Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The Real Singapore Facebook Misleads Singaporeans - Josephine Teo

The Real Singapore (TRS) Facebook misleads Singaporeans with their deliberately false and inflammatory headlines. In their battle to turn Singaporeans against the People's Action Party (PAP), the anti-Government Facebook page and website of TRS deliberately misquotes government officials in an obvious attempt to discredit them.

the real singapore facebook misleads singaporeans
This form of headline misinformation campaign is common in cyberspace as the huge deluge of information results in netizens only skimming the titles of each article. By only reading the headlines, a false perception of the Government is thus created in the minds of innocent Singaporeans.
While the TRS claims to be the Voices of Average Singaporeans, their constant and consistent misrepresentation of the truth alludes to their sinister motive. The team at Singapore General Election (GE) 2016 is concerned that innocent Singaporeans are being misled and will dedicate a series of posts (titled "How The Real Singapore Misleads Singaporeans") to counter the misinformation of TRS.
We hope that you will join us in fighting this misinformation campaign by sharing our links with your friends and relatives. Singapore GE 2016 will be a social media election and it is important that Singaporeans go to the polls armed with the truth. Our future and the future of our families will be determined at the polls and we cannot afford to allow the misguided (and malicious) actions of the minority jeopardize our lives.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Shutdown TRS: TRS threatened our defense repeatedly, now its readers follow

If the Singapore General Election (GE) 2011 was not a social media election, the upcoming GE 2016 will definitely be one. Sociopolitical blogs and anti-government websites have mushroomed and many are trying to influence Singaporeans with misinformation about the Government and its policies.
Singapore General Elections 2016 was alerted by one of readers to the following post ...
A frequent reader of TRS, whose Facebook account is dedicated to commenting on TRS articles (this can be seen from his profile, which has no posts except for comments on TRS), blamed the unfortunate missing plane incident on the PAP, to set it as the pretext for his next statement.
He asked for ISIS to “bomb Parliament House”, all on the pretext of being anti-PAP.

TRS top stories

TRS had been posting many articles threatening our defense, such as fabricating lies, even calling our fighter jets “junk”, and also drumming up support against the defense of Singapore.

TRS best stories

Click here to read more of them threatening Singapore’s defense.
If this is not enough, here is another long list of their articles defaming Singapore. This list is backed up by evidence.
Despite these, something Singaporeans need to be aware of is that TRS earns USD$299.64 per day from their articles. (Link)
As if these are still not enough, TRS had tried to disrupt the peaceful and multi-religious Singapore, even resorting to create a fake account dedicated for this task. (Link)
To make things worse, 153k of their fans are not in Singapore (this figure is outdated and has now increased).
As if these are still not enough, here are even more reasons why Singaporeans should stand united against TRS, which include:
The fact that TRS buys fake likes, censor the truth, use handpicked sexual images, luring fake Singaporeans to condemn Singapore, stirring hatred, twisting news, deceive that their articles are submitted in, and many more.
(Click the image below for evidence)
TRS real agenda

Their agenda is unknown, but there is an urgent need to stop this page who has been deceiving more and more Singaporeans each day (and making more money).
This article first appeared at Shutdown TRS.

Saturday, 27 December 2014

PAP IB - Keeping the Opposition Honest

People's Action Party Internet Brigade (PAP IB)

Role of PAP IB social media election

Today I was accused of being a PAP IB. I am not!!!
Why is it that whenever someone speaks up for the Government, he or she must be paid for it? Just like how opposition supporters speak up for the opposition because they think they are right, I speak up for the PAP because I think the PAP is right. I have news for those that support the opposition, there are many like me who support the Government. I respect your right to express your view, so please respect my right to have my own.

Reader's Contribution
For those that do not know, "PAP IB" is an acronym for People's Action Party Internet Brigade. According to opposition supporters, the IB was created by the ruling party to drown out online criticism of Government policies. While unconfirmed, it is widely believed that members of the IB are paid between $0.50 to $1.00 for every pro-government post they make online.
Opposition supporters criticize the existence of the IB as they claim that it prevents freedom of speech and that the IB spreads misinformation. What opposition supporters fail to realize is that it is them who are preventing freedom of speech and it is them who are spreading misinformation.
As we have said on this platform before, freedom of speech works both ways. You want your right to speak, but you must also respect the rights of other to speak too. The accusation and labeling that our reader received is one such tactic that anti-government supporters use. The first step is to label you an IB. The next step is to "out" you by posting your personal details online and the final step is to encourage other anti-government supporters to troll you online. Hence, anti-government supporters who claim that the IB suppresses freedom of speech just need to look at their own behavior.
Freedom of Speech in Singapore
As for spreading of misinformation, pro-opposition sites like The Real Singapore (TRS) and The Online Citizen (TOC) are champions at this. To drive traffic and undermine the Government, TRS and TOC routinely craft misleading headlines to inflame the public.  One only needs to look at past TRS post where they have had to made public retractions by affected parties angry enough to take legal actions against the site. Ironically, TRS claims that there is no freedom of speech in Singapore, and yet the Government allows them to operate in Singapore. 
While we have no proof that the PAP IB exist. But if they do, we believe that they are playing an important role in countering the malicious lies and misinformation that the opposition and opposition supporters spread.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Worker's Party AHPETC Calls Police on Hougang Central Shopkeepers

Did you know that the Worker's Party AHPETC Called the Police on Hougang Central Shopkeepers?
After AHPETC was formed, it took over common property at Hougang Central and at Kovan where Hougang Mall and Heartland Mall are located respectively. Due to its proximity to Hougang and Kovan MRT stations, there is heavy pedestrian traffic. It became apparent to AHPETC that it could generate revenue by renting out common property for commercial activities. The more frequent and the longer the duration, the more money AHPETC gets. AHPETC pockets money from the highest bidder with little risk. The problem is that the stalls often sold items similar to those of the surrounding HDB shopkeepers.
Workers Party Manifesto for business owners
At first, Hougang HDB shopkeepers were friendly and tolerated. However, as the trade fairs became more frequent and longer in their duration, their businesses were affected and they became unhappy. When the shopkeepers signed a petition and complained to AHPETC, the AHPETC staff called the police. This issue was reported by the press.
For AHPETC, trade fairs is about greed and not about benefiting shopkeepers & residents in Hougang.

