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人民之友16周年纪念,针对即将来临的全国大选发表专题文章,供给我国民间组织和民主人士参考,并接受我国各族人民民主改革实践检验。

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人民之友恭祝各界2018新年进步、万事如意!

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2014年加影州议席补选诉求 / Tuntutan-tuntutan Pilihan Raya Kecil Kajang 2014

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“阿拉风波•宪法权利•宗教自由”论坛 / Forum "Krisis perkataan Allah • Hak berperlembagaan • Kebebasan beragama"

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林清祥《答问》遗稿片段

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新加坡“5•13学生运动” 有/没有马共领导的争论【之一】与【之二】

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马来西亚民主改革的新阶段 / The New Phase of Democratic Reform in Malaysia / Fasa Baru Reformasi Demokratik di Malaysia

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人民之友为庆祝15周年(2001—2016)纪念,在2016年9月上旬发表了最近5年(2011—2016)工作报告(华、巫、英3种语文),并在9月25日在新山举办一场主题为“认清斗争敌友,埋葬巫统霸权”的论坛。

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人民之友根据2017年9月24日发表的《人民之友 对我国第14届大选意见书 》的内容与精神以及半年来国内和国外的政治形势,对5月9日投票提出具体意见,供全国选民参考。

Wednesday, 27 December 2017

“只许州官放火,不许百姓点灯”吗? 宽中活动海报有国阵标志遭受非议!

“只许州官放火,不许百姓点灯”吗?
   宽中活动海报有国阵标志遭受非议!

原标题:宽中义走海报上有国阵标志,校友强烈反对
来源:《当今大马》malaysiakini.com/news/406647

发表于 2017年12月26日 下午5点24分     更新于同日 下午5点39分

新山宽柔中学最近宣布举办一场义走活动,以为至达城分校筹募建校基金,但由于活动海报上出现国阵标志,引起部分校友强烈反弹。

这项活动名为“2018年我爱宽柔慈善义走”。活动海报上列出4个联办单位的标志,即:宽柔中学、国阵、新山市政局与新山中华公会。

不过,根据《中国报》,活动筹委会在12月9日记者会上表示,这是由新山国会选区、新山市政局与宽柔中学董事会联办的活动。现任新山国会议员是巫统的沙里尔。

无论如何,随着海报在网上热传,不少校友纷纷在社交媒体上表达反对,并附上“#宽中生齐向国阵说不”的标签。

《当今大马》已致电寻求宽柔中学校方的置评,但暂未获回应。

4名宽柔校友接受《当今大马》访问时,不满校方允准海报上出现国阵标志。

上图:黄色圈内即为国阵标志

应远离政党政治

2012年毕业的校友钟振国强调,校园应远离政党政治。

“我不明白政党在此扮演什么角色?若是市政厅与学校合作,那很合情合理,但让政党踏入校园就是逾越底线。”

钟振国也质疑,校方会否以相同标准,让在野党进入校园。

“如果学校允许国阵入内,会否使用同等标准对待在野党?”

2008年毕业的温宏量直言,校方不应该允许义走活动海报,出现政党标志。

“任何政党,不管谁也好,都不应该将标志放在义跑海报上。不管希盟也好,国阵也罢,政党政治应远离校园。”

“但我可以接受州或地方政府,因为它是一个公家机关,为民服务的一个单位。”

不许百姓点灯?

2004年毕业的陈姓匿名校友也表达震惊。

“以往我求学时,校方都不允许任何比赛活动涉及宗教政治,现在校方却如此做,等同只许州官放火,不许百姓点灯。”

“宽中是我们一步一脚印筹款而建……政治上,马华并没帮助独中承认统考,现在要大选了才博取宣传,大派糖果。”

另外,在2001年初中毕业后,即转校离开宽中的萧宇轩则不满,宽中校方双重标准。

萧宇轩也是行动党党员,曾协助行动党在当地举办活动。他揭露,过去宽中曾拒绝行动党租借礼堂,如今却准许国阵联办义走活动。

“当我在行动党活跃时,我们要租借场地,宽中以拒绝宗教政治色彩为由,拒绝我们。”

“但义走布条上却出现国阵标志,大家都很生气。我们认为,新山华社团体在大选前配合马华国阵,真的越来越不像样。”

筹分校建设基金

根据《星洲日报》报道,活动筹委会在12月9日召开记者会,发布活动详情。这项竞走将在2018年1月13日(周六)早上7点开始,以新山宽柔中学为起点,沿着士都兰一带,终点回到新山宽中,全长5公里。

当天记者会出席者包括宽中董事长童星存、新山中华公会会长郑金财、宽中校长郑美珍、新山市议员官宝发、黄培华与洪文兴等。

报道引述官宝发表示,义走活动除了提倡健康,也是为了即将动工的宽中至达城分校筹募建设基金,预料需逾8000万令吉。

另外,竞走运动也设立赞助商项目,从3000令吉至5万令吉不等。

童星存则表示,巴西古当市议会已批准宽中至达城分校的图测,预计明年初即可动工。他预料,第一期和第二期工程将耗资5000万令吉,而目前建设基金已有1500万令吉。

2013年大选竞选期间,国阵主席纳吉到柔州新山为国阵候选人沙里尔站台,并以看守政府首相的身份宣布,批准宽柔中学在柔州东北区至达城兴建第二分校。

由于土地是私人界所献,意味着政府只是批准建校,不需拨款或拨地。

不过,过了3年半后,教育部才在2016年10月把宽中第二分校的批文交给校方。

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Chinese Consortium Wants to Build Malaysia-Singapore Railway

Chinese Consortium Wants to Build 
Malaysia-Singapore Railway

By Lu Bingyang, Chen Lixiong and Teng Jing Xuan

A consortium, led by China Railway Corp., plans to submit a high-speed rail proposal that will emphasize China’s strengths in railway construction, including its experience building a high-speed railway in the tropics. Photo: Visual China

A consortium led by China Railway Corp. (CRC) intends to submit a proposal for the planned Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High-Speed Rail that would link Malaysia with its southern neighbor, personnel from the national rail operator told Caixin.

Malaysia’s MyHSR Corp. and Singapore’s SG HSR Private Ltd., which were formed after the two countries’ governments signed a high-speed rail agreement last year, announced Wednesday that they would be accepting bids for a railway “assets company” until June 2018.

A deputy general manager of CRC, Huang Min, will lead a group of at least eight companies — including China Communications Construction Co. Ltd., China Investment Corp. and the Export-Import Bank of China — to work on a proposal, which has not been submitted yet, the CRC staffer told Caixin.

A number of companies from other countries, including Japan, South Korea, France and Germany, also intend to submit proposals, the staffer said.

The assets company will be tasked with designing, building, financing and maintaining the trains, tracks and communications systems for the high-speed railway, which is expected to be completed by 2026.

China Railway is very confident about the Chinese consortium’s chances, sources close to the state-owned operator said.

Chinese railway companies already have a significant presence in Southeast Asia. CRRC Corp., a member of the consortium and the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer, makes more than 70% of the trains used in Malaysia, a CRRC staffer told Caixin. On Aug. 9, construction began on Malaysia’s 55 billion ringgit ($13.4 billion) East Coast Rail Link, which China Communications Construction is building.

The Chinese consortium’s planned high-speed rail proposal will emphasize China’s main strengths in railway construction, including the fact that it is the only country to have experience building a high-speed railway in the tropics (in Hainan province), sources said.

The Kuala Lumpur-Singapore High Speed Rail will mark a major milestone for the Trans-Asian Railway, an ambitious United Nations project that since the 1950s has attempted to build a continuous link between Istanbul and Singapore. The new link is also important to China as part of the Singapore-Kunming Rail Link, a Belt and Road plan to plug Southeast Asia into China’s domestic high-speed rail network.

Kuala Lumpur and Singapore are currently seven hours apart by rail, and the 350-kilometer (217.5 mile) high-speed railway is expected to cut down the journey between the cities to 90 minutes, linking eight stations.


Sunday, 24 December 2017

新马高铁招标程序启动了, 日媒担心日企争不过中企

新马高铁招标程序启动了,
日媒担心日企争不过中企

来源:参考消息网 / 凤凰资讯

▲新马高铁计划连接马来西亚首都吉隆坡与新加坡(来源:新加坡陆路交通管理局网站)

2026年实现开通

日媒称,新加坡与马来西亚政府于12月20日启动新马高速铁路计划主要业务的国际招标程序,力争2018年底之前确定中标企业,2026年实现开通。日本企业力争凭借技术实力和安全性获得订单。不过在两国沿线,中国的影响力不断增强,日本企业能否获得订单还不好说。

▲资料图片:2016年3月26日,在日本北海道的新函馆北斗站,人们庆祝首列从北海道开往东京的新干线列车启程。(法新社)

据《日本经济新闻》网站12月21日报道,该高铁计划连接马来西亚首都吉隆坡与新加坡,全长约350千米,单程运行时间为90分钟。20日启动的是负责车辆设计、线路建设等业务的“铁道资产公司”的招标。有意参与竞标的企业需在2018年6月底之前向两国提交详细的计划书。

中企占有利条件

报道称,此次招标可以说是该高铁建设计划的核心招标,预计日本、中国、韩国和欧洲的企业联盟将参与竞标。其中,早早开始在两国沿线推进开发的是中国企业。

▲12月21日,中泰铁路合作项目一期工程开工仪式在呵叻府巴冲县举行。泰国总理巴育(左三)亲临现场。

马六甲海峡不仅是古往今来海上运输的要冲,而且还是高速铁路的主要停车站。在马六甲海域正在迅速推进550公顷的大规模填海造陆计划。

马来西亚国内的另一项大型铁路建设计划已确定由中国企业承建,由中国进出口银行提供资金。有观点指出,高铁建设计划方面中国企业也占据了有利条件。

▲中国“和谐号”


Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Joint Statement by 32 NGOs: Workers’ Right To Claim Justice In Courts Must No Longer Be Delayed Or Blocked By Minister -3,600 Malaysian Airlines(MAS) Workers Denied Day In Court By Minister-

Joint Statement by 32 NGOs:
Workers' Right To Claim Justice In Courts Must 
No Longer Be Delayed Or Blocked By Minister

-3,600 Malaysian Airlines(MAS) Workers Denied Day In Court By Minister-

20 December 2017


We the 32 undersigned organisations, trade unions and groups are shocked that the Minister of Human Resources had decided not to refer the claim of about 3,600 Malaysian Airlines(MAS) workers, claiming wrongful dismissal and reinstatement, to the Industrial Court – hence denying these workers the right for their claim to be heard speedily and determined by the Industrial Court. This is grossly unjust. (Malaysiakini, 5/10/2017)

It must be noted that past statistics, revealed in Parliament, showed that between 2001 and 2011, that 31.5% or about 10,016 of about 31,714 workers who claimed wrongful dismissal and reinstatement were denied  access to the Industrial Court by the Minister of Human Resources who decided not to refer their cases to the  Industrial Court (Utusan Online, 23/10/2012).

