Written by Chng Min Oh @ Zhuang Ming Hu

Translated by Ang Pei Shan, Choo Shinn Chien, Choo Shinn Chei, Choo Weng Liang

 

Chng Min Oh @ Zhuang Ming Hu (left in the picture above) is a registered TCM physician in Singapore and formerly, a trade unionist. Five years back in 2013, he wrote this paper specially for the 50th anniversary commemoration event of the "February 2 Incident" in Singapore. In order for this article, written in Chinese language, to be disseminated to the democratic parties, organisations and democrats in Singapore and Malaysia timely, Chng sent Sahabat Rakyat Committee his article for publication. This article was published on Sahabat Rakyat blog on 12 January 2013.

Chng was arrested under the "Internal Security Act (ISA)" on 3 August 1970 for his active involvement in the left-wing trade union movement. He was stripped of his citizenship rights and was imprisoned without trial for thirteen years and four days. He was released on 7 August 1983 with four conditions imposed upon him.

In Chng's later life, he continues to participate in some civil society activities. In view of the PAP government Singapore is still implementing draconian laws which contradict with the proclamation of democracy and human rights in this era, on 19 September 2011, together with fifteen former ISA detainees, Chng signed a petition for the abolishment of ISA. In 2013, Chng specially wrote an article entitled "The Common Voice of the Victims: Immediately Repeal ISA" for the 50th Anniversary of the "February 2 Incident", and also delivered a speech in the commemoration event held at Hong Lim Park, Singapore on the same day (2 February).

The author highlights the suppression of Singapore's left-wing trade union movement in the 1960s', first by the British colonial government and subsequently, by Singapore's ruling party, the People's Action Party (PAP) led by the then Prime Minister, Lee Kuan Yew, as well as by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the then Prime Minister of Malaysia, leader of Malaysia's UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) ruling clique. The repression was particularly harsh during the ‘Operation Coldstore' before the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. Moreover, the sabotage within the left, mainly caused by politicians with wild ambition and undercovers of enemies infiltrated into the left-wing camp had resulted in the eventual demise of the left-wing trade union movement in Singapore, nearly half a century by now.

 

 

Probing into the sufferings of Singapore's left-wing labour movement in the 1960

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