Monday, 22 February 2016

The Best Way to Commemorate Lim Chin Siong Is To Propagate His Ideology and Ideal - In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong's Departure (5 February 2016) (Updated on 22 Feb)

The Best Way to Commemorate Lim Chin Siong
Is To Propagate His Ideology and Ideal

In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong's Departure
(5 February 2016)

Sahabat Rakyat


[Text below is translated from the original version in the Chinese language published at Sahabat Rakyat blog on 25 January 2016. In the case of any discrepancy between the English rendition and the original Chinese version, the Chinese version shall prevail.]


Picture above: Portrait of Lim Chin Siong and some pages of Lim's handwritten manuscript

Forever the dear water flows,
In those years, you experienced many vicissitudes of life;
Everlasting is the auspicious ethos,
In last century you set a fine example for us to follow.

  清水长流,那年代曾经沧海;
  祥气恒芳,上世纪留下风范。


On 5 February 2006, Sahabat Rakyat released an article in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong's departure, when Sahabat Rakyat was formed for nearly five years. While promoting democratic and human rights struggle, we wished to make use of that article to recall the sacrifice and contribution that Lim Chin Siong had made towards the national liberation and democratic revolution struggle in Malaya. We also wished to sincerely express our determination and aspiration to learn from this eminent leader.

Lim Chin Siong's “posthumous manuscript” is the precious message he left about the national liberation and democratic revolution struggle that he knew and he had been through.

We received an electronic copy of the Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript from a Singapore enthusiastic web user towards the end of July 2014 (This is appended in My Youth in Black and White(我的黑白青春), published by Lim Chin Joo, the younger brother of Lim Chin Siong). We presently uploaded it to Sahabat Rakyat blog on 2 August, so that those who were involved in the anti-British colonial struggle during the 1950s and 1960s could share and ponder, and to serve as reading, reference and research material for the readers as well as scholars from various countries interested in exploring the true historical aspect of the independence struggle of the people of Singapore and Malaya.

5 February this year is the 20th anniversary of the departure of Lim Chin Siong, the eminent leader of national liberation and democratic struggle in Malaya. Lim Chin Siong endured relentless suppression and devastation by Lee Kuan Yew and the erroneous criticism and merciless blows by the left-wing aggressive leaders after the Feb 2 Incident in 1963. He was then being exiled to London, UK by Lee Kuan Yew ruling clique in 1969.

We are of the view that, the best way to commemorate Lim Chin Siong, is to propagate his ideology, ideal and lessons learnt, especially the reflection and summing-up he did at his old age (upon his return to Singapore in 1979) on those important historical incidents of anti-colonialisation struggle of the people of Malaya (including Singapore) and his own experience on leading the anti-colonialisation struggle. He died of a heart attack on 5 February 1996. The Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript is the precious message he left about the national liberation and democratic revolution struggle of the people of Malaya and Singapore that he knew and he had been through.

We decided to publish on our blog on 5 February this year, the English rendition of Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript and the Editor’s Note written for posting this manuscript. In commemoration of the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s departure, we hope that Lim Chin Siong’s views on the national liberation and democratic struggle history and the summing-up of his experience on the anti-colonialisation struggle will be disseminated to non-Chinese ethnic communities (such as Indian, Malay or other ethnic minorities) and non-Chinese educated groups. This is the best and the most meaningful way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s departure. We are of the view that, propagating Lim Chin Siong’s ideology and ideal is of the following realistic significance:

1. Lim Chin Siong's experience and summing-up on constitutional struggle is an invaluable lesson learnt for the people of Singapore and Malaysia of various ethnic communities who are continuing the democratic revolution struggle at the present phase

Lim Chin Siong is a political leader of the mass movement in Singapore from 1950s to early 1960s who played a prominent part in the constitutional struggle. Singapore then was an integral part of Malaya. The British colonial government implemented “divide and rule” policy, turning Singapore into the British crown colony. It developed Singapore to become the distribution centre of raw materials and primary-processed products from Malaya to the Britain and the transit port of the British industrial products that were shipped to Malaya and other Southeast Asian countries.