Justly, whether a worker’s claim for reinstatement is successful is a matter that should be decided by the Courts, after considering all facts, evidence and submissions on law - not by a Minister, without even according the right to be heard to the affected worker and employer, and possibly only relying on limited notes of an officer handing an attempt at conciliation at the Industrial Relations Department.

Note at this IRD conciliation stage the worker is also not allowed to be represented by a lawyer of his choice, and hence a worker would have to represent himself/herself or be represented by a union representative, and the likelihood that all relevant facts and legal arguments may not have been put forward, and as such a decision of a Minister in such circumstances can most probably lead to a miscarriage of justice. Most times, the representations are only oral, and without written representations enclosed with relevant documents and legal arguments. The right for a worker to be represented by a lawyer or a qualified legal representative at all stages of the administration of justice is essential.

WORKERS SUFFER WHILST BUSINESS AS USUAL FOR THE EMPLOYER

When a worker loses employment and income, it is essential that justice be done speedily, preferably within a few months.

A worker who just lost his/her employment suffers a loss of his/her income and it impacts on one’s financial security and that of his/her family, who still would have to deal with all continuing monthly financial obligations of the family whereby a failure to pay in time could result in loss of home, personal vehicle, deprivation of basic amenities and even a rising debt given the fact that savings of most Malaysian workers are rather low. The worker will also most likely not be able to secure loans from financial institutions because of the loss of employment, and may be forced to resort to borrowing from illegal money lenders, who charge a very high interest rate. Unless, justice is achieved fast, there is a real risk of the worker and family plunging deeper into poverty.

On the other hand, the employer most likely will continue business as usual.

The pursuit of justice also needs monies, it is most likely that many workers, especially from the lower and middle income category, will simply choose to walk away victims not able to undertake the quest for justice, and employer perpetrators of injustice get off scot free.

Whilst Malaysia government have finally provided legal aid to the poor in criminal matters, the government still do not provide legal aid to workers, especially the poor. The Malaysian Bar now makes available legal aid lawyers to qualified workers.

Most importantly, the right of a worker to be represented by lawyers of his/her choice at all stages of the administration of labour justice is currently barred by law, and this must be right must be  provided to ensure equity and justice to workers in their quest for justice against employers and even the government.

WORKERS DISCRIMINATED AGAINST COMPARED TO OTHER VICTIMS OF INJUSTICE

Victims of injustice can generally immediately commence court actions against alleged perpetrators – but not workers claiming wrongful dismissal and their employment back.

These workers are discriminated as they have no right to immediately pursue their claims of wrongful dismissal and reinstatement at the Industrial court. They will have to go through many  administrative steps before their wrongful dismissal cases ever reaches the court. For, these worker victims, they can only get their cases heard by the Industrial only if finally the Minister refers their cases.

It is very wrong and unjust for the Minister to be able to prevent workers from immediately bringing their claims to the Industrial Court. The fact that the government also owns and controls many employer companies makes it even more unjust for a member of the Executive, a Cabinet Minister, to have such power. The Malaysian Airlines, for example, was a wholly owned government company.

The hurdles that have to be overcome by workers in their quest to reaching the Industrial court to  claim wrongful dismissal and reinstatement in Malaysia is provided for in the existing unjust laws.

This includes the need to first lodge a claim/complaint within a stipulated time at the Industrial Relations Department(IRD), then go through the conciliation session at the IRD, and thereafter, if no conciliation, the claim is referred to the Minister who then decides whether the case is referred to the Industrial Court or not.

Their quest for reinstatement to their job may not even end in court, and may be ended prematurely in this administrative process including the decision of a Minister not to refer the case to court.

The Conciliation Session

The ‘conciliation’ session is an attempt for the affected worker and employer to come to some sort of settlement, and therefore there will be no need to send the matter to the Minister, and possibly the Industrial Court.

Rather than investigating and enforcing the law, the IRD sadly plays the role of an ‘impartial’ go between not taking sides, to get the parties to come to some sort agreement so that worker not  proceed any further with his/her claim to get employment back.

It is most unlikely that the conciliation session will not end with any employer agreeing to reinstate the worker to his/her employment, or even paying out a just compensation in lieu of reinstatement.

Some employer may try to settle the claim by making a small payment, and so real justice ends up not being done.

Now, conciliation (or mediation) could happen at the Industrial Court, where currently it is not uncommon that the court will try to get parties to settle and come an agreement through mediation before trial commences.

Attempts of settlement can also happen at any time, initiated by the parties, vide their lawyers, trade unions, legal representatives or even 3rd parties. As such, there is really no need for these time consuming conciliation sessions at the IRD at all.

The Reference to the Minister – Decide whether refer to Industrial Court or Not

Now, if and when this ‘conciliation’ attempt fails, then the matter is referred to the Minister who again seems to take too much time, and in the case of these 3,200 MAS workers, it took 2 years to decide not to refer the case to the Industrial Court.

Note, the Minister decides whether to refer or not to refer to the Industrial Court without even according the right to be heard to the affected worker and/or the employer. It is a decision which is not even based on all the facts and evidence, and as such could be said to be arbitrary. All that the Minister has are only the notes taken by the IRD officer who conducted the conciliation session. Being a conciliation session, parties may even not be providing all the relevant facts and evidence, especially evidence of other witnesses.

It was most shocking that almost about 31% worker claims are not being referred to the Industrial Court by the Minister.

The reasons for the non-referral by the Minister that were given in Parliament, as reported in the media in 2012,  included because the worker was terminated by reason of misconduct, because the worker stop employment voluntarily and/or accepted the Voluntary Separation Scheme(VSS) and then changed his/her mind; and the worker’s employment contract period had ended. (Utusan Online, 23/10/2012).

Well, these reasons given by the Minister are usually what employers will say to justify termination. This really are really a matter to be decided by the courts after hearing and considering all evidence and facts. Was the employer right in terminating the worker, or was the worker right in saying that it was a wrongful dismissal? Was the alleged misconduct even a valid misconduct agreed before by both parties of an employment contract? Was the worker deceived by the employer and/or their agents? There are many matters that only a court should be deciding on after not just hearing evidence of the parties to the dispute, but also other relevant witnesses.

A worker who takes the trouble, expending monies and time, to file a claim of wrongful dismissal asking for reinstatement most probably has a case and arguments to justify such a claim, and there is a need to consider all the facts and listen to all the evidence, including evidence from witnesses, to determine the truth and make a final decision. This is the task of the courts, not a Minister.

Delays in the Industrial Court

There are currently no time limits set for the completion of an Industrial Court case and/or appeals thereafter. From the date the case is referred to the Industrial Court until the completion of the trial, it can take years. Hearing and conclusion of trial at the Industrial Court can take years, in some cases it may even take about 5 years or more after the date of wrongful dismissal. If the worker is victorious, then the fruits of justice can further be delayed by appeals to the higher courts.

The long drawn out process before the case reaches the court and the time taken for trials to complete would most likely just deter most worker victims of injustice from even filing a claim and/or to abandon the claim midstream.

Thus, this administration of justice procedure may ultimately end up protecting violators of law and rights rather than the worker victims.

Reducing the entitlement of the wrongfully dismissed worker by law

The injustice to the worker was compounded by fact that from February 2008, the law limited the amount of claim for a worker who was successful in court proving that he was indeed wrongfully dismissed. Now, the maximum he can get is 24 months back wages, even if it takes 5 years or 10 years before he gets his employment back and/or the final judgment that he was wrongfully dismissed. Before this amendment, a worker successful in his claim would have been entitled to not just back wages from the date of wrongful dismissal until the date of reinstatement or the date of final judgment. He would also be entitled to whatever increments and bonuses that he would have gotten if not for the wrongful dismissal by the employer.

The new Second Schedule of the Industrial Relations Act 1967, in Paragraph 1 now states, “In the event that back wages are to be given, such back wages shall not exceed twenty-four months' back wages from the date of dismissal based on the last-drawn salary of the person who has been dismissed without just cause or excuse;”. Further there is provisions, for even further deductions from the amount of back wages due and payable if the worker was earning whilst he was waiting to get back his job.

