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》发表对国内政局看法
马来文版已于9月23日刊出


人民之友成立于2001年9月9日,2018年9月9日是人民之友成立17周年纪念的日子。我们在这一天发表了一篇题为< 联合起来,坚持真正的民主改革! 丢掉幻想,阻止马哈迪主义复辟!>的文章作为纪念。

我们一如既往选择在这一个对我们来说,具有里程碑意义的日子,对我国当前阶段(大选后新政府上台)的政治局势发表一些意见,与为推动我国和世界民主人权运动而奋斗的同道们,互相交流。

为了面向国内不谙华文的广大非华裔群体,也为了让我们对当前阶段的政治局势的意见能够更广泛地传播开去,工委会决定尽快把这篇纪念文章先后翻译成马来文和英文。马来文版已于9月23日刊出。英文版也安排在较后日期刊出。


此外,现居新加坡的庄明湖已将他在《人民之友》发表的《20世纪60年代新加坡左派工运问题探索》(正篇)一文的英文译稿传送到编辑部,因原文中所述人物的姓名或者是党团工会组织的全称或简称,在译文中尚未解决或有待查证,需要一些时日来完成——人民之友工委都是自愿挤出时间来进行工作的,因而无法很快完成。无论如何,我们争取在9月底刊出,为我们的17周年纪念增添光彩!

值得在此一提的是,庄文所述的20世纪60年代新加坡工运遭遇问题(除了遭受来自外部的镇压,还要遭遇来自内部的破坏)的见解,或许能为一些读者(特别是不谙华文和不懂新马历史的读者)思考马来西亚民主改革运动在当前阶段面临马哈迪主义复辟的问题,提供一个历史殷鉴,或者是一个新的启示。

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)