Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Teo Soh Lung : The Demise of Fear...

As a young man in the 80s, I had very little interest in politics. I had experienced the Singapore economic miracle first hand. I stayed in a kampong without paved streets, without street lights at night and without toilets with flushing systems. While the PAP govt was in charge, the streets became paved and lighted. The toilets were later upgraded to have a flushing system. Consumer goods such as TVs, radios, fans and refrigerators began to appear in homes as incomes rose. You don't think too much about politics when you can see your life improving year after year. I grew up not knowing the difference between a socialist and a Marxist.

For the many young Singaporeans of today,  their political awakening came in the past decade when the Internet and social media began playing a bigger role in politics and the great economic miracle ended without any clear vision by the PAP on how the country should progress. Years of fumbling along followed with only one clear goal to grow the GDP by any means possible - expanding the foreign influx, casinos, tax haven for the rich and so on. The end result of rising income gap, rising cost of living and deteriorating quality of life woke many people up and they become interested in politics and political alternatives.

My own political awakening came in 1987 when a group of young men and women were arrested and detained without trial. I had great difficulty believing the official story presented to me that these people were out to overthrow the Singapore govt by force and they were part of a Marxist Conspiracy. For many Singaporeans, it was hard to believe how a small group of unarmed men and women can take on and defeat the Singapore Police Force and the SAF which was armed with billions worth of equipment. It didn't matter whether there was proof or no proof. It didn't matter whether ordinary citizens believed what they were told. It didn't matter what international human rights organisations or foreign govt concerned about human rights said. They were locked up and abused and there was nothing anyone could do to help them. The event ignited the fear in many people of the authoritarian govt that will go after people for doing what they believe is right for the country to preserve its own dominant power.

The WP winning Aljunied is a major political milestone in 2011. The other great milestone of equal importance is the demise of fear. 24 years after her unjust detention, former detainee, Teo Soh Lung, contested in Yuhua SMC. Ordinary Singaporeans came out in full force to attend rallies and capable people stepped forward to say and do what they believe is right and good for this country. The demise of fear ushers in a period of hope and change for Singapore.
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Demise of fear


by Teo Soh Lung on Monday, May 16, 2011 at 3:48am
The recent retirement of MM Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong from the cabinet was welcome news to many Singaporeans.
Both men would like to be remembered as having brought Singapore to what it is today. Certainly we will remember them as having contributed to the economic success of Singapore. History will no doubt remember the good deeds of the two men. But history will also slowly but surely reveal the dark deeds of the two men.
There was a time when MM Lee as the first prime minister of Singapore could have achieved unparalleled greatness in this region if only he had been kind to his friends who helped propel him to fame. I am thinking of the greats of Lim Chin Siong, Dr Lim Hock Siew, Dr Poh Soo Kai and Loh Miaw Ping, who together with so many others helped him win his first general election in 1959 and unselfishly let him assume the office of prime minister. What he did to them in 1963 and to hundreds if not thousands more in the years that followed was unforgiveable. We know today that they were locked away under the Internal Security Act for decades and silenced for more than half a century.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong who was First Deputy Prime Minister in 1987 learnt to be ruthless from MM Lee when he agreed to arrest and detain 22 innocent people that year. For three decades thereafter, the PAP appeared to be invincible. GE 2011 changed all that. In a matter of days, the prime minister and other ministers came out to apologise for their mistakes. It took many by surprise. Have leopards changed their spots?
I don’t know. All I know is that the young have taken control of Singapore and are determined to put a stop to the arrogance of the PAP. The young and articulate opposition candidates came out in full force. They campaigned without fear. The people responded and suddenly, fear disappeared and they regained their voices. Both the people and the candidates realised in the course of just nine days that they have the power to change Singapore.
For me, GE 2011 is the most important GE after 1984 when two opposition members, namely J B Jeyaretnam and Chiam See Tong were elected into parliament. With six members of the Workers’ Party in parliament this year, we, the people of Singapore can have the confidence to feel free once again and to look forward to a PAP government that will be more accountable to us in the next five years. We can be sure that if they do not listen to us, the next GE will see more losses for the PAP.
As for the passing of MM Lee and Senior Minister Goh, they will soon be forgotten except in the pages of our history book.
http://www.facebook.com/notes/teo-soh-lung/demise-of-fear/131602886914593

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

"I grew up not knowing the difference between a socialist and a Marxist. "

They have Christian roots.