Oddly, now even if the worker is victorious, a further sum is deducted for “shall take into account contributory misconduct of the workman.”, and this amount to penalising of the worker despite being successful in court. Courts should decide whether worker was wrongfully dismissed or not, and it is only just that a worker receives from the employer all that he would have earned, including wage increments and bonuses, from the date of his wrongful judgment until the date of reinstatement and/or final judgment. Justly, there should also be a need for further damages that ought to be paid by the employer for the violation of the worker’s rights and the law, and also for the suffering caused.

ENFORCEMENT OF THE LAW AND PROSECUTION OF THE GUILTY IS THE DUTY OF GOVERNMENT

Enforcement of the law and protecting worker rights should be priority of the government. The government, in particular the Human Resource Ministry and its various departments, should be regularly inspecting, investigating and ensuring that rights are not violated and laws are enforced. On receipt of information of alleged violations from any source, the Ministry should speedily investigate and ensure that the law is complied with at a particular workplace.

The practice of waiting for the victims to lodge formal complaints/claims before action is taken must end, as most victimized workers are worried about lodging formal complaints against their employer, more so when they are still in employment for fear of retaliation which may also include dismissal.

The law empowers the Ministry of Human Resources to conduct regular inspections, but a perusal of the Statistics provided by the Ministry shows that there are only inspections, investigations and prosecutions being carried out by the Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) department, there is no statistics about inspections, investigations, prosecution and/or enforcement of the basic worker and trade union rights like payment of wages, overtime, wrongful dismissal, discrimination and such rights.

A perusal of the Ministry of Human Resources quarterly reports, Statistic Pekerjaan dan Perburuhan Siri 13 Bil 3/2017 September (Employment and Labour Statistics) discloses no statistics of workplace inspections to ensure that worker and trade union rights are not being violated, no statistics of investigation and prosecution of employers that have violated labour laws and fundamental worker rights, no statistics of information/complaints received and no statistics of employers found guilty. Only available are matters concerning OSH.

Given the fact that there are statistics on Occupational Safety and Health(OSH) inspections and enforcement, it looks like the Malaysian government and/or the Ministry of Human Resources are not interested in protecting basic worker and trade union rights. After all, the statistics of inspection, investigation, prosecution, conviction and enforcement against employers who breach existing Malaysian labour and trade union laws is information so easily compiled by the Government.

Malaysian Airlines – A wholly government owned company

These 3,200 workers were employees of the Malaysian Airlines, who was owned by a wholly government owned company. The airlines decided to reduce the workforce by 6,000 workers, which justly would have been done vide retrenchment exercise, which would have had to comply with existing just legal principles like Last In First Out (LIFO). However, what the Malaysian government did was to form a new company, and terminate all employees in the previous company – and then re-employed selected workers in the new wholly owned company. This would not be just and a violation of worker rights.

The Malaysian government then passed a new law, that made the new company specifically not liable for the actions and liabilities of the old company.

This exercise may also be biggest union busting exercise of recent times, as almost 6 of the trade union were in-house trade unions, and this exercise would effectively kill all these unions.

The airlines employees in Malaysia, did previously have a national union.  In February 1979, 22 members of the Airlines Employers Union (AEU) were detained under the ISA after a pay dispute at the state-run Malaysian Airline System (MAS) had led to a work to rule and a government order to deregister the union. Thereafter, only in-house unions existed for employees of the Malaysian Airlines, until the recent registration of National Union of Flight Attendance Malaysia's (NUFAM). However, despite NUFAM succeeded in getting 62.73% of the votes at the secret ballot, and thereafter on August 2013, the Director General of Industrial Relations(DGIR) issued the formal letter acknowledging NUFAM as a recognized union in MAS, the company challenged the decision in court.

Considering the background, this non reference of the claim of these 3,200 Malaysian Airlines(MAS) workers to the Industrial Court by the Minister is all the more unconscionable. If not for that new law, that attempts to not make the new MAS company, owned by the same owners of the old MAS company, the owners and the new MAS company would most likely be found to be liable for the actions of old MAS company. Even, with the new law, the Courts may have found in favour of the workers.

The Minister’s decision of not referring the case to the Courts as such in this case may be tainted with mala fide – an attempt to even prevent the claims of these MAS worker from being considered and determined by the court, where judges are duty bound to uphold the cause of justice without fear or favour – and not follow the agenda and/or intention of even the existing UMNO-BN government.

The reality in Malaysia where worker rights are not protected and promoted, and have been eroding in some cases is embarrassing. When Malaysia recently wanted to be part of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), one of the pre-conditions was that Malaysia amends its labour and trade union laws to enable it to be in compliance with international labour standards, whereby there have been moves on the part of the government to do so but alas to date, we have yet to see any proposed amendments.

Therefore, we

·         Call on Malaysian government to ensure that workers claiming wrongful dismissal seeking reinstatement shall have the right to immediately file their claim at the Industrial Court, and that all administrative hurdles including the Minister’s discretion to refer a case be removed;

·         Call for the revocation of the Minister’s decision not to refer this case of the 3,200 Malaysian Airlines(MAS) workers, and that their case immediately be commenced and heard by the Industrial Court. Likewise, all Ministerial decisions not to refer worker cases be revoked, and be forthwith heard by the Industrial Court;

·         Call for the repeal of Schedule 2 of the Industrial Relations Act that seeks to, amongst others, limit the worker’s who have been wrongfully dismissed to just 2 years back wages;

·         Call for the government to expedite administration of justice, including trials, of workers wrongfully dismissed who are claiming reinstatement to end not later than 6 months from the date of claim;

·         Call for the Malaysian government to proactively protect worker and trade union rights, amongst others, by regular inspections, speedy investigations and enforcement of labour laws and worker rights.

·         Call on Malaysia to expedite the transformation of existing labour and trade union laws to be in compliance with international human rights and labour standards;

·         Call on Malaysia to promote and
 protect worker and trade union rights.


Charles Hector
Ng Yap Hwa
Pranom Somwong


For and on behalf of the 32 organisations, trade unions and groups listed below
1. ALIRAN
2. Association of Maybank Executives
3. ATRAHDOM Guatemala
4. CAW(Committee for Asian Women)
5. Christian Development Alternative (CDA), Bangladesh
6. Club Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia (CEUPM)
7. Community Development Foundation (CDF)
8. Electronic Industry Employees Union (EIEU) Southern Region, Peninsular Malaysia
9. Garments Workers Federation  (NGWF ), Bangladesh
10. HAK Association from Timor-Leste
11. Japan Innocence and Death Penalty Information Center
12. Kesatuan Pekerja-pekerja Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd
13. MADPET(Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture)
14. Majlis Rangkaian Kesatuan Sekerja Antarabangsa Malaysia (UNI-MLC)(UNI - Malaysia Labour Centre - (UNI-MLC)
15. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
16. National Union of Flight Attendants Malaysia (NUFAM)
17. National Union of Transport Equipment & Allied Industries Workers (NUTEAIW)
18. North South Initiative
19. Parti Rakyat Malaysia(PRM)
20. People & Planet, UK
21. Persatuan Kakitangan Akademik University Malaya - PKAUM (Academic Staff Union)
22. Persatuan Komuniti Prihatin Selangor dan Kuala Lumpur
23. Rescue Alternatives Liberia (RAL)
24. Sahabat Rakyat (人民之友)
25. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
26. Singapore Anti Death Penalty Committee
27. Solidarity of Cavite Workers, Philippines
28. Teoh Beng Hock Trust for Democracy
29. WH4C (Workers Hub For Change)
30. Women's Rights and Democracy Centre (WORD Centre)
31. Workers Assistance Center, Inc. , Philippines
32. Yayasan LINTAS NUSA, Batam, Indonesia

Tuesday, 19 December 2017

英国学者马丁• 雅克接受《澎湃新闻》访谈: 欧美正在失去未来,而中国开始谈论未来

英国学者马丁• 雅克接受《澎湃新闻》访谈:
欧美正在失去未来,而中国开始谈论未来

作者 / 来源:程千千 / 澎湃新闻网、凤凰网


近年来,尽管中国在世界舞台上发挥着愈加重要的作用,但西方对于中国崛起的探讨仍多半集中于经济。2009年,英国学者马丁•雅克(Martin Jacques)出版《大国雄心:一个永不褪色的大国梦》(When China Rules the World: The End of the Western World and theBirth of a New Global Order)一书(见上图),从经济、政治、文化、社会等方面全方位地分析中国崛起在全球范围内所引起的经济和地缘政治的重大变化,指出中国作为开启另一种现代化发展模式的先行者,已能够融入世界体系并领导全球新秩序的重塑。


身为中国问题专家的马丁•雅克,是伦敦政治经济学院IDEAS的高级客座研究员以及剑桥大学政治学与国际问题系高级研究员,同时还是亚洲研究中心客座研究员。他现为清华大学访问学者,曾在京都立命馆大学、新加坡国立大学任教,并曾在中国人民大学做客座教授,是英国智库Demos的创始人之一。


在《大国雄心:一个永不褪色的大国梦》一书中,马丁•雅克从社会发展模式、文化根基、民族价值观、地理环境、外交政策、全球战略定位等方面,以深邃的眼光透视了中国发展模式和西方模式的异同。对于“中国梦”的诠释,马丁•雅克也提供了独特的视角。他认为,中国梦并非只有经济一个维度,与其他所有梦想一样,中国梦是对中国人民生活的多方位设想——它不仅是关于中国的梦,还是关于民族的梦,是中国破茧成蝶的梦。


马丁•雅克还进一步预测,在未来的几十年中,中国社会将经历一场全方位的巨大变革,将展现出截然不同的民众特征:更为富有、健康,更为国际化、聚焦全球视野,更能体会他者感受,更加自信,受教育程度更高,思维更开阔,更为注重环保。而这些内向型转变都将决定中国有能力引领世界新秩序的未来。


2016年3月,中信出版集团推出《大国雄心:一个永不褪色的大国梦》中文版。12月4日,澎湃新闻记者在复旦大学见到了马丁•雅克,请他分享了《大国雄心》问世8年来的种种感受,并针对近期世界格局的变化以及中国的发展做出了分析与评论。

“我低估了西方衰落和中国崛起的速度”

澎湃新闻:能否谈谈写作《大国雄心》这本书的初衷?