The British government also established a huge British-army and British-mercenary based military port in Singapore to protect the interest of the British colonial rule. As such, the entire workers’ movement and the anti-colonial political movement naturally became Singapore centric. Thus it is understandable why the entire workers’ movement and the anti-colonial political movement were dominated by the Chinese ethnic community and Chinese workers (because Singapore was the most Chinese-concentrated and the most workers-concentrated city).

In Lim Chin Siong and His Era (林清祥与他的时代) published by The other side of the history of Malaysia (马来西亚历史的另一面) editorial, “Lim Chin Siong, a well-known name of the people of Malaya and Singapore from mid-1950s to early 1960s. His words and deeds struck the political chord in everyone’s heart. He had made his political opponents unable to sleep and eat peacefully, and set him as an object that must be eliminated. He is a leader and a friend for hundred thousands of labouring masses, farmers and the middle lower class people as he stood by them through thick and thin. He is one of the figures who was greatly admired, respected and followed by the progressive intellectuals of various ethnic communities”. It is an undeniable fact that Lim Chin Siong was such an eminent leader of the national liberation and democratic movement in Malaya (including Singapore).

In “part of the posthumous manuscript” of Lim Chin Siong that has been released, Lim shared his personal experience and self-reflections that are rarely made known to others. For example: (1) His recollection and thoughts of the London Constitutional Talks (22 Apr – 13 May) in 1956; (2) His stance on the merger of Singapore and Malaya; (3) How did he feel when Singapore declared independence and what did he think of the Singapore after independence? (4) The reason of founding Barisan Sosialis and what was Barisan Sosialis fighting for? (5) Historical facts of separation and anti-separation of Singapore and Malaya etc. His elaboration on the cognitive understanding and the summing-up of his experience of the abovementioned areas should serve as an invaluable lesson learnt for the people of Singapore and Malaysia of various ethnic communities who are continuing the democratic revolution struggle at the present phase.

2. Lim Chin Siong is a role model for the democratic revolutionists of the present phase. His selfless dedication towards the trade union movement and his staunch position in leading the political movement sets a shining example for us to follow.

Lim Chin Siong was born at Telok Ayer Street, Singapore in 1933. He moved to Pontian Kechil, Johor (where he spent his childhood) with his parents at the age of 3. He studied until Standard 3 class in Pei Chun Primary School (in 1942), Pontian Kechil when Japanese invaded Malaya. The Japanese colonial rule lasted 3 years and 8 months.  In 1946, he continued his study in the same primary school after it resumed classes. He completed his primary school education in 1948. He was first influenced by his uncle’s (his father's only younger brother) patriotism and then he heard and witnessed a lot of true live stories about the brutalities of the Japanese soldiers. These nurtured his hazy idea about political and national awareness since he was in primary school.

After completing primary school education, Lim Chin Siong worked as an assistant for his dad's good friend running a foreign agency (洋土库). In mid-1949, he returned to Singapore, and was admitted to the Catholic High School (公教中学) in Junior Middle One Class. He then switched over to the well-known Chinese High School (华侨中学) and being admitted to Junior Middle II Class.

In Lim's Posthumous Manuscript, he wrote that “1949 and 1950 were the historic years. The Afro-Asian anti-colonial movement swept across the world. On 1 October 1949, the People's Republic of China came into existence. The school went into ecstasies. Everyone was talking about it and singing away. With tears of joy, they welcomed the dawn of the new history of mankind. Chinese students were the most suppressed lot and they were being treated like dirt. In the circumstances, they were akin to slaves shackled under the yoke of colonialism. They had bitter feelings. Their emotional outbursts were understandable. I am a human being. I was then an energetic teenager of about 17 or 18 years of age. I went through varied bitter experiences that my peers had not undergone in the normal circumstances. It was only natural that I lost no time in getting myself engulfed in the tide of history.

