Tuesday, 5 June 2012

A Tribute to Dr Lim Hock Siew By Members of Function 8 (Singapore)

A Tribute to Dr Lim Hock Siew

By   Members  of  Function 8  (Singapore)

Dr Lim Hock Siew, at home, surrounded by family photos. Dr Lim, Singapore's second longest-held political detainee, has died at the age of 81. 

It is with deep sorrow that we learn of the passing of Dr Lim Hock Siew, one of  the most vocal, consistent and unwavering  former political detainees in Singapore, on 4 June 2012. Committed to socialism till the end of his life, he worked tirelessly as a medical doctor at  Rakyat Clinic along Balestier Road which he shared with Dr Mohd Abu Bakar.

Detained under Operation Cold Store in 1963 and released only in 1982, he was a formidable  moral force who was never cowed by prolonged state repression, and strengthened by the conviction that the dignity of a human being  is sacrosanct.

Dr Lim grew up in a poor neighbourhood near the Kadang Kerbau Maternity Hospital. His life-long commitment to socialism emanated from his awareness of the problems and difficulties faced by the poor, supplemented by the theoretical knowledge he gained from books.

At university, he was a committed founder-member of the University Socialist Club. He was also a member of the then left-wing People’s Action Party (PAP) from its  inception, and campaigned in the 1955 and 1959 elections.

When the PAP expelled 13 dissident MPs who refused to support its Malaysia scheme in July 1961, Dr Lim resigned as a government doctor and joined the newly-formed Barisan Sosialis, which he regarded as the only meaningful party that could carry  its anti-colonial struggle one step forward. He had a major role in  formulating the party’s position and debates against the PAP’s terms for merger  with Malaya. As he put it in his oral history recorded by the National Archives:   ‘It was my deep conviction in the Barisan’s position on the issue that in great measure helped me withstand the torments and efforts to destroy my morale in the long years of imprisonment from February 1963. My stand and that of the Barisan has been vindicated by historical events.’

Dr Lim distinguished himself as a leader in detention. He kept the morale of fellow detainees high, fought for the rights  of political prisoners, and rejected every opportunity offered to him to sign statements which would have gained him release, but which were patently false. He refused to do anything which could be used to justify his detention.

When he was released on 2 September 1982 after 20 years of continuous detention without trial, he was then the longest-serving political detainee in the history of Singapore and Malaysia.

Dr Lim had throughout his life called for the abolition of the Internal Security Act (ISA).  Together with 15 former ISA detainees, he issued two joint statements in September 2011 calling for the abolition of the Act and the setting up of an independent Commission of Inquiry to investigate the allegations made against ISA detainees. The statements urged the government “to have the moral and political courage to set up such a commission in the interest of truth and transparency.”

He reiterated these calls when Function 8 invited him to attend the 25th anniversary of Operation Spectrum on 2 June 2012. Due to ill health, he could not attend the event but sent us a message saying: “Please don’t be disappointed. I am still feeling very tired n giddy on getting up.”

We are  profoundly saddened  by the passing of  a leader and patriot in nation building. Our condolences and sympathies to his  wife, Dr. Beatrice Chen,  son, Lim Yue Wen, daughter-in-law, Jenn Lui and grandson, Sean Lim.

Members of Function 8

Teo Soh Lung

Low Yit Leng

Chan Wai Han

Vincent Cheng Kim Chuan

Fong Hoe Fang

Ho Choon Hiong

Isrizal Mohamed Isa

Pak Geok Choo

Tan Tee Seng

Wong Souk Yee

William Yap Hon Ngian


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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书
(华 巫 英)3种语文已先后贴出

作为坚守“独立自主”和“与民同在”的立场的一个民间组织,人民之友在今年9月24日对即将来临的第14届全国大选投票,发表了一篇以华文书写的“意见书”,题为:投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!

这篇意见书的英文译稿(标题是:Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!)已于10月22日张贴在本部落格。马来文译稿(标题是:Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!)也已接着在11月13日在此贴出。



Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU14 telah diterbitkan dalam tiga bahasa (Melayu, Cina dan Inggeris)

Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan masyarakat yang berpendirian teguh tentang prinsip "bebas dan berautonomi" dan “sentiasa berdampingan dengan rakyat jelata”, Sahabat Rakyat telah menerbitkan kenyataan tentang pandangan kami terhadap Pilihan Raya Umum ke-14 yang bertajuk "Undilah calon yang menentang Pengislaman Negera: Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Jangan benarkan puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa! " (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)dalam Bahasa Cina pada 24hb September 2017.

Penterjemahan Bahasa Inggeris kenyataan tersebut yang bertajuk Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”! telah diterbitkan dalam blog kita pada 22hb Oktober 2017 manakala penterjemahan Bahasa Melayu telah diterbitkan pada 13hb November 2017.

Selain daripada itu, Sahabat Rakyat juga akan menyebarkan kenyataan ini seluas mungkin kepada pertubuhan dan individu semua bangsa, strata, profesyen dan agama seluruh Negara melalui email, wechat, whatsApp dan pelbagai saluran lain. Kami amat mengalu-alukan pertubuhan dan individu yang berpendirian dan pandangan sama dengan kami untuk turut menyebarkan kenyataan ini kepada lebih ramai orang!

Kami berharap pendirian dan pandangan kami berkenaan pilihan raya kali ini yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan tersebut dapat disebarkan dengan tepat dan meluas untuk diuji dalam kalangan rakyat semua bangsa semua strata sosial melalui penglibatan mereka dalam amalan pelbagai parti politik dalam pertempuran pilihan raya umum kali ini mahupun amalan masa depan.

The Chinese, English and Malay renditions of Sahabat Rakyat’s opinions about GE14 have been published consecutively

As an NGO which upholds “independent and autonomous” position and "always be with the people" principle, on 24 September 2017, Sahabat Rakyat had released a Chinese-written statement of views with regard to the voting in the upcoming 14th General Election, entitled “Vote for candidates who are against State Islamisation: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent the return to power of Mahathir’s faction!” (投票支持"反对国家伊斯兰化的候选人": 反对巫统霸权统治!莫让马哈迪帮派"复辟"!)

The English rendition of this statement entitled "Vote for “candidates who are against State Islamisation”: Oppose UMNO hegemonic rule! Prevent “the return to power of Mahathir’s faction”!" and the Malay rendition entitled "Undilah "calon yang membantah pengislaman negara": Menentang pemerintahan hegemoni UMNO! Mencegah puak Mahathir kembali kepada kuasa!" had been released on 22 October and 13 November respectively.

Apart from that, Sahabat Rakyat will also make every effort to disseminate this statement as widely as possible to organizations and individuals of all ethnic groups, religions and all walks of life throughout the country via email, WeChat, WhatsApp and other channels. We welcome organizations and individuals with the same position and views to spread this statement to more people!

We hope that our position and views pertaining to the upcoming General Election expressed in the statement will be accurately and widely disseminated and also examined by the popular masses of various ethnicity and social strata through their involvement in the struggle of the 14th General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)