马丁·雅克:1993年我第一次来中国,1997年开始写作《大国雄心》这本书。2000年左右,我开始真正深入研究中国。其实我第一次全面细致地游览中国是在2005年,之前都只是短期旅行。现在我在中国待的时间很长,每年都会来四次左右。但在写书之前,我来中国的次数并不多,对中国的知识也很有限。实际上我现在还不懂中文,因为我起步太晚了,家庭又发生了一些变故,没有太多精力能花在学习这门艰深的语言上。

我之所以写作这本书,是因为从很早以前起,我就发自内心地相信,西方正在衰落,而东亚正在崛起,尤其是中国。我觉得中国一定会成为世界上最强大的国家之一。一旦有了这样的想法,我的心态就变得很开放,更容易对自己未知的事物感到好奇,而不是固守着西方视角仅仅关注周围环境提供的信息。于是我读了很多关于中国的书,努力从不同的方面真正了解中国。积累了足够多的对中国的认识之后,我就写成了这本书。

澎湃新闻:作为一名西方学者,你在研究中国时是如何超越西方视角、深入了解中国,进而成为一个中国通的?

马丁·雅克:超越西方视角是非常困难的。长久以来,西方思维都主导着这个世界,而我在西方环境里长大,对于世界的认识因此带有根深蒂固的西方视角。说实话,在我看来大部分写中国的西方作者,依然从西方视角看待中国。他们相信中国继续发展下去,需要变得跟西方一样,成为一个西方国家,这是唯一的方向。这是大部分西方学者所认定的顽固思维。

而我并不赞同,我不认为每个国家都要学习西方模式,这是反历史的。事实上西方正在衰落,而发展中国家,特别是中国,以及整个东亚,都正在崛起。因此打破西方视角去研究中国是非常必要的。我对中国感兴趣的时候年纪已经不轻了,50岁以后才真正开始研究中国。我不能仅仅关注经济,需要深入钻研中国的社会、历史和文化。在这些方面,中国与我自己的国家有着深刻的不同。这种研究很难,但也很令人振奋。

澎湃新闻:距离《大国雄心》首次出版已经过去了8年,这8年来你对中国与世界的认识是否有所变化?

马丁·雅克:首先我得说明,我在《大国雄心》一书中所表达的,关于中国崛起和西方衰落的主题和观点,已在这8年里得到了充分的印证。当时我所预测会发生的事都已经发生了,我觉得在这点上我是对的。

不过,即使是时常被指责对于中国的前途过于乐观的我,也低估了中国发展的速度。此外我也低估了西方衰落的速度。这两者是相互关联的。我写书时恰逢2008年的金融危机,人们都知道这场危机很严重,但我看到了它背后更深的危机:这是美国乃至整个西方的危机,也是中国凸显其经济实力、进一步崛起的关键时刻。因而我从金融危机中同时看到了西方的衰落和中国的崛起。可我还是低估了2008年金融危机,它的影响比之前的任何一场经济危机都要深远和持久;同时我也低估了中国崛起对于世界的影响——我意识到中国会改变世界,但当时没想到它对世界的改变会如此深刻。

澎湃新闻:作为中国人我们可以亲身体会中国的崛起,但要如何理解西方的衰落?

马丁·雅克:我不认为美国是从特朗普当选总统开始衰落的,并不存在一个特定的时刻,但我赞同他的得势可以被看作美国衰落的标志。冷战后,美国一直担任着世界领袖的角色,然而特朗普来了,他不再坚持美国的领袖角色,希望美国能从诸多责任中抽离出来,回归民族国家的概念,只争取本国的利益。特朗普的价值观与以往的美国总统截然不同,他对于美国定位和国家政策的想法,连很多美国人都无法理解和认同。他的出现确实表明美国正在发生巨大的转变,这也会反映在中美关系上,我觉得未来中美关系依然面临着很多难题。

至于欧洲,欧洲过去主导世界几百年,甚至美国都是欧洲殖民统治的产物,它对世界的影响自然是巨大的。然而两次世界大战耗尽了欧洲的实力,尤其是西欧,人们不得不接受欧洲不再重要并且在不断衰弱的事实。欧洲人也对美国失望,对特朗普不满,而坚守“美国第一”的特朗普也不再那么需要欧洲;相比之下,中国的重要性不断得到正视。

总之,在全球范围看来,美国开始面临将要失去未来的困境;欧洲已经失去了未来;至于中国,中国开始谈论未来。

“中国的崛起会彻底改变这个世界”

澎湃新闻:《大国雄心》中的观点不断得到现实的印证,读者对这本书的态度是否有所改变?

马丁·雅克:中国人自然是比较乐于读到我关于中国崛起的观点的,但之前也有中国人对我心存疑虑,认为我过于乐观。但事实胜于雄辩,现在他们不用怀疑了。因此我在中国得到了更多的认可和尊敬。我记得《中国日报》还写了一篇文章,说只有我正确预见了未来,而其他人都没有,将我看作一个预言家(笑)。

而在西方,很明显很多人不喜欢我的观点,即使时间证明了我是对的,但没人会喜欢西方衰落这种坏消息。他们不喜欢这个消息,所以怪罪于“信使”,我就是那个“信使”。当然也有少数人对现状感到好奇,很想知道现在世界上正发生着什么,而我的书能够帮助他们了解这些。

澎湃新闻:你曾担任英国杂志《今日马克思主义》(Marxism Today)的编辑14年,对于马克思主义一定非常了解。你又是如何看待当下中国对于儒学的关注的?

马丁·雅克:在英国,关注马克思主义的人并不多。很多人并不去了解,认为它很枯燥无聊。但我们在《今日马克思主义》中做了很多独创性的工作。我们不认为我们知道自己国家问题的答案,不认为历史会向着某个必然的方向发展,而是借助对马克思主义理论的了解,来思考社会的发展。

中国共产党取得了成功,并促成了中国的崛起。我觉得原因在于中国共产党与时俱进地发展了马克思主义。世界时刻都在变化,所以人们也需要不断调整思考和行动的角度。而中国共产党出色地完成了马克思主义的本土化,并且采取了开放的态度和开阔的思路,乐于向别国学习,包括资本主义国家。中国的态度非常令人欣赏,因为中国没有将马克思主义变成一道与世界隔绝的壁垒,而是更主动地融入世界之中。

中国善于学习,也包括向中国自己的历史学习,儒学就是中国历史和传统文化中非常重要的精髓部分。它所传达的价值观念和道德准则并不仅仅是书本上的理论,而是深植于人们的头脑和实践中。不了解儒学就无法读懂中国,我在研究中国的过程中深有体会。

澎湃新闻:中国的崛起有目共睹,但西方世界也一直流传着所谓“中国威胁论”,而近年来中国与周边国家也不时有一些磕碰。你是怎么看待这个现象的?

马丁·雅克:我想中国的崛起正如一场地震,它会彻底改变这个世界,所有的一切都会不同以往。如此剧烈的变化自然会让人们不知该是高兴还是担忧,乐观还是悲观。有关中国所遭受的负面评价,我觉得原因有以下几点:
  • 第一,中国已成为一个大国,并且在不断变得更强大。而周边小国与中国这样的大国的关系是不可能平等的。当然在现代社会,国家之间必须互相尊重,平等相待,但是从国力对比上看来,是不可能真正平等的,这自然会引起小国的担忧。
  •  第二,冷战思维依然在影响着当今的国际社会。由于意识形态的差异,西方很多人对于中国抱持着深深的怀疑,这种态度仍然根深蒂固,并且在不断地塑造人们的思维,即便中国这些年取得了如此之多的成就。
  • 第三,在近代,中国经历过比较贫困混乱的时期,给很多人留下了贫穷落后的印象。而今一个强盛的中国突然冲入国际视野,令人们措手不及。人们通常很了解西方,但对中国这些年的发展,了解非常有限。至于中国社会、历史、文化中那些深厚而独特的传统,例如儒家思想,很多人都一无所知。了解如此稀缺,自然会对中国产生偏见和误读。

Sunday, 17 December 2017

The Experience by and Conclusions drawn about the Outstanding Leader, Lim Chin Siong’s Constitutional Struggle - an ideological wealth he has left behind for the People of Singapore, Peninsula Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak [Updated on 20 Dec 2017]

The Experience by and Conclusions drawn about the Outstanding Leader,  
Lim Chin Siong's Constitutional Struggle - an ideological wealth he has left behind 
for the People of Singapore, Peninsula Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak


Written by Chng Min Oh @ Zhuang Ming Hu
Translated by Agnes Khoo

【Updated on 20 Dec 2017】




[Sahabat Rakyat Editor's note] 

Author Chng Min Oh (right) was a Singaporean painter active in the labour movement of Singapore from the 1960s to the 1970s. He became a Traditional Chinese Medicine physician in his later years and he is still practising at 80 years old today.  He wrote this article in Chinese language last year to commemorate Lim Chin Siong's death twenty years ago. This is the English translation of his article.

