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Posts Tagged ‘Coldstore’

Coldstore detainees really happy about Lee row

In Uncategorized on 08/01/2019 at 9:31 am

No secret to anyone also that they are shouting “God is Great”, “There’s justice in this world”, except the PAP IBs.

But do you know that some of of them are shouting “The bible is the word of God”? These shouting this are those who repented of being atheists and became Christians of the Taliban kind, not Methodists (Dr Goh was a Methodist and so is Hen.)

Morocco Mole (Secret Squirrel’s side-kick) tells me that some Coldstore detaineees turned born-again Christians are quoting the bible and gloating in a very unChristian way. But who can blame them?

The verses they are quoting:

The Lord …  visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation. (Exodus 34:6-7 = Deuteronomy 5:8-10)

And

And …  also in the iniquities of their fathers shall they pine away with them.(Leviticus 26:39)

 

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Coldstore: FT minister thinks Pa rightly detained

In Uncategorized on 18/05/2018 at 10:56 am

At least that’s the reasonable conclusion one can draw from his remarks to ST.

In an interview with ST (‘Facts, falsehoods, feedback – Janil has firm grasp of them all’, 7 May), the new Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information Janil Puthucheary said

he believes there were national security reasons for the Coldstore arrests and detentions.

“I think that is a reasonable conclusion to come to, that there were indeed national security considerations,” he said.

So, Puthucheary agrees that there were good grounds for interning his father and uncle without trial, since his father and uncle (and others) were considered to be “dangerous communists” ready to overthrow the government through violence.

All this reminds me of what Jesus told Peter

I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.

When the ST reporter asked him about his father’s case, talked using both sides of his mouth, he said “I am quite comfortable talking about it but I don’t see that it is in any way relevant.”

He’ll be a full cabinet minister soon.

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?

Btw, looks I was wrong when I wrote this: FT jnr minister disagrees that “Pa” was a justly detained commie?

 

What Oxford really says about PJ Thum and Project Southeast Asia

In Uncategorized on 07/05/2018 at 10:44 am

(Or Best not to gild the lily/ Why liddat PJ?“)

In How PAP can tame cyberspace while making money (cont’d) I pointed out that the KPKBing about PJ Thum being roughed up by the PAP adminstration came from some (not many) Oxford academics and not the colleges that comprise Oxford University.

Here’s what Project Southeast Asia says about him:

Thum Ping Tjin (“PJ”) is co-ordinator of Project Southeast Asia, and a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford.

http://projectsoutheastasia.com/people/academics/pingtjin-thum

Here’s what Green Temple, an Oxford college, says about PJ Thum (the only reference on the University’s website about PJ)

Dr Pingtjin Thum, BA, MSc, DPhil
Senior Research Fellow, Sunway University, Malaysia / Research Fellow, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on South East Asia

He’s only visiting leh.

—————————————

Here’s the various types of the Green Temple’s Fellows

Interesting Visiting Fellows roles are not described. Compare that with the descriptions of the others.

—————————————-

Anyway his “real” posts are

Senior Research Fellow, Sunway University, Malaysia / Research Fellow, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on South East Asia

Anyone heard of these? yuenchungkwong?

Not Oxford university entities are they?

And no mention of his role as “Co-ordinator Project Southeast Asia”.

This leads conveniently to Project Southeast Asia. I had tot that Project Southeast Asia is a centre in Oxford like the Centre for Islamic Studies etc i.e. that it’s a corporate entity of the university like the colleges. It ain’t

Southeast Asia is a major player on the global stage, and growing ever more so. Recognising this, the University of Oxford has created Project Southeast Asia, with the ultimate aim of establishing a Centre for Southeast Asian Studies – a home for Southeast Asia in the heart of one of the world’s premier universities. The Project acts as a focal point for academic and research activity, bringing together many of the most distinguished scholars in the field of Southeast Asian studies, together with the best and brightest new academic talent, for the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge about countries in the Southeast Asian region.

While emphasising core disciplines of history, politics/international relations, anthropology, human sciences, medicine, and development studies, it also addresses and offers input into important contemporary issues facing Southeast Asia, such as regional security, infectious diseases, environmental change, ageing and sustainable development. It supports research, student degree programmes, library and archival resources, institutional exchanges and academic events, and ensures that the most talented students, regardless of need, will be able to study Southeast Asia at Oxford.

https://www.ox.ac.uk/about/international-oxford/oxfords-global-links/asia-south-east/asia-south-east-region?wssl=1

Coming back to PJ, here’s a long extract from the constructive, nation-building ST: it spoke to the university’s spokesman. To summarise he is no Research Fellow, only a research associate, who is not an employee of the university.