Against this backdrop, I began to get involved in activities of the Anti-British League (ABL) towards the end of 1951.  Soon I became a cell leader. On reflection, I would pride myself on having responded to the call of the times, by involving myself in the anti-British movement, instead of joining the pro-British activities. To sum up, my aspiration at that time was to rid the country of the British rule, and to strive for the realisation of an independent, free and democratic Malaya.”

In 1951, while Lim Chin Siong was studying in Chinese High School Junior Middle III class, he took part in the boycott of the Junior Middle III Examinations. As a result, he was expelled from school by the Ministry of Education. After that, he led a wandering life for around 2 years. He hardly appeared in public. In the end of 1953, he started to dedicate himself to the activities of organising the workers in Singapore. At first he became a paid secretary in the employ of the Singapore Bus Workers' Union, Changi Branch. He was then appointed secretary of the Paya Lebar branch. After that, he became the secretary of the Malaya Spinning Workers' Union. In April 1954, Singapore Factory and Shop Worker’s Union (SFSWU) was established. Lim Chin Siong was elected the Secretary-General. The membership of SFSWU rapidly increased to 30,000 within a year under Lim’s leadership. The Union became one of the strongest unions at that time.

In 1954, Lim Chin Siong and Lee Kuan Yew founded PAP together. For the first general election under the Rendel Constitution held in April 1955, Lee Kuan Yew announced that Lim Chin Siong was to be one of the candidates. Lim won the election and became the legislative assemblyman for Bukit Timah constituency. Lim hence became a political leader with strong support from the workers. Lim wrote in his posthumous manuscript “Of course, I have some unique personal qualities in me. For instance, I am prepared to sacrifice; I can get on very well with workers. After being elected a member of the legislative assembly, I was still prepared to sleep on a bench in the union premises. I always had the interests of the workers at heart. I was able to unite like-minded people to work together. These unique personal qualities in me made me well equipped to be a trade unionist.”

“May 13 Singapore Chinese secondary school students applied for exemption from national service or conscription incident” and “May 12 Hock Lee Bus Company strike turned into riots incident” broke out in 1954 and 1955 respectively. As a result, from 18 September to 26 October 1956, with the cooperation from Lim Yew Hock-led puppet government, the British colonial government launched an offensive against the anti-colonialisation progressive forces in Singapore. Nearly a hundred of organisations were forcefully disbanded including “SFSWU” and other progressive trade unions, farmers’ associations, culture and education organisations, Singapore Chinese Middle School Student Union and other youth organisations. Eventually these sparked the island-wide riots. Subsequently, a curfew was imposed and 219 person including Lim Chin Song and other mass leaders as well as public figures of different fields were arrested and imprisoned.

From when Lim Chin Siong was arrested and put into prison, until the PAP won 43 out of 51 seats in 1959 general election and prepared to become the first self-government, under Lee Kuan Yew’s arrangement, Lim Chin Siong, feeling helpless and in deep grief, put down his signature on the declaration entitled “The End and Means of Malayan Socialism” (马来亚社会主义者的道路) that had been duly signed by Fong Swee Suan, S. Woodhull, Chan Chiaw Thor, James Puthucheary and Devan Nair (who drafted this statement). Then they walked out from the prison together.

However, on 2 or 3 June, a day or two before they were released, the PAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) hastily held a congress at Hokkien Huay Kuan, to elect a new CEC. This indicated that by eliminating Lim Chin Siong and other political leaders, Lee Kuan Yew had taken full control over the PAP. Lim Kuan Yew did not release other political detainees after becoming Prime Minister. Not long after that, Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Suan and S. Woodhull were appointed as the so-called “political secretaries” of the “government department” who did not have real authority. That was merely to “pacify” the increasing discontentment of the masses as they noticed that the newly-elected PAP government was gradually leaning towards the right. In the bottom of Lim Chin Siong’s heart, he was absolutely clear that Lee Kuan Yew was offering him "amnesty" and "enlistment". Lee hoped to cut off Lim’s flesh-and-blood connection with the labouring masses first, and then induced him to betray the masses. Nevertheless, Lim Chin Siong stood firmly in his stance.