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Worker's Party Sylvia Lim Caught Lying

SCIENCE of microexpression catches Sylvia Lim Lying ....
Workers Party Lies about AHPETC Town Council
Microexpressions are brief, involuntary facial expressions shown on the faces of humans according to the emotions they experience. These usually occur in high-stakes situations, where the person has something to lose or gain. Microexpressions occur when a person is consciously trying to conceal all signs of how he or she is feeling, or when a person does not consciously know how he or she is feeling. Unlike regular facial expressions, it is difficult to hide microexpression reactions.
Similar to the time when Bill Clintion (the President of the United States) lied to the media about his affair with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky, a review of Ms Sylvia Lim's 2011 General Election rally speech shows similar expressions when she spoke about the Worker's Party's readiness to run a town council.

Sylia Lim Lying Microexpressions
0.04 sec: “We have the ability to serve you well.” ... Lie
0.36 sec: “Low Thia Khiang will bring extensive experience to our team.” ... Lie
1:59 sec: “I have much to contribute.” ... Lie
View the full video of Sylvia Lim's General Election Rally Speech and judge for yourself. They say the face doesn't lie.

Worker's Party Uses Provocateur in Marine Parade - Daniel de Costa

Daniel de Costa - A Worker's Party Provocateur in Marine Parade
Daniel de Costa Worker Party Agent
Singapore General Elections (GE) 2016 received news that Daniel de Costa, a well-known supporter of the Worker's Party is hard at work causing trouble in the Marine Parade GRC. Much like pranksters calling the police hotline direct valuable resources away from real crimes, Daniel de Costa's actions also waste finite civil and public resources to address his frivolous claims.
Daniel de Costa came to fame during Singapore's 2011 President Elections when he was caught by journalists booing Mr Tony Tan on nomination day. When interviewed by reporters, Daniel simply replied that he was cheering for Mr Tan Jee Say. Of course, eye-witness accounts differed from what Daniel de Costa claimed.
Subsequently, in March 2012, Daniel de Costa sent a letter to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for an allege fall he had in a Hawker Centre. Daniel's rationale for seeking the Prime Minister's assistance was because after his fall (instead of calling the Singapore Civil Defence Force for assistance), Daniel's calls for medical assistance to the National Environment Agency (NEA), the Town Council and to his Member of Parliament (MP) did not yield the medical help he felt he deserved.
More recently, in November 2014, Singapore General Elections (GE) 2016 has learnt that Daniel de Costa (we suspect in an attempt to mask his involvement) has begun writing to various Government and Media agencies using his mother's name. In his latest series of emails, a Mdm Judy Tan Guat Lan, claims that the Government's ongoing efforts to improve the living environment of Singaporeans, has resulted in "hundreds of homeless & destitute feeding on leftovers at the Geylang East Market & Food Centre". This is naturally untrue.
From the tone and angle of Daniel de Costa's various actions and emails, couple this with his well-known affiliation to the Worker's Party, it is clear that Daniel de Costa is an provocateur acting on behalf of the Worker's Party. Far from being harmless, while Daniel's claims are out-right ridiculous, civil and public servants cannot simply ignore them. Each time he (or his mother) writes in, valuable time and resources are wasted investigating the claim, writing a report and then responding to him. The time taken for the officers to do all, could have been better spent serving the needs of real residents.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Singapore Worker's Party: Civil Servants Cannot be Trusted to be Just and Fair

The Aljunied-Hougang-Punggol East Town Council (AHPETC), run by the opposition Workers' Party, was on Wednesday (Dec 24) fined S$800 for holding a festive trade fair without a permit earlier this year. A district court had found the town council guilty on Nov 28 for flouting Section 35 of the Environmental Public Health Act. AHPETC faced a fine of up to S$1,000. (Channel News Asia)
Singapore Workers Party AHPETC Mistrust Civil Servants
In a surprising turn of events, AHPETC Chairman Sylvia Lim said she respects the court's decision but is not satisfied with the outcome, adding that the issue is a matter of public interest. Sylvia Lim goes on to add that the reason the Singapore Worker' Party contested the case in court was that the Singapore Worker's Party felt that "Government agencies and civil servants cannot be trusted to exercise the powers given to them under the law in a just and fair manner."
Civil servants Singapore General Elections 2016 spoke to expressed anger at Sylvia Lim's comments. A long-term civil servant and opposition supporter said that civil servants, just like any other employee working in the private sector, are hired to do a job. While there are guidelines to follow, each and everyone of us carry out our duties to the best of our abilities without fear or favor. To insinuate that we work for the People's Action Party (PAP) and that we will break the law to favor them is downright insulting and shows that the Worker's Party has lost its moral high ground. Simply put, we are also workers and we do not appreciate being used as pawns in the Worker's Party political games.
To the team at Singapore General Elections 2016, we believe that contrary to gaining sympathy points with the electorate, the outcome of the AHPETC-NEA saga is clear. By their own mistakes, the Singapore Worker's Party has concede this round to the PAP. The best part, the PAP did not have to do anything.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

SingFirst Ignores Netizens' Facebook Questions

While researching the pedigree of Singapore's newest political party SingFirst, we discovered that the Secretary-General of the party is none other than Mr Tan Jee Say. Mr Tan is a vocal opponent of the Government, and he is a former senior civil servant, principal private secretary to the Prime Minister (Mr Goh Chok Tong) and a former presidential hopeful.
singfirst manifesto tan jee say
During our research, we came across an article by The Real Singapore in which Mr Tan Jee Say deliberately made misleading statements about the salaries of Singaporean workers. We view the statement as "deliberately misleading" as Mr Tan Jee Say is a former senior civil servant and would have been well acquainted with the facts of the matter. A simple check online with jobs portals like JobStreet would have proven Mr Tan Jee Say wrong.
Desiring to give Mr Tan Jee Say an opportunity to clarify his statement, we contacted Mr Tan via his party's Facebook page on 18 December 2014. Since then, his party has continued to post more articles on their Facebook page, but have chosen to ignore our questions. Interestingly, we are not the only ones asking for him to clarify his statement. Despite the overwhelming number of people prompting him to respond, Mr Tan Jee Say has remained silent.
It always puzzles Singapore General Elections (GE) 2016 why opposition parties always expect their questions to be answered by the Government, but when it comes time to answer questions posed to them, nothing is ever forthcoming. The Worker's Party of Singapore is also famous for this.
It is ironic that SingFirst and the Worker's Party are calling for the Government to be open and transparent and to answer questions posed by Singaporeans, but they themselves do not live by the same code.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Singapore GE 2016: Double Standards of the Opposition Parties