Historian Thum Ping Tjin is a research associate with Oxford University’s School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, said a university spokesman yesterday.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Oxford University’s head of communications Stephen Rouse said Dr Thum was awarded a doctorate in history by Oxford in 2011. He added that Dr Thum is a Visiting Fellow of the Fertility and Reproduction Studies Group within the school, and therefore an affiliate of the school.

Mr Rouse also said there are three categories of research associates with the school – anthropologists based in Oxford, recent doctorate graduates of the department, or social scientists based outside the university working with members of the department.

Dr Thum falls into the third category, he said, adding that research associates are not employees of the school or university. “But they are valued colleagues with whom we have shared research interests.”

Oxford’s response came after the Parliament Secretariat yesterday wrote to Dr Thum asking him to “clarify his academic credentials”.

In a press statement yesterday, the Office of the Clerk of Parliament said Dr Thum’s written representation to the Select Committee on deliberate online falsehoods had stated that he was a research fellow in history at Oxford. It noted that there have been varying accounts, citing how Dr Thum informed the committee during the hearing that he held a “visiting professorship in anthropology”, among other things.

ST 14 April 2018

It’s very clear that he was exaggerating his credentials. Funny because a doctorate from Oxford is a many-splendour thing, showing that the S’porean holder is no half-past six, balls licking, broen-nosing academic from a local university, but a patrician in high academic standing. He was gilding the lily and was caught with his pants down.

When I read about him a long time ago, I was suspicious about him calling himself “Research Fellow, University of Oxford” because my understanding has always been that Oxford-based Fellows are attached to a specific college or centre or school. No such thing as University of Oxford Fellow.

Whatever, with enemies like him, the PAP has no problem getting 60-70% of the popular vote.

Sad.

As my mongrel dogs said when I asked them their views on PJ, “To call himself a ‘Research Fellow’ or ‘visting professor’ when he’s only a ‘research associate'”  is like us calling ourselves purebreds: misrepresenting at the very least.”

 

 

 

If Coldstore detainees had gained power (Cont’d)

In Uncategorized on 25/04/2018 at 11:10 am

We’d have free HDB flats and a dead property market if the Coldstore detainess had won power I wrote in If Coldstore detainees had gained power.

Here’s more about what would happen if they had gained power.

We’d have Socialism, going by what they said at the time then and since.

But the trouble with Socialism, Margaret Thatcher once said, is you eventually run out of other people’s money.

Don’t believe me?

— Ghana that at independence was richer than Malaya but now https://www.graphic.com.gh/features/features/why-malaysians-equal-ghanaians-but-their-economy-is-10-times-better-than-ghana-s.html.

— And see Cuba: Now that Venezuela can’t afford to subsidise Cuba, Cuba suffering. Happened before when the USSR collapsed and there wasn’t money from the USSR coming in to allow Cuba to have free everything: healthcare, education etc. Our Coldstore detainees would have asked China to pay for these freebies in return for turning S’pore into a red dot.

I lived in London juz before Thatcher came into power. And it left me in no doubt that socialism wasn’t working in the UK. Taxes were high but the govt was struggling to provide basic services (though the health system was really great).

In particular one reason the govt was failing to provide basic services was because public sector unions were forever striking for money pay.

And private sector unions were just as bad. There was a strike by baking staff in London which deprived us Londoners, of freshly baked bread for weeks.

Another major problem with socialism is that it panders to the unions,

We had a foretaste of the power of unions here: always on strike (May Day 1961).

Be happy that Harry, Dr Goh and friends gave up very early their infatuation with socialism.

Capitalism kicks trade unions (think Thatcher and the US) in the balls while Communism and Fascism castrate them (think NTUC and the PRC unions) into being part of the constructive, nation-building system.

FT jnr minister disagrees that “Pa” was a justly detained commie?

In Uncategorized on 04/04/2018 at 10:19 am

Yesterday, I ended Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway promising to explain why I thought an FT jnr minister

disagrees with the the official narrative of  “Bunch of commie subversives who had to be locked up because they wanted to make S’pore Great for Communism” when it comes to his Pa ans uncle.

Here’s my reasoning.

In his parly maiden speech,

Dr Janil Puthucheary said while he felt it inappropriate to detain a citizen without trial, he is convinced by the hard logic that the safety and security of Singapore must be paramount. That’s because there are threats that Singapore faces and which must be dealt with swiftly and decisively.

But he wants to know what safeguards are in place to prevent the ISA from being abused.

