Saturday, 30 January 2016

Tribute to Lim Chin Siong —— A Funeral Oration of Dr Lim Hock Siew 20 Years Back

Tribute to Lim Chin Siong
— A Funeral Oration of Dr Lim Hock Siew 20 Years Back

Source:Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History (First Published in 2001)

"His ability to communicate with the common man, his ability to explain complex political issues in simple layman's language, his complete identification with the oppressed and downtrodden – these were the hallmarks of Chin Siong's political leadership – a leader whose ability, sincerity and dedication aroused the people to free themselves from colonial domination."
——Dr. Lim Hock Siew

The late Dr. Lim Hock Siew (1931-2012)
【Sahabat Rakyat Editor’s Note】This article is the oration of Dr. Lim Hock Siew, the speaker who last spoke at Lim Chin Siong’s cremation on 9 February 1996. The funeral was attended by about 200 people.

Dr Lim Hock Siew came into contact and got to know Lim Chin Siong since 1950s. Dr Lim was studying medicine in Malaya University, Singapore then. He was an active member of the University Socialist Club. Both of them were the prominent leaders of Barisan Sosialis when they were arrested and detained on 2 February 1963. Dr Lim Hock Siew was detained without trial for 19 years. He was released on 6 September 1982. He died of a heart attack on 4 June 2012 at the age of 81.

Appended article is originally published in Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History——

On the evening of 5 February this year (1996), a most humane and valiant heart stopped beating – Chin Siong left this mortal world!

Friends, comrades, before us lies the body of not an ordinary person. Chin Siong is a hero – a national hero – a legend in the glorious history of our people’s struggle for freedom and social justice.

We are here to honour, to cherish, indeed, to consolidate the noble spirit in which Chin Siong had lived his life.

Chin Siong attained a level of human consciousness that transcends all personal gains and greed, to serve his fellowmen, fully and wholeheartedly.

His was a consciousness that had no place for arrogance and conceit – only humility. His strength, his courage, arose only from his deep love and concern for the plight of his fellow human beings – a love that recognised no racial or cultural barriers.

Those who were poor, downtrodden, those who were oppressed, were his friends. Those who sought to deny our people their right to justice and dignity regarded Chin Siong as their enemy.

But the strength and nobility of Chin Siong’s character were self-evident to all those who had come to know him. He was an extremely kind, gentle and compassionate person. His actions were motivated purely by his love for his fellowmen, not by hatred against any particular person.

He had no personal enemies, only high principles and noble causes to which he dedicated his entire life.

He was a political leader who sought no personal gain or reward, and certainly not for pay. Nor was he tempted by privileges and trappings of high office, or deterred by deprivation of personal freedom.

As a trade union leader, he totally identified himself with the common worker whose cause he so fearlessly and uncompromisingly championed.

He led a most simple life, and very often, his bed was the wooden bench in the union headquarters at Middle Road.

To this day, many workers of his generation still fondly remember Chin Siong for what he had done for the workers in the 1950s and 1960s.

But it was a political leader that Chin Siong will be best remembered and respected.

No amount of distortion by his detractors can conceal the fact that Chin Siong was the most fearless and uncompromising fighter against British colonialism in Singapore.
The colonial authority had not relinquished its rule simply because some person or persons could reason with it in impeccable English.

Colonial authority respects only the strength of the people and it was during that crucial stage of our people’s anti-colonial struggle that Chin Siong played the pivotal role in rallying and mobilising our people to free themselves from the degradation and humiliation of colonial rule.

His ability to communicate with the common man, his ability to explain complex political issues in simple layman’s language, his complete identification with the oppressed and downtrodden – these were the hallmarks of Chin Siong’s political leadership – a leader whose ability, sincerity and dedication aroused the people to free themselves from colonial domination.

But Chin Siong did not struggle only for Singapore’s independence. His struggle had always been to attain Singapore’s independence in a truly united and democratic Malaya, including Singapore.

He strongly opposed the terms of Singapore’s merger with Malaysia because he was totally convinced that the unequal terms of merger for Singapore would lead to racial disharmony and division among our people. The outbreak of racial riots after the merger in 1963 and the subsequent expulsion of Singapore from Malaysia amply exonerated Chin Siong’s stand.

But to be proven right was insufficient to earn Chin Siong’s release from imprisonment. His continued incarceration took a severe toll on his health, and in 1967, he became seriously ill. It was during the acute stage of his illness that Chin Siong was exiled from Singapore and denied his rightful role in the political life of our country.

Chin Siong was expelled from Hwa Chung High School for his confrontation with the colonial authority over, among other things, the issue of military conscription. In those days, the colonial power did not regard our people as fit to be free but only fit to die to defend our own slavery.

Although denied a formal higher education, Chin Siong, in the course of his political struggle, had graduated from the highest institution of political education – the political prison. Those who knew him could not but be impressed by his intelligence and knowledge.

Friends, comrades, it has been rightly said that the life of a person who sacrifices himself for his fellowmen is as weighty as Mt Taishan, but the life of a person who lives only for himself is as light as a bird’s feather.

Chin Siong, you have been a Taishan in our midst!

Now, it’s time for you to take your well-earned rest!

Sleep well, my dear comrade, sleep well!!!

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通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国下届大选意见书
(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。

此外,人民之友也将通过电子邮件、微信、WhatsApp等方式,尽可能向全国各民族、各阶层、各行业、各宗教的团体和个人,传送我们的这份“意见书”供参考。我们欢迎跟我们对下届大选的立场和见解一致的团体和个人,将这份“意见书”传送到更多的人手中去!

我们希望,我们在意见书内所表达的对下届大选的立场和观点,能够准确而又广泛地传播到我国各民族、各阶层的人民群众中接受考验,并接受各党派在这次全国大选斗争和今后实践的检验。


Pandangan Sahabat Rakyat terhadap PRU akan datang 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 memerintah! " (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 next election 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 next 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 next General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)