In the long lead up to the Singapore General Elections (GE) 2016, Singapore opposition parties demonstrate their double-standards in their on-going criticism of the rat infestation problem in Bukit Batok.
Singapore GE 2016 Opposition lies
If we are indeed to become a country with a truly "first world parliament", then shouldn't there be consistency in our response of what the Town Council (TC) in Bukit Batok and the various agencies are doing compared to what the Aljunied-Hougang Town Council (AHTC) receive. In other words, the Bukit Batok TC and various agencies should not be attacked for taking action.
See the difference .....
2012: AHTC says nothing it can do about rat problem, only concerned with upcoming by-election - applauded
Aljunied-Hougang TC applauded when rats problem ignored despite numerous complaints,
Busy with elections: “I think Mr Low is burnt out. I heard he visits Hougang at least three times a week. He should be focused ... instead of worrying about the by-election.”
2014: Takes action, deploys pest controllers, draws up measures, finds root cause - attacked just because MP had exposed WP

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Singapore Worker's Party - Where Honor and Integrity are Optional

A former trusted member of the Singapore Worker's Party gives our readers a special behind the scene look at the betrayal that occurs regularly within the Worker's Party. At the Worker's Party, honor and integrity are optional!
By Sajeev Kamalasanan (Former member & Ex-candidate for WP, Nee Soon GRC, GE2011) article first published on Politico Singapore on 23 May 2013.