Dr Janil said: “I believe I share this view with many Singaporeans; we understand the need to ensure our security despite our misgivings, we recognise the cold hard facts despite the uncomfortable feeling they generate. However, we lack confidence and assurance that the extraordinary power of a State to detain its own citizens without trial will not be abused.

“The process of the safeguards around the ISA needs to be discussed in a more transparent manner, even as the facts associated with a given detainee need to be kept secret. We need to know that the review process works and operates independently of Cabinet. We need to see that the President exercises his authority on this issue.”

Dr Janil asked if the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will be introducing further measures to enhance these safeguards and to what extent can the decisions of Cabinet be challenged.

CNA

Did he by saying

— “we lack confidence and assurance that the extraordinary power of a State to detain its own citizens without trial will not be abused”

— “The process of the safeguards around the ISA needs to be discussed in a more transparent manner”

imply that the use of ISA against his Pa and his uncle were an abuse of power? And that they were innocent of the allegations made against them.

To me, it sounds reasonable to say it sounded like he was trying to imply that

— the use of ISA against his Pa and his uncle were an abuse of power, and

— they were innocent of the allegations made against them.

Anyone knows whether in in the public records* there is anything about what jnr minister’s Pa and uncle (also detained in Coldstore) tot about their detentions. I can’t find anything where they KPKBed about being wrongly detained*. They were released and sent  back to M’sia. And they became distinguished (and filthy rich) lawyers there.

Related post: Were the Coldstore detainees communists, progressives or leftists?


*I can’t remember if they were interviewed in Men in White: don’t have a copy at hand. Should get it as reference book because

The Straits Times backed by four researchers conducted some 300 interviews in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong and China.

Coldstore: Why Harry’s narrative or the highway

In Political governance on 03/04/2018 at 10:44 am

(Or “Why Harry’s Coldstore narrative must be the truth”)

The roughing up of someone who dares to publicly talk about a Coldstore narrative that is different from that of one Harry Lee has cyberspace talking cock and upset*.

Amidst the noise and fury, one important issue in both what constitutes “fake news”, generally,and, in particular, in the ongoing dialogue of the deaf about different Coldstore narratives has been forgotten.

The son of one of the Coldstore detainees recently said:

For some of the matters around national security, race, religion, economic and financial issues, public health issues, by definition that source of truth must be government-backed or state-backed. The most egregious issues, the issues with significant impact, significant impact on our social fabric, on our national security, on our public health, the issues of peace, stability, the facts behind those, if you’re going to have a source of truth, it needs to be state-backed.

Dr. Janil Puthucheary, a Jnr Minister, at the Select Committee hearings on Deliberate Online Falsehoods, 23 March 2018

As S’pore is a de facto one-party state (because the voters regularly agree to it), Harry’s version of ColdStore (Bunch of commie subversives who had to be locked up because they wanted to make S’pore Great for Communism) is the official version. 

And because it is “government-backed or state-backed” it must be the truth going by what the jnr minister said. (And don’t forget that the greatest of the Hard Truths is that “Harry is always right. Harry is never wrong”.)

Related post: Were the Coldstore detainees communists, progressives or leftists?

Coming back to the jnr minister’s comments, looks like he agrees with what a M’sian minister said is “fake news”:

“Any information related to 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) that has not been verified by the Government is considered fake news.

Datuk Jailani Johari (pic), the Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister, explained that fake news is information that is confirmed to be untrue, especially by the authorities or parties related to the news.”

What “fake” news will be allowed

What else does the jnr minister says about “fake news”? Fake news traffickers will be hanged.

But does the jnr minister disagree with the allegations made against his Pa and uncle who were Coldstore detainees, thereby contradicting the official narrative of “Bunch of commie subversives who had to be locked up because they wanted to make S’pore Great for Communism”?


*The grand inquisitor explains why he did what he did

I have been asked why I spent some time asking PJ Thum questions.

PJ’s main point, in his written submission to the Select Committee, was that Mr Lee Kuan Yew was the biggest creator of fake news in Singapore, a liar, and Operation Coldstore was based on falsehoods.

These are serious allegations made in Parliament about our founding PM.

Either they have to be accepted, or shown to be untrue. Keeping quiet about them was not an option.

Thus I told PJ I will ask him questions, on what he had said.

PJ refused to answer many of the questions directly – if a person believes in what he says, and has gone through the documents carefully, then what is the difficulty in answering questions?

It took 5 hours plus to go through the documents and records carefully.