In 1961, Lee Kuan Yew put forward the proposal of “merger of Singapore and Malaya” which echoed the “Malaysia” plan proposed by Tunku Abdul Rahman. This had aroused a lot of discussions in Malaya and Singapore especially the latter. This had also caused the emergence of the internal contradiction within PAP. Lim Chin Siong, in his capacity as the workers' leader, was forced to address in a forum organized by General Employees' Union (GEU) that: The present task of constitutional struggle, is to strive for a genuine complete internal self-government of Singapore; secondly, to create conditions that are in favor of the merger of Malaya and Singapore in the struggle to free ourselves from the shackles of colonialisation rule.

Not long after that, Lim Chin Siong, Lee Siew Choh and others broke up with Lee Kuan Yew and made a fresh start. Barisan Sosialis was inaugurated on 3 September 1961. Lee Siew Choh was elected the Party President whereas Lim Chin Siong was elected the Secretary General.  The goals of Barisan Sosialis were to expose Lee Kuan Yew's “deception in the so-called ‘merger through Malaysia plan’”; to unite the people of Singapore to realise complete self-government having control over internal security in the 1963 constitutional talks; to unite the peoples of Singapore, Federation of Malaya, Sarawak, North Borneo and Brunei for the realisation of the Federation or Confederation of Malaysia on the basis of genuine equality, to carry on the anti-colonial struggle to the end.

Lee Kuan Yew did not care about exposing his ugly face in striving for the realisation of his political scheme. From 2 February 1963 (half a year before Singapore general election which would be held in September), he launched a mass arrest, a massive crackdown on the leftists and left-wing organisations. Government regarded this as the “Operation Cold Store” (ordinary people call it “Feb 2 Incident”). 24 candidates of the upcoming general election (including Lim Chin Siong) and nearly 100 Barisan Sosialis cadres and left-wing organisation leaders were arrested.

Obviously, Lee launched the mass arrest and massive breakdown mainly to (i) Ensure definite victory of PAP in 1963 general election, so that PAP could stay in power; (ii) To force or lure Barisan Sosialis and leaders and supporters of left-wing organisations to react over-aggressively such that they would be divorced from the masses and leading to self-destruction.  In September 1962, after the “national referendum”, Lim Chin Siong put forward the pivotal principle, which is “as long as the condition for peaceful constitutional struggle still exists, we must insist peaceful constitutional struggle.”

While Lim was imprisoned, Lee Siew Choh took full control over Barisan Sosialis. Lim Chin Siong's struggle line was then replaced by an ultra-left line forcefully implemented by Lee Siew Choh, namely “boycott Parliament, take the struggle into the streets”. It is not surprising Lee Kuan Yew mentioned in his memoirs that Barisan Sosialis, under the leadership of Lee Siew Choh, had handed the constitutional arena to the PAP on a silver platter, allowing the PAP to entrench and institutionalise its dominance to this day. No doubt, this is a painful historical lesson learnt of the national liberation and democratic movement of the people of Singapore and Malaya.

Lim Chin Siong endured relentless suppression and devastation by Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP ruling clique and the erroneous criticism and merciless blows by the left-wing aggressive leaders. He also suffered from the banishment to London, UK for 10 years. Despite going through all these bitter experiences, Lim Chin Siong at his old age, still did not forget to sum up and provide elaboration and explanation of his experience and understanding on the national liberation and democratic revolution of the people of Malaya and Singapore, to serve as a reference for the later generation.

Lim Chin Siong is a role model for the later generations. He made his effort and contribution towards the national liberation and democratic revolution of the people of Malaya and Singapore. He did not accept the "amnesty" and "enlistment" offered by the ruling clique for his personal gain and interests. He proved himself a shining example for us all to follow.

3. Historical facts and valuable messages stated in Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A Posthumous Manuscript can be made an ideological weapon against the historical viewpoints of “Men in White founded Singapore” and “UMNO founded Malaysia” proclaimed by the ruling clique in Singapore and Malaysia respectively. It then further eliminates national barriers and promotes national unity.