This article reveals Chng’s persistence in exploring the truth of the rise and fall of the leftist movement (including the labour movement) in Malaya (including Singapore) in that era. More importantly, it expresses his recognition and reverence for the contribution of the movement’s prominent leader, Lim Chin Siong from 1950s to 1960s. He puts forward two “little hopes” in his article:

He hopes that those (especially the key figures) who had wrongly criticised Lim Chin Siong, critically reflect and evaluate themselves and what they had done. Justice for Lim must be done in the remaining years of the persons concerned.

He hopes that the complete Q&A/ Posthumous Manuscript of Lim Chin Siong, which has been kept away for at least twenty years be released/published as soon as possible since what has so far been published is only a fragment of the entire manuscript. This is to realise Lim’s long-held wish to publish his memoir and to fulfil the public’s yearning to read his complete work.

Before the publication of Chng’s article and ahead of the 20th anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s death, Sahabat Rakyat published an article entitled, “The Best Way to Commemorate Lim Chin Siong is to Propagate His Ideology and Ideal” in the Chinese language. The English rendition was subsequently published on 22nd February of the same year.

We mentioned in this article that “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 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.

Today, less than two years after the afore-mentioned articles were published, we received an English translation of this article from  Chng Min Oh. Chng told us that it was translated from his Chinese article by Dr. Agnes Khoo, a Singapore-born scholar (see Introduction of Translator at the end of the article). 

Chng’s purpose of getting his article translated from Chinese into English is to ensure that his writing is accessible to the English-speaking majority in Singapore today. Under the rule of Lee Kuan Yew and his clique, Singapore has become a society with English as the dominant language used by the majority, particularly among the middle-class and the younger generation.

Lee Kuan Yew's ruling clique has effectively silenced and undermined the Chinese-speaking leaders who once commanded respect and influence in the political and social movements of Malaya and Singapore. Lee and the PAP has rendered leaders and peoples whose first languages are Chinese and Chinese dialects voiceless and powerless. It is only by reaching out and educating the new generation of Singaporeans who are predominantly English-educated, that it is possible for Singapore to "change."

The publication of the English translation of Chng’s article is also timely for the people of Peninsula Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah. The people are opposing UMNO’s hegemonic rule and fighting for equality for all ethnic groups, as well as the long over-due democratic reforms of the country. This includes no less, the resistance of the people of Sabah and Sarawak against UMNO’s hegemony. People are fighting for self-determination, and their right for non-exploitative and sustainable development that does not discriminate any ethnic group. This article appears at a critical historical juncture, just as Peninsula Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak, gear up for the upcoming General Elections. The people should no longer be misled and sabotaged.

The anti-colonial movement in Singapore during the 1950s-60s, brought the Lee Kuan Yew-led PAP ruling clique into power. The painful experience of detention, persecution and ultimately, destruction of the leftist movement (mainly the workers’ movements and trade unions) and its prominent leader, Lim Chin Siong has resulted in a totalitarian and autocratic society that Singapore has become today.

The suppression and disintegration of the progressive movement and the lessons learnt from our painful experience must be critically examined and evaluated. This should include Lim Chin Siong’s own critical reflection and summing up of the key historical episodes of our anti-colonial struggles and his personal experience in leading that movement. Therefore, his unpublished work is invaluable to the people of Peninsula Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.

Today, certain democratic parties, organisations and leaders in Malaysia are cheating and deceiving the Malay majority of their votes. There are those among them who hope to take over power from the ruling UMNO by welcoming Mahathir into their ranks. He who is marginalized in UMNO and continues to uphold Malay hegemony and propagates the Malay majority as Malaysia’s “savior”, should not be trusted.

Many people in today’s Malaysia, desperately wants a “change of government” and among them, there are those who support Mahathir at all costs. The failure of the leftist movement in Malaya (including Singapore), due to the errors and “wrong judgment” of some of its leaders who thought Lee Kuan Yew was their “ally and leader of the anti-colonial struggle” should serve as a stark warning for us. The Left was brutally crushed and thrown aside by Lee Kuan Yew as soon as he seized power. Have we not learnt our lesson yet?

Below is the English rendition by Agnes Khoo and the introduction about her.




1. The significance of remembering Lim Chin Siong is to learn from his experience and conclusions drawn from the peaceful constitutional struggle he had led.

Lim Chin Siong is an extraordinary leader with a strong labour movement background who whole-heartedly dedicated himself to the national democratic movement of Malaya (including Singapore) from the 1950s to 1960s. Lim passed away on 5th February 1996. Nevertheless, he remains our leader who was larger than life. His advocacy for the mass line of peaceful constitutional struggles, remains the political ideological guidelines of the people’s democratic and national reform movement of our country today.

5th February 2016 was the 20th Anniversary of his death. We mourn for him as we gather together for his memorial. We learn from his total dedication to and sacrifices for the Malayan workers’ movement and the anti-colonial, nationalist democratic movements. We should emulate his spirit of self-sacrifice and learn from the lessons he had left behind. Without doubt, his was an arduous, painful and difficult struggle in which many like-minded Malaysians and Singaporeans have made untold sacrifices for. It is crucial that while we look to our past, we continue to move forward in our struggle for democracy and human rights in Singapore, Peninsula Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

2. Lim led the labour movement against exploitation and oppression and graduated on the political stage of anti-colonialism.

When the British colonial government imposed Emergency Regulations in Malaya (which included Singapore) in 1948, people’s lives were heavily censured, closely monitored, and social movements were severely suppressed. Activists were brutally punished, detained and deported. Despite the rising mass discontent against the Emergency, the colonial government dragged its feet in lifting it. In 1954, the Chinese Middle School students in Singapore protested the colonial government’s move to impose compulsory military draft of young Singaporean men. This culminated in the famous May 13th Incident that subsequently, nurtured the students’ movement in Singapore.

In 1955, workers of the Singapore Hock Lee Bus Company went on strike to demand for better pay and working conditions, but they were violently suppressed by the government. This ignited the island-wide 12th May Uprising, followed by waves of protests and demonstrations by workers. The British colonial government then rolled out parliamentary elections under the Rendel Constitution in the same year, and legalised political parties, trade unions and civic organisations, to ease the discontent of the masses. This helped facilitate the emergence of progressive trade unions that fought for the rights of the workers and the masses.

Lim Chin Siong was in his third year of Junior Middle School at Singapore Chinese High School in 1951. He participated in the students’ strike against compulsory examination imposed by the colonial government and was jailed for a week. Consequently, he was expelled from school and could not return to formal education.

From late 1953 to early 1954, he became actively involved in progressive trade union organising. He was initially employed as the paid Secretary of two union branches under the Singapore Bus Workers’ Union (SBWU) namely, the Changi Branch Union and the Paya Lebar Branch Union. Following that, he became the Secretary General of the Singapore Spinning Workers’ Union. On 4th April 1954, he was elected as Secretary General of the newly established, Singapore Factory and Shop Workers` Union (SFSWU).

Lim had always wanted to work for the workers and to be in solidarity with the toiling masses. He had experienced first-hand, the suffering of the workers, especially those at the grassroots who had to eke out a living despite bad working conditions with low wages. He fought for their rights and led trade union activists and leaders with complete dedication. He called for all workers to unionise, to unite and to struggle for better pay and working conditions. Under his leadership, the membership of the Singapore Factory and Shop Workers` Union (SFSWU) rose from less than a thousand to more than thirty thousand within a year.  This proves without dispute, Lim’s charisma and influence over the trade union movement. His leadership and ideas quickly made him one of the most respected leaders in the workers’ movement. He was without doubt, the most important leader of the progressive trade union and workers’ movements of Singapore.

His rise to popularity quickly caught the attention of Lee Kuan Yew who was trying to form the People’s Action Party (PAP) in 1954. Lee contacted Lim Chin Siong through the Chinese Middle School student leaders. Lim Chin Siong finally accepted Lee Kuan Yew’s invitation to become a PAP candidate for the Bukit Timah Constituency in the February 1955’s Legislative Assembly Elections in Singapore. Lee and four other PAP candidates also contested in the same election. Unsurprisingly, Lim was elected with majority votes. The speeches he made during the election, his subsequent intervention in the Legislative Assembly and his unequivocal opposition to colonial rule won him praise and trust of the workers and the masses.  He soon became the undisputed spokesperson of the workers and ordinary people. All these have established Lim Chin Siong as an iconic figure in Malayan history. He was an anti-colonialist at heart and a fearless dissident.

During this period, the anti-colonial sentiment among the people of Singapore was high and the opposition movement was strong and powerful. The Singapore people were demanding independence from Britain, which really shook the status quo and compelled the British colonialists and their accomplices to finally expose their true fascist nature. There were mass arrests starting from 18th September 1956.  Many leaders from the progressive trade unions, civic and grassroots organisations, as well as political dissidents were arrested and imprisoned. The British also banned all democratic trade unions and organisations.  On 26th October of the same year, progressive trade union leaders including, Yong Koh Kim, Lim Chin Siong, C.V. Devan Nair, Fong Swee Suan, Tan Kok Wee, Dominic Putucheary were detained.

According to the report of Singapore’s Chinese language Daily, Sin Chew Jit Poh on 28th October 1956, 234 people were arrested on 26th October under the Internal Security Act (ISA).  The mass arrests infuriated the people and a mass protest ensued. Unfortunately, it was brutally suppressed. The government opened fire at the protestors, followed by a curfew. The violent clamp down had resulted in fifteen deaths and many injured.

However, the mass arrests between 18th September and 26th October of 1956 did not diminish the determination of the workers and the masses to continue the anti-colonial struggle. Soon after, many trade unions, such as Singapore General Employees’ Union, Singapore Bookshops Publication & Printing Press Workers’ Union, The National Union of Building Construction Workers, Singapore Textile and General Merchants Employees’ Union etc., united together to demand the release of their leaders and members who were imprisoned. The workers’ movement did not back down in the face of repression. On the contrary, the people persisted.