Singapore Workers party logo
Since my resignation from the Workers’ Party (WP) in May 2012, I have been asked by many people on the real reason/s behind my resignation. I have also been hearing about how the other individual involved in my resignation, WP Chairman, Ms Sylvia Lim, and people related to her have been proclaiming and pleading her innocence in the events surrounding my resignation and that I was the one who had made false allegations and accusations against her and the Party in the first place. And a few other members of the Party have been cleverly playing detective in conveniently linking me with other unfortunate but unrelated incidents that happened within the Party after my resignation like Dr Poh Lee Guan’s so-called “sabotage” during the Hougang by-election.
On this anniversary of my resignation, I would like to clear any lingering doubts in reasonable people’s minds about my resignation, which was mainly due to the unfair and non-transparent practices adopted by the Party in the conferment of Party cadreship. I hope that my experience (and those of other ex-candidates and ex-members) will serve as a cautionary note to all WP believers and aspiring members and candidates who would like to join and support WP, on what they can expect.
Before I get into those details, let me first of all convey my congratulations to Mr Somasundaram (ex-candidate for Moulmein-Kallang GRC) and Mr Watson Chong (my ex-team mate and candidate for Nee Soon GRC candidate) of WP for FINALLY getting their extremely long overdue and well deserved WP cadreship. They had been very quickly conferred cadreship just two months after my resignation, just before the WP cadre meeting that was held in July 2012. The suspicious timing aside (coming right after my resignation), it is indeed an appropriate recognition for both of these ex-candidates of the 2011 General Elections, who had long been denied Party cadreship. Mr Soma, in particular (who is a Master’s degree holder and a lecturer at Temasek Polytechnic and incidentally a member of the minority community), had to wait for six long years since 2006 for his contributions to be recognised by the Party.
However, there had been others who had been made cadres quite quickly within months of joining the Party. My particular concern was why some ex-candidates such as myself, Mr Soma, Mr Watson Chong and Ms Angela Oon were not being given Party cadreship whereas other (non-minority) ordinary, new ordinary members and certain new ex-candidates were easily given cadreship ahead of other ex-candidates, who nevertheless had put themselves up on the very important national platform of the General Elections. While the contributions of all members are important, it is unjust to overlook the sacrifices and risks of these ex-candidates who have stepped up to be candidates of opposition parties and not recognise all of them for their sincere efforts for the Party and nation. We simply have to look back at the Tang Liang Hongs and the JBJs to understand what risks opposition candidates face in this country to run under the opposition banner. This enormous risk cannot be compared to the much smaller risk that say an ordinary member carries by helping out in WP events on an adhoc basis. It is therefore not unreasonable to confer cadreship to ex-candidates ahead of ordinary members.
I had brought up this matter about the unfair treatment displayed by WP’s leadership on some of its ex-candidates in the cadreship selection process (besides other issues) even before Mohd Fazli Bin Talip’s resignation in February 2012 (who also had resigned citing dissatisfaction with the cadreship selection process) and again in the leadup to my resignation from the Party in May 2012. Here is part of the email that I had sent to Ms Sylvia Lim on March 13, 2012:
“I believe there are currently 4 ex-candidates who have not been given cadreship (myself, Soma, Angela and Watson). There are perhaps compelling reasons in not offering these ex-candidates cadreship and I would like to know specifically why myself and Soma have not been offered. I understand that I may be considered new to the party even though I have been a WP member since 2006 (having just started contributing shortly before the 2011 elections) but I believe there are other such new candidates like eg. Hong Boon who is nevertheless a cadre member. When comparing Soma with Hong Boon, why is Soma, a longtime helper in Aljunied (since after 2006 elections) not offered cadreship and whereas Hong Boon who joined the party just months before election got to be a cadre member immediately after the last election?”.
As Ms Sylvia Lim and the other WP MPs were questioning the PAP government on unfairness, accountability and transparency issues in Parliament, they failed to show the same for some of their own members who had stood alongside them in the same GE2011 platform which eventually led the “A-team” to victory. Besides that, I did not get any satisfactory answers from Ms Sylvia Lim about the unfairness and unequal treatment which I was questioning her about when I met up with her privately on 4 April 2012 to discuss the matter.
At our meeting, she seemed to be at a loss of words and flip flopped in trying to be “understanding” about my concerns and in giving me non-answers. I expected her to tell me that she valued all of our contributions and that we, the ex-candidates, also mattered. When I asked her specifically about Mr Soma’s case, she had replied that Mr Soma did not help out or participate in any Hammer sales to be considered for cadreship. Then, I wondered why wasn’t I considered for cadreship since I quite easily meet this criteria she mentioned of participating in the Hammer sales? Besides, there were others who were new members and who had participated at Hammer sales and had been made cadres. I was also a regular helper at her weekly Serangoon Division MPS sessions and also helped organise her other Aljunied division events. But her response surprised me — “Indians tend to leave after getting cadreship”.
It was a silly thing to say and I wish she had not said it (the public and media picked up on the racial element, of course). As for me, upon reflection, I realised that it was essentially an admission of a truth about the sorry state of affairs about the low participation of minorities within the Party. Anyone just needs to look at the whereabouts of the past WP GE minority Indian candidates and at the general lack of active participation of minorities within the WP to ascertain this reality.
Yet, coming from the Chairman, I didn’t quite expect something like this to be left hanging in the air for so long. I expected words of assurance and affirmative action from Ms Sylvia Lim, which unfortunately, did not come even in the days and weeks following our meeting. I wondered why the Party would not take actions to examine itself to see if it contributed to the low level of minority participation. Slightly more than a month later, I realised that things were not going to change or improve and it was very clear to me that I was only being made use of when the Party needed me. I was not comfortable to be part of a Party that does not set transparent guidelines, standards and criteria for judging members’ worth and contributions. It was unacceptable to me on account of fairness that they could judge a member to be worthy of being a candidate of a national event, the General Elections, yet judge him or her to be unworthy of being nominated for internal Party cadreship. I then decided to take a stand and resign from the Party over my dissatisfaction with the Party’s non-transparent and unfair cadreship selection process on Mothers’ Day.
As for Mr Soma and Mr Watson Chong, they each very well know why they weren’t given cadreship by the Party after election. Mr Soma has now seen how things suddenly changed for him after I brought up the unfair cadreship issue of WP to light publicly. Perhaps eager to take the heat off of the Party about its alleged unfair dealings with minorities (an angle which some people were pursuing) and to increase its minority cadreship headcount, Ms Sylvia Lim had travelled all the way to Mr Soma’s workplace to break the good news to him (after Hougang by-election) about her plans to nominate him for cadreship. It was a very surprising development, considering the cold treatment Mr Soma had been receiving from the Party leaders for having earlier questioned Ms Sylvia Lim on the change of his candidacy from Aljuned GRC to Moulmein Kallang GRC in GE2011.
Apparently, questioning the leaders is very much frowned upon in the WP and when pressed for real answers for uncomfortable questions, the modus operandi is to say “no comment”. To date, WP leaders (Low Thia Kiang and Sylvia Lim) have been unable to answer my queries publicly and in correspondences that I have sent to them. They may find the following questions hard to answer too:
  1. If a minority member is deemed to be unworthy of receiving cadreship because he or she tends to leave the Party, does that mean that no matter what he or she does to support and help the Party, all these efforts will never be good enough for him or her to become a cadre or a CEC member? Or unless he or she becomes a MP to be opted in?
  2. What does a minority member need to do besides the guaranteed way of winning a general election like Pritam Singh and Faisal Manap in order to be nominated to be a cadre or a CEC member? What have been and are the KPIs for cadreship and are these subject to change or interpretation?
  3. Following my resignation, new minority members of the Party had been fast tracked to cadreship status. Is the Party able to account why these new members are more deserving of cadreship over the older contributing members who had been denied cadreship? Are the new minority members being given cadreship to boost minority headcounts to make the Party books look good after I exposed the real issues happening in the Party?
  4. With the very obvious imbalance in minority Indian  representation in the CEC member panel (with just Pritam Singh), will people like Mr Soma ever be considered or nominated for the CEC member position to represent the minority Indian members/community at large?
There have been other more talked about examples of real betrayal and unfairness within the Party which I encountered during my time with WP. One of which involved the WP veteran, Mr Eric Tan, the former WP Treasurer and heavyweight team leader of East Coast GRC team. Mr Eric Tan had resigned from WP immediately after the 2011 General Elections, over the NCMP seat in Parliament, which was given to Mr Gerald Giam. In the leadup to GE2011, the Secretary General, Mr Low Thia Kiang, had in fact agreed to support Mr Eric Tan for the NCMP seat should the Party be offered an NCMP seat by the government. However, after election, Mr Low changed his tune and a “secret ballot” was introduced to decide on who would get the NCMP seat.
