This is the historical memoir of Dr Poh Soo Kai, a man of medicine and a founder member of the People’s Action Party.
Find the chinese version here.
“This is a powerful, well-researched history of Singapore that will be invaluable to scholars and ordinary citizens alike. For those of us aspiring activists, hoping for a more democratic and just Singapore, the work is both inspiring and cautionary in the ‘post-knuckle duster’ era. Dr Poh describes the release of the ISA detainees as ‘accompanied by the endeavour to imprison us within a narrative in which we were villains who had been defeated’. Books like this are essential to the process of the freeing of the Singaporean mind that is only just beginning.”
– Paul Ananth Tambyah, Professor of Medicine and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the 2015 General Election
“I think we do have a breakthrough here. This is probably the first time that an account of Singapore’s history in the 1950s and 1960s is pieced together outside of The Singapore Story logic. It will be something that the authorities, scholars and Singaporeans in general must reckon with.”
– Sai Siew Min, Singaporean historian
“Dr Poh Soo Kai shatters the history of Singapore espoused by Lee Kuan Yew and the People’s Action Party. Nine years younger than Lee, Dr Poh exposes the tactics of Lee as a master politician—how he made use of his friends and foes to achieve his goals and how they were discarded or punished when they switched allegiance or were no longer useful to him. Dr Poh’s refusal to let Lee have his way cost him his family and an illustrious career in medicine. He spent a total of 17 years in prison without trial. Singapore today is the result of what Lee Kuan Yew did to his political opponents in the 1960s and 70s. The publication of this memoir more than 50 years after Operation Coldstore is late but exceedingly important to Singaporeans who wish to understand why they are deprived of basic human rights which are taken for granted by people in other first-world countries. I admire and respect Dr Poh for his determination and courage in recalling a painful past.”
–Teo Soh Lung, Director, Function 8
Function 8 & Pusat Sejarah Rakyat
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.
PUSAT SEJARAH RAKYAT (People’s History Centre) has been established as an independent, professional non-profit organization with its own autonomous policies and principles, that will focus on the collation, classification and preservation of records – written, oral and visual – of personalities, groups and communities, events and struggles, particularly those which have not been recorded, or which have been neglected, sidetracked or vilified in the official historiography.
The project will involve the co-operation of social activists, academics, scholars and researchers from both Malaysia and Singapore as well as others who are sympathetic to the cause.
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