Friday, October 10, 2014

Singapore - The Battle for Merger

This was a speech given by Singapore's Deputy PM Teo Chee Hean.  I never knew that our history was so exciting. Growing up, I had watched the Cold War play out on TV, with President Ronald Reagan of USA calling the Soviet Union the evil empire, and Soviet President Gorbachev embarking on reforms.

I also heard about the cultural revolution in China, and also about the Vietnam War where Americans pulled out after they lost the support for the war at home.  Remember, even President Bill Clinton fought against the draft.

Surely all these global events had an impact on Singapore, since there were so many proxy wars being fought between the Communists and the West, e.g. in Vietnam, Korea and Afghanistan.  For whatever reason, we were never really taught this important part of our history.  In fact, history in school was so boring, because the content was from too long ago, e.g. South East Asian history before 1900.

So I am very glad that now, all this is being shared.  We need to understand our history and our difficult birth as a nation, in order to understand who we are and how we got here today.

I never knew PM Lee Kuan Yew took to the radio to convince the population of the case for merger and the Communist threat.  At the heart of this battle was two contrasting visions of how society should be ordered and how we should govern ourselves.  Communists and pro-Communists wanted a Communist Government, and no doubt they were funded by Communist Governments from overseas. These days, we have almost forgotten that at one time, the Communists and the West nearly went to war.

I never knew that the Communist parties of Malaya and their supporters were so determined to take over the country and spread their ideology.  They had waged a violent and armed insurgency.

Interesting fact - in 1970, a seven year old girl was killed by a booby trapped bomb in Changi.  In 1974, three communists were on their way to plant home-made bombs in Telok Kurau when one bomb exploded prematurely in Katong, killing two of the bombers. In 1975, authorities recovered two caches of 298 hand grenades in Loyang and Tampines, accumulate by another CPM unit.

What a history we had.  I hope more of us read and learn and understand our past.  These are facts, not fiction.

Thanks for reading.

No comments :

Post a Comment