I personally felt that it was an unfair treatment towards Mr Eric Tan for the Party to call for a “secret ballot” system to select the NCMP from the best losing East Coast GRC team (consisting of 5 members) rather than to appoint him, the team leader, to the NCMP seat. Mr Eric Tan was the most senior and experienced member in that team, with a successful background and track record of being the top 100 bankers in Singapore and furthermore the Party had enough faith in him to appoint him to be the leader of a GRC team in national elections. Mr Eric Tan is also to be credited for reeling in MP Chen Show Mao and NCMP Yee Jenn Jong into WP as candidates for the GE2011. More importantly, he was one of the 5 brains (besides Low TK, Sylvia Lim, Jane Leong and Ng Swee Bee), a key person in the WP election committee to deliberate on the 2011 General Election strategy and who approved the selection of the candidates based on WP’s so called “3C2P” (credibility, capability, character, passion and public spiritedness) for each constituency in the elections. Under his leadership, his team pulled in the second highest GRC votes for WP.
I understand and do appreciate the notion that all members in the team played their respective roles and contributed to the final result but it is not unreasonable to first and foremost recognise and credit the leader of a team for a job well done. This happens in the real world all the time. So, unless, if Mr Eric Tan had rejected the NCMP offer, only then it would have been fair to conduct a ballot to decide from the remaining 4 team members on who would get the NCMP seat (and not just the 3 selected members for the secret ballot; and how were they selected anyway?). If a good team leader like Mr Eric Tan, can be brushed aside and sidelined by the “secret ballot” system or in the name of WP’s new “renewal process” (which, ironically, we did not see come into play in the Hougang by-election candidate selection), it is quite clearly telling about how the Party values individuals and how the system/goal posts can change at different times and in the process sideline members who had stepped up and helped the Party to become a credible and strong opposition Party after GE2011. A valid question would be — Is the “renewal process” being used as a tool or excuse to perhaps get rid of older experienced and perhaps more outspoken members with a vision from the Party? If so, it is a shame if talented and capable members are being unfairly denied the opportunity to contribute further because others in the Party may be uncomfortable that these capable members may perhaps one day outshine them.
Another WP veteran, Dr Poh Lee Guan’s case, intrigued me. Many have accused him of intentionally planning to sabotage WP during the Hougang by-election (days after my resignation from the Party). I however have my doubts. Why would someone like Dr Poh (who had sacrificed his well paying job and high profile career, like Mr Eric Tan, in the private sector) for WP back in those days where there was a lot of risks involved in opposition politics here, do so? He has stood for three consecutive elections (2 SMC & 1 GRC wards) under the WP banner, spent more than a decade of his life serving and funding WP from his retrenchment money, and had served in key roles in WP as Hougang SMC Town Councillor and Asst Secretary General of WP. It seems incredible that he would want to sabotage the very Party which he helped to bring up to where it is now. At best, his good intentions of being a spare tyre for the Hougang by election as a backup candidate were misconstrued as attempts to willfully bring down or embarrass the Party.
Dr Poh had of course failed to inform WP leaders of his plans but why just blame Dr Poh for using his intelligence and street smarts to put himself up as a backup plan (the PAP apparently had backup candidates and the WP didn’t)? Why didn’t any of the two WP leaders or any CEC members try to call or message him to find out what or why he was doing so? I had heard that there had been some friction between Dr Poh and the party leaders from even before GE2011, which some members were aware of, and perhaps this may have contributed to the complete breakdown of communication between the Party and Dr Poh during this critical time.
I had come to know about the friction during the campaigning period of GE2011 as his fellow Nee Soon GRC team member. Back then, I was concerned that the problems may affect our Nee Soon GRC campaigning and I had written an email to the two WP leaders and former MP Yaw Shin Leong on the rumours and accusations that had been made up against Dr Poh by some loyal Party members during the election time. Subsequently, I had responded to Mr Yaw’s follow up queries to find out more about this matter (the two WP leaders had been silent). For a veteran member and for someone who had contributed substantially to the Party all these years, I felt that Dr Poh had more than enough mitigating factors that should have been taken into consideration when deciding on his future with the Party. The decision to expel him at once was overly harsh. A stern warning for his actions or a demotion to regular membership status could have sufficed.
fter my resignation, I had been called all kinds of names like sourgrapes, traitor, etc. by total strangers who do not even know about the internal politics/workings/circumstances/issues within the WP which caused me and other members before me like Mr Eric Tan, Mr Mohd Fazli, and others to resign. And when people like us resign from the Party over betrayal, unfairness or even stand up for our rights, we suddenly become or are made to look like the trouble makers to the public and in WP supporters’ eyes. It is indeed very easy (but not very clever) for outsiders to pass judgment on such matters and I took it in my stride as I know that I need not dignify the comments, opinions, speculations or assumptions of people who had absolutely no clue or idea about what they are talking about (unless they are some ex-WP member/s or more).
At the crux of the matter was the issue of fairness. All ex-members of the opposition parties are humans, after all, and it is not unreasonable to expect transparency and fairness from your peers and colleagues in the Party, a party which I and many others before me believed in. There has never been a need for me to make any allegations or accusations against anyone in the Party leadership position for no valid reason or without any proof which I can show to prove that my claims are indeed genuine.
n fact, I could have just ignored (like some others) or turn a blind eye to all the injustice, unfairness, etc. shown to the members who had helped the Party to succeed or just hang around for another opportunity to be a candidate at the next GE (just for the publicity and limelight). Or I could have waited for Ms Sylvia Lim’s so-called “secret plans” which she had told me she had for me to materialise, something which I feel was offered to silence me from asking the Party leaders too many questions about the unfairness issues involving the other members in the Party.
In the months following my resignation, there have been some sudden noteworthy and interesting developments within the WP. For some reason, there’s an increased visibility by Party members at multiracial events and an increased propensity to be photographed with members of the minority community. This can be clearly seen by comparing the photos taken at WP events, both before and after the Hougang by-election.
In June 2012, a couple of members from the Party’s Youth Wing posted on their Facebook rather surprising and embarrassing confessions/admissions that they were attending Indian and Malay weddings/functions for the first time in their lives with other Party members. This is really sad and it shows how isolated and far back the Party’s future generation appears to be after a year of winning a GRC. I certainly hope that other youth members in the Party have not been living under a rock like these people appear to have in their 30-odd years of existence in this very multiracial country. It is indeed surprising and worrying that the strongest opposition party/brand in Singapore has within its folds members who actually lack meaningful interaction with people from other communities and faiths.
Recently, in response to press queries about the poor attendance of minorities at a WP dialogue-cum-tea session to try to engage the minorities, Ms Sylvia Lim was quoted as saying that the numbers of minorities participating in WP is quite strangely very “subjective” (whatever that means). I was not surprised about the poor attendance by the minorities as I had been informed by some active Indian minority members in the Party that they had not even been invited to the event. Ironically, my wife who had also resigned at the time of my resignation from the WP had been invited! Maybe other non-members or ex-members had been invited too. So, perhaps what Ms Sylvia Lim meant by her “subjective” comment is that one can be considered to be a member if the Party needs his/her opinion or help at a given time but  at other times is not considered a member if the Party doesn’t need this person’s opinion or help. This probably explains why not all minority members were invited to the event, perhaps only those that will provide agreeable views were selected to be invited. This selective and dispensable view of a person’s membership and status within the Party probably also explains why and how ex-members like myself, Dr Poh, Mr Mohamed Fazli, Mr Eric Tan and many others who quietly resigned before us (which the public does not know about) had found themselves in situations of unfairness in the Party. I certainly hope that Singaporeans will not become dispensable digits like these ex-members should WP form the government one day.
Nevertheless, with all these sudden developments in the one year after my resignation, I feel vindicated that my past efforts in writing many emails, giving feedback and suggestions and posing straightforward questions to the WP leaders about issues (mainly to Ms Sylvia Lim, Mr Low Thia Khiang and the former MP, Mr Yaw Shin Leong), were not exactly wasted. Some change appears to be happening but unfortunately, the timing so soon after my resignation does make me wonder if the change from within the Party is genuine and if it will be sustained for the betterment of the Party’s road ahead before the next GE2016.
I believe that the media scrutiny following my resignation spurred the Party to fast track the cadreship of those certain ex-candidates (which I had been asking about before my resignation) and of some  Party members belonging to the minority community. If so, these new inductees need not feel smug about the “recognition” that the Party has now suddenly accorded them with cadreship. It’s also nice to see some new “wannabe candidates” and members instantly benefitting from my resignation and from my speaking out about my experiences with the Party.
I believe that my experience and insights about the Party will serve as a cautionary tale for others on what they may encounter in the future. A mark of a great leader is the ability to empathize and put himself or herself in the shoes of others before making any moves or decisions that will affect others. It does not bode well for the country to elect any leaders that may tolerate or turn a blind eye to injustice and unfairness issues involving its own members. Just imagine the consequences if such behaviour is replicated on a national basis to affect Singaporeans’ lives. Hope that this will also make all Singaporeans think about the importance of choosing wisely the people who are truly voicing the voters’ concerns and on the real issues to improve our lives and our future (other than a strong party brand).

