and political system of Singapore when its production went through the censorship board with a few even receiving monetary grants from the then Ministry of Community Development.
During the period of his detention, Hong Seng was subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and was also forced to “confess”. Hong Seng once said that “he was prepared to spend his life in the cell if his payroll was not affected adversely.” The trauma experienced by those arrested is encapsulated in Teo Soh L u n g ’s Beyond the Blue Gate.
After his release, Hong Seng kept much to himself. In recent times however, he had on more than one occasion indicated his interest to be kept informed by those organising the campaign to abolish the ISA on the occasion of the anniversary of Operation Spectrum. Hong Seng was not only scholarly in his persona but was a profound thinker as well. He was a talented activist and according to one of his friends, he writes well in Chinese and is an accomplished calligrapher. We only hope that he did confide with someone near and dear to him so that we can learn more about him.