In the final section of Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A posthumous manuscript that has been released, Lim Chin Siong cited an article entitled 1945-1959 Struggle for Independence by David Marshall [who led Singapore delegation (including Lee Kuan Yew and Lim Chin Siong) to London for constitutional talks]:
“In December 1945, a political party named Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) was formed by a group of English-speaking people. Although it cooperated and became an ally with CPM, it was basically democratic and genuinely fought for the independence of Malaya. In spite of some radical actions later, it still appeared moderate, rational and responsible in the plan of fighting for independence. The feat of a few important leaders such as John Eber, Lim Kean Chye, Philip Hoalim and Lim Hong Bee was almost being blotted out. It was they who had awakened our consciousness.”

Lim Chin Siong further made the following judgement based on historical facts that he recognised and experienced:
“It can be said that ‘there will be no People’s Action Party (PAP) without Malayan Democratic Union (MDU)’.

However, after coming into power in 1959, Lee Kuan Yew threw overboard the PAP founding manifesto. He opted out of the mainstream of the anti-colonial movement. He then collaborated with the British colonial masters and right-wing elements of the Federation of Malaya. He wiped out all his comrades-in-arm who had fought side by side with him in his ascendancy to power. He had a hand in eliminating anti-imperialist and anti-colonial patriots.”

Lim Chin Siong began with criticism in the last section of his posthumous manuscript fragments,
“It has been said that the Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) had no alternative but to dissolve itself soon after the promulgation of the Emergency, because it boycotted the 1948 Singapore election, thereby forfeiting its right to carry on the constitutional struggle. This is a lop-sided view of the issue.

The main reason was that the leaders of MDU were arrested and put behind bars one after another, since they were not willing to be subservient to the British colonial government. The whole organisation was destroyed.”

We can only see a few words mentioned above in the posthumous manuscript and we are unsure whether or not there is further elaboration or other explanation in the remaining part of Lim's posthumous manuscript. Therefore, we are unable to make accurate judgement whether this is the complete understanding of Lim Chin Siong with regards to the boycotting action by MDU in the 1948 Singapore election. Lim Chin Siong might be using this incident to clarify that: Before the 1963 “February 2 Incident”, Barisan Sosialis led by Lim Chin Siong together with leaders of MDU did not agree with the leftist to “boycott 1948 Singapore election” and “renounce parliamentary struggle”.

Records in Archives of Eu Chooi Yip’s Oral History regarding what was actually going on when MDU boycotted 1948 Singapore election show that: in the election held in March 1948, out of the total 23 seats, the British was only preparing to give out 6 seats to be voted by the people. MDU prepared to participate in that election as it was of the view that it was a platform for political propaganda purpose. But, Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) and Malay Nationalist Party (MNP) opposed to participate in the election due to their respective reasons. Given the following considerations:
1)      As a member of AMCJA, MDU agreed not to stand in the election for the unity of all ethnic groups; and
2)      As the secretariat of AMCJA-PUTERA, MDU followed the decision made by AMCJA-PUTERA to boycott the election.

During the boycott, MDU still organise a series of public talks not for the purpose of contesting in the election, but to expose the hypocrisy of the elections. However, the election was still being held and “representatives” of the British were elected smoothly. The boycott was a failure.

On 3 July 1992, Eu Chooi Yip admitted frankly in his oral history interview:
“Looking back now, it was correct to participate in the election despite it was not a complete election and full of hypocrisy. But, we must make use of the Legislative Assembly for our propaganda. We must demand for full independence of Singapore and attack its imperialist ruling from within the Legislative Assembly. It would have had greater impact to carry out such propaganda in the Legislative Assembly. It was stupid of us for not doing so. It was such a naive idea at that time.”

Such view of Eu Chooi Yip is in line with Lim Chin Siong’s ideology of “Barisan Sosialis must adhere to peaceful constitutional struggle” released in September 1962 before he was arrested and imprisoned.