In the end, PJ said that he had not read some of the material published by ex-Communists on what happened in Singapore; that he disregarded the statements made by Chin Peng, the CPM leader; that the way he set out the most important documents (of December 1962) was not accurate; the key meetings of Barisan Socialis showed that they were prepared to use armed struggle to overthrow a Government of Singapore, if necessary; and the British had a honest view, in December 1962, that security action (which was Operation Coldstore), was necessary.

People know me – I am direct, I deal with the facts, and say it as I think it is.

I can see that Sonny Liew is not happy with what happened with PJ. It is quite understandable. Based on what he says, he and PJ are quite close; they work together in a venture. His award winning cartoon, The Art of Charlie Chan Hock Chye, is also based on PJ’s version of history.

I have not met Sonny, but I have to say he is a good cartoonist. He is a talent.

K Shanmugam Sc‘s post

Btw, I agree with the points he makes about Sonny Liew being a good cartoonist and about why he asked the questions he asked. He had every right to beat up PJ Thum. I make no comment on

PJ refused to answer many of the questions directly – if a person believes in what he says, and has gone through the documents carefully, then what is the difficulty in answering questions?

Btw, seems PJ gave as good as he got, so his whining seems strange. But that’s grist for yet another post soon.

Were the Coldstore detainees communists, progressives or leftists?

In Uncategorized on 28/02/2014 at 4:31 am

The publication of a book on the 50th anniversary and the MediaCorp documentary (funded by MDA) got TOC activists pretty emotional about whether we were told to the truth about these two events.

They were not the only ones. When TRE republished my piece on Dr Lee Siew Choh, this post appeared

Lim Chin Siong:

with so many books and videos banned, Sporeans not getting the true history of Spore, I hope somehow, TRE or any social media can dedicate a section of their website to tell the true story of Spore.
I am sick and tired of watching NDP after NDP depicting the same story of how Spore turned to a modern city (by the monkeys in white) from an island with a lion spotted a certain man!
I searched and nothing much was told about the man Lim Chin Siong, who was accused as a communist but never proven!

“What is the truth?” and “What is history?”. These are eternal questions for philosophers not for mere mortals.  So what about settling for a narrative of Lim Chin Siong and allies that is objective, balanced, non-judgemental and entertaining?

There is a book, that though, published by a govt agency (National Museum), that does these things: “S’pore: A Biography”*

The writers avoid the term “communists” in describing Lim Chin Siong and friends. When they are called “communists”, it’s LKY, the British etc who are using the term. Lim Chin Siong’s denials are given extensive coverage. Unlike  TOC’s favourite “historian”  Dr Ping Tjin Thum (P.J. Thum), there is no romaticising of Lim and friends by calling them “progressives’. They are described as “radical anti-colonialist leftists”. This, I think, is a pretty fair, neutral description that avoids the emotional laden terms used by LKY or Dr Thum.

The authors go on to say that they got the impression (based on Fong Swee Suan’s recollections)  that the views of people like Lim and Fong on the best political model for S’pore (and Malaya) were evolving, they were “experimenting, weighing up the options”. They tell us that Lim said he was “not [yet] anti-communist”.

They also give the context within which the words and actions of Lim and Fong were viewed. There were demonstrations, violence (girls from Nanyang Girls’ School threw acid at their principal’s face), and the memory of the Malayan Emergency was ever-present. These are things that Dr Thum glides over when he talks of the Malayan Communist Party saying it had given up violence in liberating S’pore (google him up or search the TOC website for articles containing his tots). These were things my parents talked about when they told me of the period (I was born in 1955).

BTW, one of these days I’ll muse about the three narratives of Coldstore: the Hard Truth version propagated by the constructive, nation-buildingl media, Dr Thum’s version propagated by TOC, and the conventional academic narrative (which I largely accept), and which sadly not propagated by anyone, even though this narrative is not banned by the govt. History may be written by the victors, but thank god for academics who poke holes in the official narrative.

——-

*The authors, Mark Ravinder Frost and Yu-Mei Balasingamchow (a name that itself would seem to encapsulate much of Singapore’s history) have carefully tread a narrow path between a definitive (i.e. worthy but dull) history and a popular (i.e. readable but light) treatment of Asia’s only city-state…. But Frost and Balasingamchow have, through a judicious selection of anecdote and primary sources, tied together with just the right amount of analysis and a judicious application of drama, teased out a narrative that both interests and flows, complemented by beautifully-rendered and a propos illustrations. http://www.asianreviewofbooks.com/new/?ID=173#!

Update at 5.05am: Another link describing the book http://www.edmbooks.com/Book/6951/Singapore-A-Biography.html