3. PAP came into power on the back of the workers led by Lim Chin Siong – Lee Kuan Yew was alarmed at Lim’s immense influence.

Since the formation of the PAP in 1954, it has portrayed itself as an anti-colonial and democratic political party, which subsequently led to its overwhelming victory at the 1959 Legislative Assembly Elections, garnering 43 seats out of 51. It was given the power by the people to form the first self-government of Singapore. The people of Singapore, in particular the workers, were hopeful that Lee Kuan Yew, as the first popularly-elected leader would continue to rely on the power of the masses to get rid of the British colonialists, and to liberate the country from colonial rule so that we no longer live in fear and exploitation.

Unfortunately, Lee Kuan Yew exposed his true self as soon as he became the Prime Minister. He wasted no time to suppress the workers’ movement because deep down, he was worried of workers’ power; he knew that workers when united, could undermine his power.  Nevertheless, he was bound by his election promise to release several political prisoners, so he had no choice but to free eight trade union leaders including, Lim Chin Siong, Fong Swee Swan and C.V. Devan Nair. In fact, upon their release, he went on to appoint Lim and Fong as the Political Secretaries of the Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Labour and he put Devan Nair in-charge of the National Trade Union Congress (NTUC) that the government was establishing.

However, Lee Kuan Yew had retained all the anti-labour and undemocratic laws and ignored the people’s demands to unify trades unions, to open democracy and freedom, and to increase workers’ wages and so on.

The PAP under Lee’s leadership betrayed its founding principles and vision and became increasingly antagonistic against the people. It soon became clear that it has aligned itself with British interests. This eventually led to a split within the party, between the faction loyal to Lee Kuan Yew and the other, led by Lim Chin Siong and Lee Siew Choh who had insisted on continuing the anti-colonial struggle in Singapore. As a result, the Left in the PAP walked out of the party and formed an opposition party, the Barisan Socialis Singapura (BSS) on 17th September 1961.

Barisan Socialis Singapura as a left-wing party was to lead the masses against the British colonial design of merging Malaysia and Singapore into the Federation of Malaysia. Article 2 of its Constitution declared its support for the formation of a democratic Malayan government that guarantees universal suffrage for all adults born in Malaya or who pledge loyalty to Malaya. Thus, Barisan Socialis Singapura has adopted the aim and line of struggle of the progressive labour movement, which is to pursue constitutional struggle.

Lim Chin Siong as the Secretary General of Barisan Socialis Singapura had emphasised in his report at the Party’s first General Assembly held on 11th October 1962 that, “We must do our utmost to adopt concrete steps and through constitutional means, in uniting all left-wing and anti-colonial forces of the Federation of Malaya to form a central government that truly represents the majority of our people. Only when we succeed to do so will the lives of our farmers, workers and people of all classes be improved. We believe that a genuine merger of Malaya and Singapore that is based on equality and democracy can only take place through such means. And it is also the only way through which the democratic rights of the people of Malaya can be guaranteed. It is only so that we can build a country that is truly peaceful and prosperous”.

The people welcomed and supported Lim’s leadership because of his advocacy for the line of peaceful constitutional struggle, which is in line with their aspiration and interests. He was right that it is only by uniting the people through the anti-colonial mass movement that the progressive opposition could win and undermine the rule of Lee Kuan Yew and the PAP.  The political development in Singapore after mid-1962 showed that if the Legislative Assembly Election was called in 1963, as stipulated by our Constitution, the PAP was bound to lose its majority and Barisan Socialis Singapura would surely win. Hence, Lee Kuan Yew in desperation to hold on to power, quickly suppressed the anti-colonial democratic forces. In particular, he had to detain Lim Chin Siong under a pretext, so he tried to instigate Lim Chin Siong and his colleagues to carry out radical protests and actions so that he could in turn, use that as an excuse to arrest the leaders of Barisan Socialis Singapura. He also accused Barisan Socialis Singapura of aiding the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

Thus, the 1962 snap referendum on the merger of Malaya and Singapore was a preamble to Lee Kuan Yew’s sinister plot. If Lim Chin Siong was to call for a boycott of the referendum, Lee could detain all the opposition leaders by accusing them of intending to riot and thereby, justify his mass arrests and repression. Further, Lee could then deprive the opposition of their right to run for the upcoming 1963 election, as well as their right to vote.  His intention was to abrogate the right of the anti-colonial forces in running for elections and their right to vote. In so doing, Lee and PAP wanted to prevent the democratic forces from gaining momentum and power in Singapore.

Faced with this dilemma, Lim and his colleagues tried their best to respond with reason and tact. Throughout the process, Barisan Socialis Singapura conducted mass political mobilisation through peaceful means by educating the people about how unreasonable and unjustified the referendum was. They tried to expose the insidious intention of PAP and the fake constitutional democracy propagated by the Party.  In fact, Lim Chin Siong had urged the people to void their votes instead of a boycott and his strategy eventually succeeded in neutralising Lee’s plot.

On 8th December 1962, the so-called ‘Brunei People’s Armed Uprising’ gave Lee Kuan Yew another pretext to clamp down on the opposition. He so desperately needed to detain Lim Chin Siong and other opposition leaders to ‘nib’ the anti-colonial forces ‘in the bud’. Recent historical research has revealed that the so-called armed revolution in Brunei was in fact, instigated by special agents of the British colonialists to suppress the emerging anti-colonial movements in Brunei and Sarawak. This move succeeded in giving the ruling elite of Malaya and Singapore a pretext to suppress dissent.

4. The line of struggle advocated by Lim Chin Siong was undermined by Lee Siew Choh and other leaders of Barisan Socialis Singapura.

1. Lim Chin Siong’s perspective on peaceful constitutional struggle and parliamentary democracy

The results of the September 1962 Referendum saw the defeat of the opposition in Singapore. There were doubts about constitutional struggle within the anti-colonial movement, which had led to pessimism and a defeatist tendency on the one hand, and adventurism and radicalism on the other.

Lim assessed the outcome of the referendum on 12th September in his statement, which reiterated the need for peaceful constitutional struggle for as long as the conditions for it exist. He wanted to counter the extreme right-wing and left-wing tendencies within the opposition, which have both cast doubt on his political strategy.

On 21st October of the same year, Lim was interviewed by his party newspaper and he said, “In the eyes of the right-wing reactionary forces, parliamentary democracy will consolidate the ruling elite’s position and power. They will not allow the left-wing forces that advocate socialism to seize power through peaceful constitutional means”.

On his assessment of peaceful constitutional struggle, Lim said, “the denial of the reactionary forces among us and the validity of peaceful constitutional rule and parliamentary democracy precisely prove that it is possible for socialists to have the support of the majority of the people, if we follow the path of peaceful constitutional reform. With this as our foundation, suppression cannot destroy or stop the progress of socialism”.

He also said that, “The Singapore Left must seek social change through peaceful constitutional means. Only when the majority of our people wants socialism can socialism be realised. And only then will the attacks of the reactionary forces be futile. Hence, the reactionaries will increasingly rely on un-democratic and fascist means to strengthen their rule… It is obvious that because socialist forces are advancing through constitutional means that the reactionaries of the Federation had no choice but to attack democracy”.

In his 1963 New Year’s speech, he further pointed out that, “if the Federation of Malaya insists on stepping up police terror against the people, it would be this country’s political turning point. The Left must respond resolutely”.

The above was Lim’s perspective on peaceful constitutional struggle for Singapore. It is the iron proof of his understanding of the dialectical dynamism of peaceful constitutional struggle, and his realisation of its purpose and significance in the democratisation of Singapore and Malaya.  History has shown that, the distortion of Lim’s advocacy for peaceful constitutional struggle as “right opportunism” by certain “left opportunists” within the Malayan Left, and for their selfish and personal agendas, have irrevocably undermined the national democratic struggles of Malaya (including Singapore). Even though over half a century has passed, there is a need to properly evaluate this unfortunate turn of event today.

2. Lee Siew Choh and his colleagues accused Lim Chin Siong as “Right opportunists”, and “Parliamentary Cretinism”.

Over time, various historical material that deals with the internal disagreement, divisions and debates about the lines of political struggle within the anti-colonial movement of the 1960s have emerged. Those who knew about these dynamics or who were part of it are not hesitant to discuss it today. One of the key leaders of Barisan Socialis Singapura, Chair of the Tampines Branch, Poh Ber Liak, has revealed much of the internal disputes, which has helped us understand the context within which the split within the Barisan Socialis Singapura had taken place. Below is a brief explanation.

(1)Lee Siew Choh advocated for the boycott of National Service (Military Draft) Registration in 1964
Before the September 1963 Singapore Legislative Assembly Election, Lee Siew Choh was very confident that he would win the election. Hence, he was extremely frustrated when he lost. That November, he attended a rally organised by the Malaya Labour Party in Johore Bahru (Malaysia) and called for a boycott against national service enforced by the Malaysian government. This was a preamble of his advocacy of the same in Barisan Socialis Singapura.

In January 1964, the Central Committee of Barisan Socialis Singapura called for a joint meeting of its members and Legislative Assembly members who were not imprisoned. It was to discuss the Party’s position and policies on National Service. It was attended by ten members namely, Lee Siew Choh, Low Por Tuck, Koo Young, Chia Thye Poh, Ong Lian Teng, Tan Cheng Tong, Lim Huan Boon, Poh Ber Liak, Kow Kee Seng and Chio Cheng Thun. After much discussion, Lee had insisted on boycotting the National Service Registration Decree, but his motion was only supported by Koo Young, the other eight had voted against it. Among those who opposed, some of them advocated for registration under protest and still others, opted for ‘principled registration’.