Anonymous said...

Teo Soh Lung: I don’t think I was ever an activist.  I was educated in a Catholic girls’ school (St Anthony’s Convent School) but am not a Catholic.  Perhaps the Catholic teachings that action is better than words had a large part in influencing how I live.  While at school, I was not an active student though I did help in an organisation that helped the poor – St Vincent de Paul Society I think.  When I left  school and went to RGS for my pre-U education (because St Anthony’s did not have Pre-U [programme)) I continued to be involved in St Vincent at St Teresa’s Church.  

Anonymous said...

.......During my university days or shortly after, I think I was a volunteer with some Christian church at Braddell Road

Anonymous said...

looks like the PAP Christians are fighting with other political party Christians.

Anonymous said...

"the people of Singapore can have the confidence to feel free once again and to look forward to a PAP government that will be more accountable to us(christians)in the next five years. We can be sure that if they do not listen to us(Christians), the next GE will see more losses for the PAP. "

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

the vocal bunch are usually Catholics.

Anonymous said...

Dr Thio Li-ann is Professor of law at the National University of Singapore. She was educated at the University of Oxford, Harvard Law School and the University of Cambridge. In January 2007, she was appointed a Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) in Singapore stepping down in 2009. In The Straits Times of 2 November 2007, she claims to have had "a life-changing experience with Jesus Christ" from being a "very, very arrogant" atheist in 1987.

Thio’s book—Mind the Gap1—is written as a hard hitting polemic to catalyse Christians to take an active role in Singapore society by "contending for righteousness." Thio’s basic premise is that believers should "serve as responsible citizens and watchful stewards in seeking to beneficially influence public life to serve the common good" (28). She believes God is giving Christians, "the privilege of contending for righteousness, in an age of lawlessness" (356).

hayek said...

I am a Christian but I find many Christian elite here despicable.

The Bible contains many passage against usury.

Jesus Christ has thrown out money changer from the temple.

And Bible teach us to forgive debts after 7 years.

Our elite put us into 30 years debt, prosper on usury by fractional reserve banking. And try to make Singapore a den forex center.

In short, they are pharisee and thieves and false christian.

Anonymous said...

another vocal Christian. at least this one acknowledges. what about the other goons?

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Henry said...

Let's not bring religion into this.

What "Marxist Conspiracy" rubbish!If LHL really want to be his own man, and for history to judge him corectly, he should call an Independent Tribunal to investigate all these immoral and unjust acts carried out against our own citizens, including Teo Soh Lung and Francis Seow, and Devan Nair. He can then bring the perpetrators to justice. Or, am I just being naive..

Anonymous said...

will the Lord continue to bless the ruling party like before??It makes the churches to fight for a plot of land which is 5 times above market rates to build a church.And 5 times below market rates for mosque building.Worst still,in 30 yrs time,the no less than 10 million dollar church will have to knock down and return to the state.
Many churches have to rent a place at those industrail /commercial properties for worship service.But URA would not hesitate to tear down the santuaries without providing other alternatives.Forget about national revival so long as such stupid policy remains.
Talk about the ‘grow n share’,the ruling pary is feeding its people including the church with the sin of greed in order to gain votes.
It seems to me that the ruling party seeks to make the church ‘HOMELESS’.Despite so many christian MPs ,how many of them fight for the church ?ZERO!!What a shame!!
The ruling party doesnt need GOD or has any fear of GOD because according to MM Lee’s recent words of warning to those who vote for the opposition party that they have 5 yrs to ‘ live and repent’,see, they even believe they are like the ALMIGHTY GOD.
May the LORD humble the ruling party in this coming GE.
(excuse me for my horrendous English)

Anonymous said...

Henry,

Monkey seeS no evil, hears no evil and speaks no evil?

A Christian said...

Principles

This criteria is related to the one before it: specific issues and policies. Cost of living, availability of affordable housing, ministers’ salaries, the immigration and foreign worker policy, the care of the elderly and the poor, casinos and their social costs, health care, transparency of dealings of national reserves, and other such matters that fire your heart.  Certainly, how strongly I feel for or against the present state of affairs will somehow be factored into my thinking process.