Friday, 19 December 2014

Singapore GE 2016 - Affordability - Education, Healthcare, Transport, Public Housing

Misinformation by Opposition Parties on the affordability of education, healthcare, transport and public housing in Singapore.
Singapore GE 2016
After seeing the frequent misinformation put out by opposition supporters, I decided to write this post to clarify issues about these 4 main areas of concerns to the average Singaporean.
1. Education
In Singapore, all Singaporeans enjoy free education in primary schools, and only need to pay miscellaneous fees of only $6.50. In addition, the Government tops up hundreds of dollars into Singaporean students Edusave accounts every year to help pay for other items such as additional reading materials and overseas trips. School fees for secondary schools and pre-U are only at $5 and $6 respectively. PRs and non-Singaporeans pay much more, especially since the recent increase for PRs in 2013. ( In addition (again), bursaries are awarded to the top 25% of each cohort, up to JCs, and other bursaries are also awarded for conduct, improvement and leadership.
2. Healthcare
There are heavy subsidies given to Singaporeans, with subsidies for being warded in most scenarios above 50%. In addition, the CHAS was launched since a few years ago to help low-income families, and most recently included for all members of the Pioneer Generation (regardless of income). In addition (again), there is Medisave and Eldershield to help Singaporeans manage healthcare costs.
3. Transport
The most recent fare review in 2014 saw price decreases for the low-income, Persons with Disabilities, NSFs and Poly students. ( This is supported by fare increases for other average Singaporeans. The fare review coming up was initially to be capped at 3.4%, but with the fare review formula, it will be decreased by 0.6% to 2.8%, partly due to reduction in oil prices.
4. Public Housing
The majority of Singaporeans stay in public housing. New flats (BTO) are priced much lower than that of resale flats (which is usually the one being compared by those against Singapore's system). In addition, first-timers get priority, while first-timer families get even more priority and benefits. In addition (again), children who live near their parents get more priority too, as part of measures for the rising aging population in Singapore.
Unfortunately, when these aspects are used by those who attack the Singapore system (just like the frequent protester (and spammer) who posted the rant), they use the most expensive of each aspect, and without considering benefits for certain groups of Singaporeans in each aspect.

Operation Coldstore - The Real Story

Dr Poh Soo Kai’s commentary (“Singapore’s ‘Battle for Merger’ revisited”) in New Mandala on 3 Dec 2014 is a misleading account of Operation Coldstore, Singapore’s merger with Malaya, the Barisan Sosialis Singapura (Barisan) and his own role in that period.

Operation Coldstore Poh Soo Kai Truth
Dr Poh and other revisionists like Dr Thum Ping Tjin have alleged that Operation Coldstore was a political exercise meant to suppress what they claim to be legitimate, presumably peaceful, democratic opponents of the PAP government. A full reading of the declassified documents from the British National Archives shows clearly that Operation Coldstore was a security operation meant to counter the serious security threat posed by the outlawed Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and their supporters in Singapore, working through the Barisan and associated communist united front (CUF) organisations. The revisionists conveniently omit mention of the incriminating information in these documents. For example, they quote selectively some of then UK Commissioner to Singapore Lord Selkirk’s remarks to claim that Operation Coldstore was an act of political suppression with no security basis. But a holistic reading of all the documents debunks their accounts. The documents reveal that both Selkirk and his deputy Philip Moore were concerned about the extent to which the CPM had penetrated the Barisan and had concluded that security action was imperative. Indeed, about two months before Operation Coldstore was carried out, they had begun to urge strenuously that action be taken.
The Barisan was not an ordinary left-wing political party, and its leaders were not “unwitting dupes” of the Communists. It was the prime CUF body in Singapore in the 1960s, influenced, directed and led by CPM cadres, as the British officials then, as well as CPM leaders themselves since, have acknowledged.
CPM in Singapore
In 1948, the CPM launched an armed struggle to establish communist rule in Malaya and Singapore. This was part of the wave of communist revolutionary wars then taking place in Asia. When terrorist attacks, sabotage and assassinations did not work, the CPM decided to pursue mass struggle. It re-activated the CUF by infiltrating and subverting open and legal organisations, including political parties, trade unions and student organisations.
This CUF instigated student and labour unrest in Singapore. Consequently, the Labour Front government of Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock – with the full concurrence of the colonial authorities – arrested over 300 CPM and CUF elements in 1956 and 1957 alone. Operation Coldstore in 1963 was a continuation of security operations that had been mounted since 1948 to contain the CPM.
The People’s Action Party (PAP) was elected to office in June 1959 on a platform that called for the merger of Singapore and Malaya. Both the non-communist faction of the PAP led by Lee Kuan Yew as well as the pro-communist faction led by Lim Chin Siong supported merger. In May 1961, then Malayan Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman proposed a “Greater Malaysia”, including Malaya, Singapore, and the British territories in Borneo. Mr Lee’s government welcomed the Tunku’s proposal. However, the pro-communists in the PAP came out in opposition to merger. They tried to capture the PAP and the Singapore Government in July 1961. They and the CPM believed that merger at that point would have frustrated their aim: to capture Singapore and use it as a base to subvert the Federation, in order to establish communist rule over the whole of Malaya. They also opposed merger because it would have put internal security in the hands of the anti-communist Malaysian central government in Kuala Lumpur, which would have had no hesitation to suppress pro-communists in Singapore as it had in Malaya.

When the communists and their supporters narrowly failed in their bid to capture the PAP, they were expelled from the party. They formed their own political party, the Barisan Sosialis. The following year, in Sep 1962, they lost the merger referendum. The Barisan then began discussing the question of armed struggle, and also pinned their hopes on Sukarno’s Indonesia opposing Malaysia.
The issue of armed struggle was discussed at length at a Barisan HQ meeting attended by about 40 cadres, including members of the Central Executive Committee as well as branch representatives, on 23 Sep 1962. Summing up the views expressed, Barisan Central Executive Committee member Chok Kok Thong urged his colleagues to “themselves determine the form their struggle should take: ‘basically armed struggle is the highest form of struggle’ but whether it should be adopted or not would depend on ‘the entire international situation’…”. Chok Kok Thong added:“…no one could say that the revolution was complete if it took the form of an armed struggle or incomplete if the peaceful and constitutional methods were used. …Experience elsewhere showed that there was no country in the world which had ‘attained a thorough success in revolution through constitutional processes’, and that throughout South East Asia, including Malaya, the ‘ruling classes would not lightly hand over political power to the leftists’”.
The Barisan’s support for the armed Brunei revolt in Dec 1962, and their close association with the rebel leaders, showed that they were ready, when the opportunity arose, to use violent unconstitutional means to overthrow the government.
The Internal Security Council of Singapore (ISC), comprising representatives of the governments of the United Kingdom, Singapore and the Federation of Malaya, therefore approved Operation Coldstore in Feb 1963, as a pre-emptive move against the communists and their supporters.
That the security operation was targeted against the communists and their supporters – not mere democratic opponents of the PAP – has been affirmed by no less an authority than the CPM Secretary-General Chin Peng. He acknowledged in his memoirs that he had expected such a crackdown and had advised his cadres and followers to take the necessary precautions. He expressed regret that they did not do so, as Operation Coldstore, in his words, “shattered our underground network throughout the island. Those who escaped the police net went into hiding. Many fled to Indonesia”.[2] Clearly Operation Coldstore had not targeted innocent, non-communist “socialists”.

