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Books, Internal Security (Act/Dept)

‘Operation Spectrum’ was political rape

that we may dream again - coverI borrowed a phrase from Vincent Cheng’s chapter, Persecuted for justice’s sake, for this blog post.

His chapter is from the book titled that we may dream again. Its edited by Fong Hoe Fang and was  published this year by Ethos Books. The latter also published Our thoughts are free.

About ‘that we may dream again’

In 1987, twenty-two Singaporeans were arrested under the Internal Security Act of Singapore. The government alleged that the detainees were part of a Marxist conspiracy aimed at subverting the existing social and political system in Singapore.

Among those arrested were professionals, students and, workers from the Catholic Church in Singapore.

The protests from the detainees and the international community to these arrests were unprecedented. Over three years, all the detainees were released, most with Restriction Orders imposed.

Twenty one years later today, some of the ex-detainees from the Catholic Church groups recount together with family and friends, their experience of those tumultuous years.

They speak tenderly of the warm support from people and organisations. They share their motivations for their work, the beliefs they held and childhood events that built their character and perspectives. They agonise over the effects the arbitrary arrests had on them long after their release, permeating to the lives of their children, extended family and friends.

And with quiet strength, they re-affirm their desire even through those dark days, to continue to “…love tenderly, to act justly and to walk humbly with the Lord, our God.”

These are just two links to articles about Operation Spectrum in which 22 individuals were detained without trial in 1987, under the Internal Security Act, by the Internal Security Department for an alleged Marxist conspiracy: ‘Marxist plot’ revisited and Operation Spectrum.

Read also Chee Siok Chin’s Yes, that we may dream again.


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