Personal convictions and values

Faith cannot be totally divorced from this. The faith or religion I have does influence what I believe to be important in life and society, and therefore it does colour how I view the world and the decisions I make, including this vote. Christianity values the integrity and righteousness; peace and harmony; truth and justice; compassion and mercy; stewardship of the earth; etc.

Anonymous said...

Anon 13:49
You may like to know that Marxism frowns upon religion. According to Karl Marx, religion is "the opiate of the masses". So I am not sure what you mean by your statement that Socialism and Marxism share Christian roots.

Anonymous said...

Karl Heinrich Marx was born on 5 May 1818 at 664 Brückergasse in Trier, a town located in the Kingdom of Prussia's Province of the Lower Rhine.[11] His ancestry was Jewish, with his paternal line having supplied the rabbis of Trier since 1723, a role that had been taken up by his own grandfather, Merier Halevi Marx; Merier's son and Karl's father would be the first in the line to receive a secular education.[12] His maternal line was also Jewish, as his maternal grandfather was a Dutch rabbi.[13] Karl's father, Hirschel Marx, was middle-class and relatively prosperous, owning a number of Moselle vineyards, but was legally disadvantaged by being Jewish.[2] For this reason he converted from Judaism to the Protestant Christian denomination of Lutheranism prior to his son's birth, taking on the German forename of Heinrich over Hirschel.[2] In 1815, he began working as an attorney (a profession he would have been barred from had he continued to follow Judaism), and in 1819 moved his family from a five-room rented apartment into a ten-room property near the Porta Nigra.[14] A man of the Enlightenment, Heinrich Marx was interested in the ideas of the philosophers Immanuel Kant and Voltaire, and took part in agitations for a constitution and reforms in Prussia, which was then governed by an absolute monarchy

Anonymous said...

somebody de red Christian communism

Anonymous said...

deleted

Anonymous said...

It is in the Internet, no point deleting it. Better be honest than be sorry

Anonymous said...

So, lucky was a liar huh? No censorship? LoL

Anonymous said...

So lucky has a religious agenda huh? :)

Anonymous said...

Christian communism is a form of religious communism based on Christianity. It is a theological and political theory based upon the view that the teachings of Jesus Christ compel Christians to support communism as the ideal social system. Although there is no universal agreement on the exact date when Christian communism was founded, many Christian communists assert that evidence from the Bible suggests that the first Christians, including the Apostles, created their own small communist society in the years following Jesus' death and resurrection. As such, many advocates of Christian communism argue that it was taught by Jesus and practiced by the Apostles themselves.
Christian communism can be seen as a radical form of Christian socialism. Christian communists may or may not agree with various parts of Marxism. They may not agree with the antireligious views held by secular Marxists, but do agree with many of the economic and existential aspects of Marxist theory, such as the idea that capitalism exploits the working class by extracting surplus value from the workers in the form of profits and that wage-labor is a tool of human alienation that promotes arbitrary and unjust authority. Christian communism, like Marxism, also holds that capitalism encourages the negative aspects of human nature, supplanting values such as mercy, kindness, justice and compassion in favor of greed, selfishness and blind ambition.
.

Anonymous said...

Christian communists also share some of the political goals of Marxists, for example replacing capitalism with socialism, which should in turn be followed by communism at a later point in the future. However, Christian communists sometimes disagree with Marxists (and particularly with Leninists) on the way a socialist or communist society should be organized. In general, Christian communism evolved independently of Marxism, and most Christian communists share the conclusions but not the underlying premises of Marxist communists

Anonymous said...

Ok, looks like the system deleted it.

Anyway, Google christian communism

Anonymous said...

The values are basically the same - minus God.

Anonymous said...

socialist Christians are gaining ground.

Anonymous said...

These fukking christians have no clue to what jesus was talking about and yet, they are so vocal. it is dangerous to see this group gaining power

Anonymous said...

Please keep your religion a thousand miles away from secular politics.

What's important perhaps is the right of any individual to practise his/her religion.

Deservingly also, the equal rights of anyone, regardless of race, gender, age, creed or sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Christians are primped for communist ldeals because of their shared values. If I were a communist, I wld use Christians to take down Sg.

Anonymous said...

18:50

Don't be naive. Separating religion and secularism will not stop religious influences. But who knows, you maybe pretending to be a communist trying to infiltrate Sg through Christians shared values.

Anonymous said...