(2) Lim Chin Siong opposed Lee Siew Choh’s advocacy and was accused by the latter as  “Right opportunist”, and ‘against the Party’s principle and position’

February 1964, Lim Chin Siong wrote to the Central Committee of Barisan Socialis Singapura from prison, expressing his position on the matter:
• After the 2nd February 1963 Incident and the General Strike of 8th October, the mass movement in Singapore has entered a lull. Therefore, it is not the right time to adopt any high-profile struggles but to sustain low-intensity struggles instead.

• We should opt for registration under protest because our relationship with the masses is like ‘fish and water’; without water, the fish cannot survive. Without the support of the masses, we cannot carry out any form of struggles. Until the masses are ready and demand protests, it is futile to carry out high-profile struggles.

• Not engaging in high-profile struggle now does not mean there is no opportunity to do so in the future. The unjust laws of our enemy are many, we have much to struggle against later.

However, Lee Siew Choh criticised Lim as pessimistic and defeatist. In his opinion, political movement should always be on the rise and never on the ‘low’. The socialist movement of many countries began only with a few people but in Singapore, there were tens and thousands of us. Does this look like a movement in its ebb? Lee questioned and labelled Lim as a right opportunist and a coward. He said Lim was fearful, was giving in to the power-that-be, that it was capitulation, and that he had gone against the party’s position and principles. When Lee’s call for the boycott was rejected by the Party’s extraordinary meeting on 29th April 1964, Lee Siew Choh and seven others resigned from the Party on 4th May.

 (3) On 7th March 1965, Lee Siew Choh returned to the party as a victor and advocated for the “Revolutionary Struggle Line”, targeting the so-called “right opportunists”and openly opposed Lim Chin Siong and his line of struggle.

When Singapore was ejected from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965, Lee Siew Choh and his colleagues’ criticism of Lim Chin Siong and his line of struggle became increasingly apparent.

On the separation of Singapore from Malaysia
On 8th March 1965, 30 left-wing trade unions gathered to celebrate the International Women’s Day.  The Singapore Trade Unions Liaison Secretariat (STULS) had published a policy statement entitled, “Resolve Malaysia, Secede from Malaysia” in its special publication for the celebration. It discusses the correct path that the people of Singapore should follow. On the same day, the Serangoon Gardens Branch of Barisan Socialis Singapura also published an article entitled, “Singapore – where should it go from here?” This article held similar position on the matter as the trade unions. It was rumoured that Lim Chin Siong might have authored it. However, this article is no longer available today and probably, all destroyed. When Lee Siew Choh had rejoined Barisan Socialis Singapura on 7th March, he would not have tolerated the dissenting views expressed in that article.

On 9th August 1965, the Lee Kuan Yew-led Singapore was forced to leave the Federation of Malaysia. Lee Siew Choh was attending the Anti-Atomic Bomb Peace Assembly in Japan on the day the news broke. He telephoned Koo Young and Chia Thye Poh to instruct them to declare Singapore’s independence as phoney; that Barisan Socialis Singapura would not recognise Singapore’s independence.  On the same day, Singapore’s 30 Left-wing Trade Unions led by the Singapore Commercial House and Factory Employees` Unions (SCHFEU)  issued a joint statement entitled, “Singapore Left ‘Malaysia’: British Imperialist Rule frustrated and forced to deploy new deception” (see SCHFEU`s Bulletin, Issue No. 15, 15th August 1965). According to the statement:

This is an advancement of the people’s struggle against the formation of Malaysia. This signifies the joint failure and defeat of the Barisan National (BN) and PAP as puppet governments of the imperialists. It is particularly, the failure of neo-colonialism, and of British imperialism.

The declaration highlighted that “Independence and Autonomy” is the common will and hope of the people. It is also the aim of the left-wing trade union movement in its persistent struggle for democracy. It also affirmed the rights of the people of Singapore, politically, economically, and militarily and so on… That the aim of our struggle is the genuine unification of Malaya and Singapore.

When the 30 left-wing trade unions took up Lim Chin Siong’s line of struggle and issued the above-mentioned statement based on their assessment of the reality, Lee Siew Choh quickly fabricated accusations against trade unions leaders who were then led by Tan Sin (@Tan Seng Hin @Chen Xin) as “agents of the enemy”, and for “recognising Singapore’s phoney independence” and so on.

Lim Chin Siong in his partially published manuscript after his death, which contained a series of “Q & A” mentioned that, “…when Singapore declared independence from Malaysia, I wrote to the Chair of Barisan Socialis Singapura, Lee Siew Choh from prison. I urged him to reconsider his stand that Singapore’s independence is phoney. I urged him to recognise Singapore’s independence because it simply proves that PAP’s brand of ‘merger’ has failed and that he should instead ask PAP to immediately release all political detainees who had opposed PAP’s brand of merger (see “How did you feel when Singapore declared independence?).
 
On “Giving up Constitutional Struggle”

After Lee Siew Choh returned from Japan, from 16th August 1965 onwards, Barisan Socialis Singapura held a few meetings to discuss its position on constitutional struggle in the event of Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and subsequent declaration of independence by the PAP.  Lee Sew Choh insisted that:
                                 
• Parliamentary Democracy has died, Barisan Socialis must boycott the Parliament
• Singapore’s independence is phoney and therefore, Barisan Socialis should not attend the Parliament
• Barisan Socialis must order all its Members of Parliament to resign
• Crush and dispel our fixation on Parliamentary Democracy (Cretinism) and organise street struggles instead.

His position was met with strong opposition from the rank-and-file, as well as leaders of the Party.  On 17th November of the same year, an incident took place among the twelve branches of the Party, which epitomises the collective position of the party’s rank-and-file in response to Lee Siew Choh’s radical line of struggle.

In October 1965, Lim Chin Siong once again wrote to the Central Committee and Parliamentary members of Barisan Socialis Singapura from prison, to express his opposition to the Party’s abandonment of constitutional struggle. The main thrust of his intervention was:

Barisan Socialis is a constitutional political party and therefore, it can only work within constitutional means and abide by the constitution. To simply choose street battles over constitutional struggle because parliamentary democracy is dead goes against the purpose and spirit of the Party. Otherwise, the existence of Barisan Socialis Singapura would no longer be meaningful.

However, the incarcerated Lim Chin Siong failed to dissuade the Party from taking its radical path. On 8th October 1966, five Legislative members of Barisan Socialis Singapura, (Koo Young, Chia Thye Poh, Ong Lian Teng, Tan Cheng Tong and Poh Ber Liak), walked out of the Parliament as ordered by Lee Siew Choh. They then protested outside the Parliament House by unfurling a black banner which said, “Parliamentary Democracy is Dead”.  From then on, Barisan Socialis Singapura completely abandoned Lim Chin Siong and his line of struggle. Under the radical line and adventurist leadership of Lee Siew Choh, the Party soon alienated itself from the masses and basically, self-destructed. Not only that, many leaders and cadres of the left-wing trade unions and organisations gave up their struggle, either on behest of or forced by the leadership, which made it easy for Lee Kuan Yew to destroy these organisations in turn, and quickened the eventual collapse of Singapore’s anti-colonial power.

However, many left-wing cadres in and outside of the Party, as well as the masses had identified with and supported Lim Chin Siong. In his speech to the cadres of Barisan Socialis Singapura, upon the announcement of the outcome of the National Referendum on 2nd September 1962, Lim had pointed to the future direction and line of struggle of the Party. He also presented his policy and actions on 11th October of the same year, at the Party’s first General Assembly (Party Congress). However, his effort was completely undermined by Lee Siew Choh. In fact, Lee was so pleased with himself that he included in his Political Report for the Second (1967) and Third (1969) Party Congress, how he had successfully overthrown Lim’s policy and line of struggle.

When Lee and seven others resigned from Barisan Socialis Singapura, the then representatives of the CPM in Singapore affirmed their support for Lee’s opposition to and boycott of national service. They even insisted that the Party must apologise to Lee Siew Choh, and affirm him as a talented leader, that the Party could not do without him, and that the Party should win him back…and so on. This development revealed and facilitated Lee Siew Choh’s hidden agenda. On hindsight, this move by the CPM had dealt a devastating blow on Lim Chin Siong.

5. Lim Chin Siong is deservedly an extraordinary leader of the workers’ movement and national democratic movement of Singapore, Peninsula Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

After Singapore’s separation from Malaysia, Lee Kuan Yew and his cronies intensified their persecution of Lim Chin Siong

The British colonial government,Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew and his cronies,Malaysia’s Tunku Abdul Rahman and his cronies, all tried their utmost to stop and thwart anti-colonial struggles that opposed the fake merger of Malaysia and Singapore. Using the so-called armed uprising of the Brunei people as an excuse, Lee Kuan Yew conducted mass arrests codenamed, “Operation Cold Store” on 2nd February 1963 in Singapore. More than 100 anti-colonial leaders and cadres including, Lim Chin Siong were detained overnight. Their ‘crime’ was the betrayal of constitutional rule. They were imprisoned under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which gave the government full authority to incarcerate the opposition without trial and indefinitely. Many of the political prisoners were brutally tortured.

On 9th August 1965, Singapore declared independence from Malaysia and this proves that Lim Chin Siong and his colleagues were right to oppose the ‘fake merger’ and the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. And that Lee Kuan Yew’s advocacy to merge with the Federation of Malaysia was a mistake. In the eyes of the oppressed masses, Lim Chin Siong and his colleagues who were detained and persecuted were the true patriots of Singapore.

