Survivors of Operation Spectrum—the alleged Marxist conspiracy—speak up in this volume. For many of them, this is the first time that they cast their minds back to 1987 and try to make sense of the incident. What they did in that period was meaningful and totally legitimate. Their families and friends share the same view.
The detainees were subjected to ill-treatment, humiliation, and manipulated television appearances. Under duress, and threatened with indefinite imprisonment without trial, they had to make statutory declarations against their will.
It is hoped that with this publication (which has more than 35 contributors), Singaporeans will know about what actually happened and decide for themselves if there was a national security threat that necessitated the mounting of Operation Spectrum.
Function 8 is an initiative by a group of citizens who believe that there is a need to facilitate the sharing of social, political and economic experiences of those who had, or are eager to contribute to society through reflection and civic discussion.
The name “Function 8” represents our hope that, just like the F8 key in computers resets a computer to “safe” and basic mode for troubleshooting, we can also reflect over the basics of what makes societies strong, just and meaningful and the role of democratic processes in achieving those goals.
With our seminars, talks, workshops, discussions and reflections, we hope to restart the process of critical thinking, rejuvenate the staleness of a society based on economic expediency and reclaim the human dignity and freedom which is the basis of our humanity.
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