In addition to emphasizing peaceful constitutional struggle, in Part of Lim Chin Siong's posthumous manuscript, he also highlighted the important historical fact of the joint coalition of AMCJA-PUTERA submitting The People's Constitutional Proposals for Malaya to the British colonial government. They were against the Report on the Malayan Constitutional Proposals which aimed at strengthening Malay privileges, restricting citizenship for Chinese and Indians and preserving Singapore as British crown colony. AMCJA (All-Malayan Council of Joint Action)-PUTERA (Pusat Tenaga Rakyat) was jointly formed by all ethnic groups in Malaya (mainly Chinese, Malay and Indian ethnic communities) before the Emergency Ordinance was promulgated by the British colonial government in Malaya.

In Part of Lim Chin Siong's posthumous manuscript, he gave high credits to the All-Malaya Hartal launched on 20 October 1947. He said:
“On 29 October 1947, about 5 million people acting in unity launched the All-Malaya Hartal struggle. The All-Malaya Hartal was launched in towns and villages throughout Malaya from the north to the south. It involved workers, students, hawkers and businessmen. The People of all ethnic groups acted in unison. By the action they evinced their determination to fight for an independent, unified, peaceful and democratic Malaya, by way of shutting down shops, workers' strikes, students' strikes, and boycotting the markets. Their concerted efforts were of profound historical significance. 

The campaign indicated that:
(1)    5 million people of Malaya had the will to demand for a unified Malaya including Singapore, to protest against separatism, and to defend democracy and freedom. Such strong will was unshakable;
(2)    The people of Malaya were peace-loving and sensible people. They were prepared to tactfully strive for independence, unification, democracy and peace, through peaceful constitutional struggle;
(3)    The British colonial government tried their best to sow discord among the people. But all the ethnic groups had common basic vital interests. They were able to attain common grounds by mutual respect and seeking accord while containing differences founded on democratic principles;
(4)    Their struggle (from 1954 to 1955) had taught the British colonialists a lesson. Eventually the British colonial government had no choice but to make some concessions in the process of constitutional reform in Malaya.”

In fact, the fruits of struggle against foreign colonial rule and struggle for national independence of people of all ethnic groups in Malaya had been plundered by the UMNO racist clique in Malaya and the PAP clique in Singapore. Malaya has been dominated by UMNO for more than half a century since independence. UMNO representing the Malay feudal aristocracy and comprador bureaucratic capitalists carries out racial discrimination and racial oppression policy of “Malays” against “non-Malays”. People of all ethnic groups in Malaysia, particularly the working class of all ethnic groups (including Malay working class) are being brutally enslaved and exploited. They continue to create or deepen the estrangement, misunderstanding and even confrontation between different ethnic groups in order to ensure the long-term stability of their rule.

Singapore was merged into Malaysia in 1963. But, it was later driven out of Malaysia and declared independence on 9 August 1965 due to conflicts between Lee Kuan Yew-led PAP clique and Tunku Abdul Rahman-led UMNO clique that were getting out of hand. Singapore has also being in the hand of the one-party dictatorship of PAP for more than half a century since its independence. The economy of Singapore was developed with exceptional advantages in the hand of Lee Kuan Yew because of his intelligence in making use of the strategic position of Singapore as the hub in Southeast Asia and Asia Pacific. He was good in taking advantage of the Cold War and conflicts between the two blocs of the world. However, Lee Kuan Yew took the following means of ruling that had led to political unrest:
1)      Taking full control of state machinery and resources to establish capital groups and big bourgeois that Lee's family has absolute control of;
2)      Nurturing a handful of elites to become cadres of the state in order to manage the majority middle and lower working masses who rely on their jobs to make their livings;
3)      Turning the people into economic animals that only take orders from the country leaders and live solely to accumulate wealth;
4)      Transforming the social group who originally spoke Chinese (Mandarin) and Chinese dialects into a comprehensive English-speaking and pro-Western group; and
5)      etc

At this juncture, the economy of Western countries especially the United States of America is running down the slope significantly while China is rising strongly. In addition to that, the economy of Southeast Asia countries is also developing one after another. Can Singapore sustain its economic development as before? Can Singapore maintain friendly relationship with China and its neighbouring countries especially Malaysia? These are indeed issues concerning people from both Singapore and Malaysia.