Barisan and CPM
The Barisan Sosialis was formed in July 1961 on the explicit instructions of Fong Chong Pik – aka the “Plen”, as Mr Lee Kuan Yew had named him in his Battle for Merger radio talks, “Plen” being short for the “Plenipotentiary” of the CPM who had first made contact with Mr Lee in 1957. Fong was the chief CPM representative and operative in Singapore. The Plen’s superior in the CPM was Eu Chooi Yip, who was based in Jakarta and in overall charge of the CPM’s operations in Singapore. Eu too confirmed in his memoirs that it was the Plen who instigated the formation of the Barisan.[3] As the Barisan was the main CUF organisation, it was led by the top CPM open front leader in Singapore, Lim Chin Siong. Lim became Secretary-General of the party while Dr Poh Soo Kai was its Assistant Secretary-General.
Chin Peng has confirmed that the Barisan was under the CPM’s influence. He cagily disagreed that the CPM “controlled” the Barisan, but admitted: “We certainly influenced them”. He did not elaborate on how the CPM “influenced” the Barisan or who were the CPM’s proxies in its Central Executive Committee, but he confirmed that communists were among those who joined the party.
At least seven of the Barisan’s 16 central committee members were known CPM or former Anti-British League (ABL) members. (The ABL was a CPM underground political organisation set up in 1948 and disbanded in 1957.) Two of the Barisan’s Central Executive Committee members, Chan Sun Wing and Wong Soon Fong, who were also Legislative Assemblymen, fled after the 1963 general election and surfaced at the CPM guerrilla camp at the Thai-Malaysian border. At least 15 former Barisan leaders and activists are known to have lived in the CPM’s ‘Peace Villages’ on the Thai-Malaysian border; many continue to do so.

The UK Deputy Commissioner in Singapore at that time, Philip Moore, made a perceptive observation that would apply to those who now feign ignorance or deny knowledge of communist control and influence over the Barisan and other CUF organisations. Reporting to London in Dec 1962, Moore noted: “knowing what we now do about the extent of Communist penetration within Barisan Sosialis, it will be more difficult to acquit many of the other leading members as unwitting dupes”.
Moore was referring to two reports of meetings at Barisan HQ that he described as “of considerable importance not only for what they reveal of the future intentions of Barisan Sosialis, but they provide more conclusive evidence than we have had hitherto for the belief that Barisan Sosialis are Communist-controlled.”
“It has never been disputed,” he notes, “that the Communists in Singapore are following United Front tactics and that Barisan Sosialis is their principal instrument on the political front. …The report on the first of the two [Barisan] meetings shows that those engaging in the discussion were Communists examining quite frankly how best to achieve their ends. Furthermore, we can see that the Communist influence within Barisan Sosialis is not confined to the Central Executive Committee but extends to Branch Committee level…”.
Moore’s superior, Lord Selkirk, concurred with this judgement. A week later, on 14 Dec 1962, after the Brunei rebellion, Lord Selkirk sent a dispatch stating: “I said I had recognised all along that a threat was presented by the communists in Singapore. I had not however previously been convinced that a large number of arrests were necessary to counter this threat. Recently, however, new evidence had been produced about the extent of the communist control of the Barisan Sosialis and also there had been indications that the communists might resort to violence if the opportunity occurred. Recent statements by the Barisan Sosialis and Party Rakyat supporting the revolt in Brunei confirmed this.”
Two weeks later, Selkirk sent another dispatch stating: “it would be wise to make arrests of communists in Singapore as soon as possible.”
Independence through merger with the Federation had been the PAP’s platform ever since its founding in 1954. Merger was supported both by the non-communists and the communists in the PAP. So when the PAP won a strong endorsement in the 1959 General Election, winning 43 out of 51 seats, it pursued merger vigorously. Merger was not “foisted” on an unenthusiastic electorate.
But when the Tunku offered merger through Malaysia in May 1961, the communists made a startling about-turn. They determined to derail merger, even though they had all along insisted that Malaya and Singapore were one entity. Chin Peng later made it clear that the CPM wished to sabotage merger or delay its implementation at that stage. He disclosed that “[the] three of us [Chin Peng, Siao Chang and Eu Chooi Yip] came to the conclusion that it would be in the best interest of our Party [italics inserted for emphasis] if we plotted to sabotage [merger]. If we couldn’t derail it, at least we might substantially delay its implementation”. The Barisan conformed to the CPM line and mounted a strong challenge to the PAP on merger.