Upon Singapore’s separation from Malaysia and its declaration of independence, the continued incarceration of its opposition, including Lim Chin Siong was a very heavy political burden for Lee Kuan Yew. He had to intensify his persecution of the political detainees to force them to capitulate and then destroy them. He was particularly harsh on Chin Siong. As a result, Chin Siong suffered from acute depression and high blood pressure while in prison and was exhibiting certain unusual behaviour. The medication given by the prison doctor had only worsened his condition. By December of 1965, the newspaper reported that Chin Siong had to be transferred to the General Hospital and that he had tried to kill himself there. There were concerns about his safety and anger erupted against Lee Kuan Yew for his high-handedness. On 8th December, Singapore’s 30 left-wing trade unions issued a joint statement, charging Lee Kuan Yew for plotting the destruction of the left-wing movement by attacking left-wing cadres and leaders. They cited PAP’s maltreatment and near-murder of Lim Chin Siong as an example.

On 23rd July 1969, Lim Chin Siong personally handed a letter, dated 21st July to the prison warden, addressed to Lee Siew Choh. In it, he announced his loss of confidence in the struggle and his decision to give up politics. He also wrote to Lee Kuan Yew to express the same. Subsequently, he left Singapore for London, in the company of a psychiatrist and an officer from the Internal Security/ Criminal Investigation Department (ISD/CID). This was the beginning of his decade-long, difficult and arduous exile in London. He was only allowed to return to Singapore in 1979. It is not surprising that sending Chin Siong away was Lee Kuan Yew’s fail-safe measure, his last resort against any possible or remaining threat to his political power. By then, Chin Siong had totally collapsed mentally, having gone through immense physical and mental torture during his imprisonment.

Barisan Socilais Singapura under the leadership of Lee Siew Choh also tried to exterminate the political influence of Lim Chin Siong

Unfortunately, Lee Kuan Yew’s persecution of Lim Chin Siong to totally destroy his political life was aggravated by Lee Siew Choh’s attempt to promote his ‘revolutionary line of struggle’ as the leader of Barisan Socialis Singapura. The latter criticised and discredited Chin Siong and his line of struggle.  Lee Siew Choh had labelled his opponents’ struggle as right opportunism and parliamentary cretinism. His aim was to eliminate Chin Siong’s political influence and authority as the leader of the anti-colonial movement. For Chin Siong, such attacks from within the movement was no less devastating and painful than the blows dealt by his enemies from outside the movement.

The line of struggle that Lim Chin Siong represented was developed by the workers’ and the national democratic movement of Singapore when the Malayan Emergency ended. It is a line of political struggle within a modern constitution that defends the people’s rights and interests. It relies on the masses and believes in the masses. That is why the Singapore labour movement and national democratic movement were so vibrant and successful from 1950s to 1960s. Unfortunately, this effective line of struggle was undermined and later, eliminated by the revolutionary route led by Lee Siew Choh and his colleagues from 1966 onwards.

By the end of 1969, the foundation of Singapore’s powerful mass organisations led by Lim Chin Siong and his contemporaries had almost disappeared. Such a scenario had pained the supporters of Lim’s line of political struggle but was welcomed by its enemies.  They also felt utterly powerless and helpless. Lim Chin Siong by this time, had already descended into serious depression. He was so utterly demoralised, not only as a result of the psychological and physical torture he had endured during his detention but also from the devastating blows dealt by his party comrades. It is of no surprise that his health quickly deteriorated.

Conclusion: Lim Chin Siong was an extraordinary leader that emerged from the labour movement and the national democratic movement

He became involved in the workers’ movement at the age of twenty in 1953 and was active in the political scene after that. He was overwhelmingly voted in as a PAP candidate for the Bukit Timah Constituency in the 1955 Legislative Assembly Election. He was detained the following year by the Lim Yew Hock government and once more in 1963 by Lee Kuan Yew. Even though he was in prison, he continued to monitor and involve himself in the political developments of Singapore. When Barisan Socialis Singapura veered towards left adventurism from 1964 onwards, he tried his best to stop it. In other words, he tried to prevent the leadership of Barsan Socialis Singapura from alienating itself from the masses and towards self-destruction. His persisted until his eventual melt-down. Before he passed away, he wrote about his understanding and assessment of the historical problems faced by Malaysia and Singapore in the early years of independence, as well as his reflection and conclusion of the various important struggles and incidents that he had experienced. This is his memoir to be left behind for Singaporeans and Malaysians. This proves that even until his last breath, he was still concerned and hopeful about the national democratic movement of Malaysia and Singapore.

His memoir reveals the intrigues, plots, machinations and manipulations of the enemy at various stages of the democratic struggle. He was also critical of the mass organisations. All these demonstrate his serious and sincere attitude, his courage to face the judgment of our history and to personally take responsibility for his actions and decisions. More than twenty years ago, Chin Siong has already set an example for us by critically reflecting on the past, and to assess what we had done right or wrong. We should learn from him.

Looking at Lim Chin Siong’s life-long contribution and sacrifice for the national democratic struggles of Malaysia and Singapore, even if his decision to go to Britain was ‘voluntary’, it was only a tiny flaw in the grand scheme of things. His exile did not diminish his stature and credibility; he is still the undisputable leader of the labour and national democratic movements of Malaya (including Singapore). He is our hero; a true pioneer of our nation-building. He had sacrificed his entire life for the labour movement and the national democratic movement of Malaya (including Singapore).

6.  My wishes on the 20th Anniversary of Lim Chin Siong’s passing

Reality has proven that the line of revolutionary struggle undertaken by Barisan Socialis Singapura as propagated by Lee Siew Choh had utterly failed. Half a century has passed since his attack against Chin Siong’s advocacy for constitutional struggle as right opportunism. Unfortunately, Chin Siong died before he was vindicated. Two decades have passed and the injustice he endured is yet to be put right. Among those who had misjudged him, some had already passed away, but some of them are still alive. And most of them are now in their 70s. In commemorating Chin Siong, I implore those who were at the forefront (especially the leaders) of those attacks, to apologise and give him the justice he so deserves.

As our leader, his memoir is the ideological wealth he has left behind for the people. People of all walks of life and across all classes want to learn from him, especially those who had personally worked with him in the struggle. We are keen to learn more about his assessment and summation of his experiences.

In early 2013, we learnt that Chin Siong had completed his memoir and it was almost ready for print before his sudden death. However, up to date, the memoir is yet to be published. In July 2014, Lim Chin Joo (Lim Chin Siong’s younger brother) published his memoir (in Chinese) entitled, “My Youth in Black and White “(我的黑白青春). And he has included in his appendix, sections of Chin Siong’s memoir entitled, “Lim Chin Siong Q & A”.

Many of us who have read it believe that Chin Siong’s intention of writing his memoir was to conclude his invaluable experiences and the lessons learnt from the many struggles he had led. In other words, his memoir is a priceless historical account that he wished to leave behind for his people. Many people are waiting to read the rest of his unpublished manuscript, which will shed light on the many issues that confronted us and the movements he led at that time. Some of what he said may even be very sensitive, hardly known or understood. Those of us who have worked with Chin Siong and have followed his line of struggle do hope to read his entire manuscript before we die. Thus, in commemoration of him, we hope to read his entire manuscript soon.


Written in January and edited in February 2016
Published on 15th March 2016 by SAHABAT RAKYAT
   Translated in October 2017 by Agnes Khoo


[Related articles]

1. 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)

2. Part of Lim Chin Siong’s Q&A Posthumous Manuscript



Note on the translator

Agnes Khoo was born in 1965’s Singapore and completed her Bachelor Degree in Social Work and Sociology at the National University of Singapore in 1987, the year the Singapore government arrested 21 Church and Social Workers under the Internal Security Act (ISA), on the pretext of a ‘Marxist Conspiracy’, the government had made-up. Agnes’ father, Khoo Suan Wan was detained under the same law in 1965, as a paid secretary of the Singapore Marine Products Workers` Unions. He was arrested together with twelves others, at the eve of the Commemoration of May 1st, International Labour Day, organized by the left wing trade unions.

According to Agnes, her father suffered severe psychological torture during his detention and eventually, had a total breakdown after his release from prison. Her father’ s experience and that of several of her friends who were arrested in 1987 convinced her that to remain in Singapore’s rat-race and be part of the elite in Singapore’s society is not a solution. She subsequently left for further studies in the Netherlands and did her Master’s degree at the International Institute of Social Studies. Her thesis compared Asia’s Four Dragons: South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore, in terms of their economic development vis-à-vis democratisation. She then went on to work in various NGOs in Europe and Asia before embarking upon her PhD. Studies at the University of Manchester, U.K. Her doctoral thesis was about the role of women’s movements in the democratisation of South Korea and Taiwan after 1987.

While pursuing her PhD., Agnes published in both English and Chinese, “Life as the River Flows – Women in the Malayan anti-colonial struggle” (2004), an oral history book by former women guerrillas led by the Communist Party of Malaya. This was followed by a Taiwanese edition in 2006, a Malay language edition in 2009, and an Indonesian edition in 2011.

Agnes now lives in Ghana, West Africa; teaching International Relations at Webster University and running a chicken farm with her Ghanaian husband in his home village, as a community-based, social enterprise to provide education, training and employment for women and youth.


通告 Notification

人民之友 对我国第14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。我们欢迎跟我们对第14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第14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 PRU14 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 kepada kuasa! " (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 GE14 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 upcoming 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 14th General Election carried out by various political parties and their practices in all fields in future.

Malaysia Time (GMT+8)