Lim Chin Siong emphasized that “there will be no People's Action Party (PAP) without Malayan Democratic Union (MDU)” and the people of Malaya (including Singapore) had always been struggling for an independent, unify, peaceful and democratic Malaya before ‘Malaysia’ was forcefully put together. Aren't these valuable messages and connotations of historical facts the most powerful ideological weapon to confront the deceitful propaganda of “Men in White founded Singapore” proclaimed by the PAP ruling clique represented by Lee Kuan Yew and Lee Hsien Loong in Singapore and to confront the deceitful propaganda of “UMNO founded Malaysia” proclaimed by the UMNO racist ruling clique in Malaysia, and thereby eliminating national barriers and promoting national unity?

Conclusion

We are of the view that the message left by Lim Chin Siong in his posthumous manuscript is a summary of his experience in the national liberation and democratic revolution movement in Malaya in 1950s and 1960s, especially in the aspect of constitutional struggle. This manuscript is the painstaking effort of Lim Chin Siong written after July 1992 (the period when Singapore Broadcasting Corporation (SBC) extended an invitation to Lim for an interview, but he did not accept the invitation after due consideration) and before he passed away on 5 February 1996 (after Lim returned to Singapore to spend his remaining years). It was a piece of work produced after a series of incidents happened on him: firstly, the long detention, persecution and devastation carried out by Lee Kuan Yew and PAP ruling clique; subsequently, the erroneous criticism and merciless blows by the aggressive left-wing leadership. He then led a miserable life while living in exile for 10 years in London. In other words, this is a piece of literature that precisely reflects the ideology of Lim Chin Siong on the national liberation and democratic revolution struggle in Malaya and Singapore during his generation.

In July 2014, Lim Chin Joo, the younger brother of Lim Chin Siong, published some selected parts of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A posthumous manuscript, as Appendix of his book entitled My Youth in Black and White. We presently uploaded it to Sahabat Rakyat blog. That was a critical moment to PAP whereby it was propagating widely the preparation for the 50th anniversary of the founding of Singapore (SG50) which centres on the theme "Men in White founded Singapore" and "Lee Kuan Yew is the founding father of Singapore".

While publishing the manuscript, we mentioned in the Editor’s Note that "we decided to publish Lim Chin Siong’s Posthumous Manuscript, to satisfy the aspirations of the genuine 'founding generation' of Singapore. The founding generation was oppressed and marginalised by the PAP ruling class. It was a special gift to Singaporeans in conjunction with the 49th anniversary of the founding of Singapore. Singaporeans ought to ponder carefully with profound reflection on this special occasion what Lim Chin Siong had said towards the end of his memoirs. In the last paragraph of his Posthumous Manuscript, he said that 'There will be no PAP without Malayan Democratic Union (MDU)'". It is much regretted that instead of discussing what precious message Lim Chin Siong left in his posthumous manuscript, instead of pondering why the painstaking manuscript written by Lim was not released until his departure for nearly 19 years, the attention of the public has been diverted to the copyright issue of Lim’s manuscript.

Nevertheless, we decided to translate Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A posthumous manuscript into English in full. It is our special way to commemorate the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong's departure. We opted to translate it into English first based on the following main considerations:
1)       Besides the Singaporean Chinese elderly and the new Chinese immigrants from China, almost all other people and the new generation in Singapore are English-speaking and reading;
2)     Individuals who are concerned and/or participate in promoting democracy and human rights movement (especially intellectuals) and the oppressed ethnic groups (especially the Indian community) in Malaysia are mostly English-speaking and reading.

If conditions permit, we will consider to translate the manuscript into Tamil and Malay languages as well. Before we published the English rendition of Part of Lim Chin Siong's Q&A posthumous manuscript, we have published 2 articles below:
1)       The oration of Dr. Lim Hock Siew (Lim Chin Siong's close comrades-in-hand) delivered 20 years ago at Lim Chin Siong’s cremation on 9 February 1996;
2)       The English rendition of an article released by Sahabat Rakyat on 5 February 2006 in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s departure.

0 comments:

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)