On his part, the Plen frankly revealed that he had used the Chinese press to try to delay merger. He wrote: “A lot of the opinions expressed in the newspapers originated from me. These included slowing down the process of merger, and adopting the form of a confederation.” He was also behind the agitation against educational reform in the Chinese middle schools, resulting in the examination boycott of Nov 1961. His aim was to arouse public dissatisfaction with the Government in the run-up to the merger referendum.
Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in his Battle for Merger radio broadcasts in 1961, exposed the communists’ objective and strategy. He explained that the communists and the Barisan opposed merger because they wanted to establish control over Singapore so they could subsequently subvert and take over Malaya. The radio talks won over public opinion in favour of merger on the terms proposed by the Government.
In the referendum in Sep 1962, the specific merger terms were put to the electorate. 71% of the voters opted for the PAP’s merger proposal while the Barisan, which called for blank votes to be cast in protest, got only 25%. There were trade-offs in the negotiations with Malaya for merger, as in any negotiation between states and territories. The terms and conditions settled upon were the best that the Singapore government could obtain under the circumstances. They allowed Singapore to retain control over areas that were key to Singaporeans such as education and labour.
Dr Poh now says that Singapore’s separation from Malaysia in 1965 proved that Barisan’s position on merger in 1961-62 was correct. This is yet another reversal of position. In 1965, following separation, the Barisan had condemned Singapore’s independence, characterising it as “phony”. It also withdrew from the Parliament of independent Singapore, declaring its preference to carry out “extra-parliamentary struggle”. The Barisan in effect reverted to the CPM’s original and real position: that Malaya and Singapore should be one entity (albeit under communist control) and that “extra-parliamentary struggle” was superior to constitutional politics. The reality is that the CPM and the Barisan had all along acted, in Chin Peng’s words, “in the best interests of our Party”. They never believed that Singapore should be independent of Malaysia and had opposed merger in 1963 merely for tactical reasons. And they never believed that they should restrict themselves to constitutional means to attain their political ends.
Lim Chin Siong
There is ample evidence in the British archives to show that Lim Chin Siong was a CPM member. Indeed, the British authorities were quite certain that Lim was a CPM member. One British document noted: “For tactical reasons, the Communist Party is in favour of legal activity through the extreme left-wing of the PAP led by Lim [Chin Siong], who is almost certainly a secret party member”. In another, a dispatch in July 1962, Deputy UK Commissioner Philip Moore wrote: “we accept that Lim Chin Siong is a communist”. In an earlier dispatch, in Oct 1961, Moore reported:
“Once Lim Chin Siong becomes convinced that the people of Singapore are going to support Merger, then I suspect he may well revert to the original long-term policy of the MCP [Malayan Communist Party] – a Socialist Government throughout Malaya. The opportunity of overthrowing Lee Kuan Yew and achieving a Communist-manipulated government in Singapore seemed, in July [1961], to be so golden that Lim Chin Siong could not resist it.”
Lim Chin Siong himself publicly admitted that he was a member of the ABL, a CPM underground organisation whose members included many key communist leaders in Singapore then, namely Eu Chooi Yip, the Plen, PV Sarma (who together with Eu and others later operated the CPM broadcasting station in South China), Samad Ismail, John Eber and others. According to a book on the ABL published in 2013 by six former ABL/CPM members now residing in Hong Kong and Guangzhou, the ABL’s objectives included to safeguard the “core leadership of the party [CPM]”, build it up and expand its influence, “learn revolutionary theory” and carry out “various clandestine activities”.[16] Before 1951, “it even carried out some extreme acts like confiscating identity cards and burning vehicles”. ABL members also purchased medicine and supplies to support the CPM’s armed struggle.
One writer in the collection, CPM member Zhang Taiyong, described how Lim Chin Siong was transferred from underground activities in the ABL to open front activities. He revealed that Lim Chin Siong, after being expelled from the Chinese High School for his role in an examination boycott, “continued his studies at an English-stream school but later accepted the organisation’s decision and devoted himself to trade union movement and constitutional struggle”.[18]
Lim Chin Siong’s involvement in the CPM has also been confirmed by CPM leaders Siu Cheong and Ah Hoi. They cited Lim as an example of a CPM member who was deployed in open front activities in political parties: “Lim Chin Siong was chosen because he was considered a very important CPM member, who had excellent qualities as a Communist United Front (CUF) cadre, namely, dedication, trustworthiness and moreover, he had been involved in CPM activities since his schooldays.”
The Plen himself admitted that Lim Chin Siong was “a person with whom I have had a special acquaintance” and that they had shared “a relationship as fellow workers”. The two met several times – including, crucially, on 16 July 1961, a few days before the communists tried unsuccessfully to take over the PAP and the Government.
Documents written in Lim Chin Siong’s own hand which clearly show his links to the CPM were cited and published in Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s Battle for Merger in 1961.
Lim Chin Siong was no mere leftist engaged in anti-colonial, constitutional activities. Lim and his fellow communist and pro-communist cadres in the Barisan, including Poh Soo Kai, played key roles to advance the CPM’s cause. They did so while concealing their communist hand from the Singapore public, whose support they needed for their covert long-term goals. Most senior united front leaders and operatives operated under instructions from communist “backseat drivers” like the Plen and Eu Chooi Yip.
Abundant Evidence of Communist Conspiracy
I have set out just some of the ample evidence of communist activity in Singapore that is available in the public domain. What is missing is an explanation from the revisionists as to why they have systematically ignored revelations by CPM leaders (including Chin Peng and the Plen) as well as the many British documents that demolish their claims.
As for Dr Poh Soo Kai, he has failed to explain his own role in this history. In Dec 1974, he helped CPM/CUF elements by providing medical aid to an injured CPM bomber, and then failed to report the matter to the authorities despite public appeals by the police for information. The bomber was part of a 3-man CPM team who were on the way to plant a homemade bomb at the home of a factory owner when the bomb exploded prematurely at Katong, injuring the bomber and killing his two accomplices. Dr Poh was also implicated in supplying medicine through an ex-detainee to the 6th Assault Unit of the Malayan National Liberation Army, the militant wing of the CPM, between 1974 and 1976. A mere “left wing” anti-colonialist, as Dr Poh describes himself now, would not have given material aid surreptitiously to the CPM’s violent armed struggle as late as 1976, years after both Singapore and Malaysia had become independent of Britain.
Dr Poh’s claim that Mr Lee’s account of events in the Battle for Merger radio talks and the government’s justification of Operation Coldstore “[have] been seriously questioned” by the public, is an exaggeration. There were no riots or clashes with the police after the security operation in Feb 1963, unlike what happened after the arrests and expulsions undertaken by the Lim Yew Hock government in 1956. Instead, seven months after Operation Coldstore, the Singapore electorate endorsed Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s leadership and returned the PAP to power with 37 out of 51 seats in the General Elections of Sep 1963. The Barisan, on the other hand, won just 13 seats. In subsequent elections in the 1970s and 1980s, the Barisan failed to win a single seat, eventually dissolving itself in 1988 and merging with another party. The electorate’s rejection of the Barisan and communism was thorough and total. Otherwise, Singapore would have laboured under the yoke of communism, and not have developed into a modern, non-communist nation.
The crux of the battle between the pro-communists and the non-communists in the early 1960s was two contrasting visions for the future of Singapore, how we should govern ourselves, and how society should be structured.  Merger was the occasion, not the cause, of the struggle.  It was a struggle between people on both sides of the ideological divide who were prepared to die for their cause.  As Mr Lee said in his Battle for Merger talks, his opponents were men of courage and determination. Fortunately, so were Mr Lee and his non-communist colleagues. And fortunately for Singapore, the latter won.
We must not recast the struggle between the communists and the non-communists as just an ordinary political fight between factions, with one side out to suppress the other for mere political advantage. It was nothing of the sort. Rather, it was a ferocious struggle between people with strong convictions about how Singapore should be run.  Singaporeans who lived in those tumultuous times will not forget what was at stake. Attempts by Dr Poh and revisionists to recast the struggle and deny its roots in the communist strategy for domination including the use of violence, are misleading and disingenuous. Their disregard of the facts is disrespectful to the many Singaporeans who chose a non-communist path at great risk to themselves, and contributed to the success of modern Singapore.
High Commissioner
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore
17 Forster Crescent
Yarralumla, ACT 2600


Full story with reference can be found at New Mandala