18:50

Don't be naive. Separating religion and secularism will not stop religious influences. But who knows, you maybe a communist trying to infiltrate Sg through Christians shared values.

Anonymous said...

there are many anti government Christians in the Internet. great job.

Anonymous said...

This religious group is the most confused lot. For every anti gahmen chrtian, there is also as many gahmen or Caesar supporting christian counter part. This group is that divided. Crazy religious fundies are screwing up our country.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Christians are the most stupid people in the world. You have to be that stupid to believe their kind of crap.

Lye Khuen Way said...

Sorry guys or gals, but I find the threads going a little overboard about Christanity & Karl Marx.

Lucky is drawing our attention to this strange lifting of the "Fear factor" in GE2011.

As it turned out, we have today, a new Cabinet Line-up that is more sane. There are still disquiet & amazement at title like "emeritus SM", but I am frankly delighted to see some dead wood absent from the cabinet.

Just my 2-cents worth.
(Incidentally, I had more than 10 years of Christian Brothers education andm still a "free-thinker". Am grateful for the wholesome education)

Anonymous said...

But you have been unknowingly instilled with Christian communist values to subvert our gov.

Pikachu said...

@Lye, be grateful religion did not touch you, heh.

Anonymous said...

Religion has taught him to sing...He touched me, oh, He touched me and I will never be the same again.

Anonymous said...

LOL

Anonymous said...

If we don't have stupid Christians in this world, would we be where we are today?

I don't think so

Anonymous said...

@Henry said...18/5/11 15:33
he should call an Independent Tribunal to investigate all these immoral and unjust acts carried out against our own citizens, including Teo Soh Lung and Francis Seow, and Devan Nair. He can then bring the perpetrators to justice. Or, am I just being naive..

You are not naive, but simply stupid. You should read more books and news.

Anonymous said...

@Henry said...18/5/11 15:33

Just look at Shadrake's, can a tribunal help him. The problem is the Ah Gong seating on top of your tribunal.

DTC said...

would like to ask if you feel any more confidant in the opposition parties? Reason being that I have found them quite cunning too. Some of them talk like gangsters of sorts. I mean you are free to talk and voice out your opinions but to shout and yell in a manner that appears to be threatening is somewhat off. In the end I feel that what politics isn't anything demure. its about tearing one another apart......

runroad said...

GE2011 delivered a massive kick in the balls to PAP. Two of their chief thugs have now been dragged a-kicking and a-screaming from their exalted and undeserved positions at the top of the governing ladder and politely dumped for being recalcitrant fossilised dung. It must have been the most shocking and humiliating comeuppance for LKY and GCT, notwithstanding their consolation prizes of Emeritus Minister of Sweet Bugger-all. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving duo, frankly.

But it will not help the PM a wit nor a jot. One glance at his new cabinet of grey-coloured LEGO men and Teo Soh Lung can hug herself with glee that the house that Lee built will be founded on sand and that 2016 is gonna be the real watershed. Simply put, for the electorate of the future, PAP is passé, out of fashion, not sexy. That did not matter to their parents but the fear-free lolcat gen-Y Singaporeans who will be voting would not be caught dead voting for LHL and his un-cool zombies.

Anonymous said...

I KEEP THINKING WHY WE NEED SO MANY FT AND NEW CITIZEN.(THEY WILL FIND LOT OF EXCUSE IF THEY WANT TO IMPORT THEM AND THEY KNOW WE CANT FIND OUT THE REAL REASON WHICH NO ONE CAN PROUF.SO THAT THEY CAN GAIN MORE VOTE AND STAY IN POWER??

ARE THOSE PAPAYAS KNOW THAT MORE AND MORE PEOPLE FIND OUT THUR THE NEW MEDIA THAT THEY HAD DID MANY UGLY THING TO US,TREAT US LIKE SLAVES AND MAKE TONE OF MONEY FROM DAFT PEOPLE.IF NOT WHY THEY AFRAID US TO ASK THEM FOR TRANPARENTICY.

PS....PAPER CANNOT COVER FIRE....

Lola Monro said...

For the many young Singaporeans of today, their political awakening came in the past decade when the Internet and social media began playing a bigger role in politics and the great economic miracle ended without any clear vision by the PAP on how the country should progress.

Kevin said...

This blog is totally depend on Christian communism.I love Christian communism.