Operation Coldstore remains the most contentious event in the history of post colonial Singapore. Despite attempts by the state to silence ex-detainees, by warning that they would not be permitted to rewrite the state’s official version of history, the authors in this volume have done just that. They have placed on record their own perspective of events. The autobiographical element in the narratives brings to life what these individuals went through as left-wing political actors who responded to the call of anti colonialism and the challenge of shaping a new society. Their accounts of life in prison are a sober reminder of the deprivations and tortures inflicted to break their spirit. These stirring accounts are supplemented by academic contributions that provide contextual depth to the historical events and a critique of history writing in Singapore. In remembering Operation Coldstore, the book affirms the personal price that the most resolute leaders of their generation have paid, in order that readers will be able to better understand the nature of the state power that runs through Singapore society.
Political Detainees in Singapore, 1950 – 2013
Date: 6 December 2013
H.E. HF Ngubeni
High Commissioner of South Africa in Singapore
15th Floor, Odeon Towers
331 North Bridge Road
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (1918 – 2013)
Members of Function 8 are deeply saddened at the passing of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.
Throughout his life, Mandela fought against injustice. He fought against apartheid in South Africa and spent 27 years in prison. He was a symbol of the struggle for justice, equality and human dignity around the world and inspired many young people who protested and called for his freedom. Released from prison on 11 February 1990, he gave a speech in Cape Town declaring his commitment to peace and reconciliation with the white minority, but made it clear that the ANC’s armed struggle was not over, and would continue as “a purely defensive action against the violence of apartheid.”
Mandela accepted the presidency in 1994 and worked towards reconciliation of his people and economic progress in South Africa. Instead of embarking on a witch hunt of the perpetrators of atrocities committed during the apartheid era, he initiated the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and appointed Archbishop Desmond Tutu as commissioner, a first in the world. He did not seek a renewal of his presidency in 1999, choosing instead to live as a private citizen while remaining active in the social arena.
Mandela is a legend and is an inspiration to all of us at Function 8. We continue to draw strength and courage from his struggles for a just society.
Mandela’s greatness will always be remembered. During his presidency he came to Singapore in 1997 at the invitation of ISEAS, and gave a lecture at Shangrila Hotel. The late opposition leader, Mr JB Jeyaretnam raised a question as a member of the audience during the Q & A. When the lecture ended, Mandela walked towards Jeyaretnam and spoke with him. That was a great gesture which showed Mandela’s humanity and humility.
We extend our deepest condolences to the family of Nelson Mandela, President Jacob Zuma and the people of South Africa.
Teo Soh Lung Chan Wai Han Yap Hon Ngian
Lim Kay Siu as River Yang and Zelda Tatiana Ng as Kristina Hu at the rehearsal of Square Moon.
Kay Siu speaks about detention without trial and the play at
And Zelda Tatiana Ng speaks about her role at
Square Moon is serious and funny. It is not a play that is filled with angst as some may fear! It may however set you thinking about detention without trial .
Zelda Tatiana Ng as Kristina Hu in Square Moon will win your sympathy, admiration and respect. She is the innocent and accidental victim of a vicious plot hatched by officials who will do anything to absolve themselves from blame. The shock… therapy and violence reduced Kristina to a wretched soul. But as luck would have it, she is imprisoned in a cell that is not too far from River Yang played by Lim Kay Siu. She learns survival techniques and soon a beautiful relationship developed between the two.
The violence of the play is suddenly replaced by the peace and tranquility of solitary confinement. Helped by a compassionate prison guard acted by Erwin Shah Ismail who will keep you happy and smiling, sanity and humanity returns. There is an almost surreal peace in prison. The scene is full of tenderness. Kristina recovers and adapts to prison life. A few months later, River Yang is released and goes on to become a powerful politician. But what about Kristina? You will have to see the play to find out!
Zelda Tatiana Ng is a very talented and impressive young actress. She takes this star role with ease. She is a great actress and her rich husky voice will win your hearts. Zelda is multi talented. She also takes care of the music and sound effect. Her choice of music is cheerful, catchy, haunting and most of all, memorable.
Make a date with Square Moon. Book your tickets now at http://www.ticketbooth.com.sg/EventDetail.ntuc?EventId=434
Lim Kay Siu is River Yang, the male lead in Square Moon by Wong Souk Yee. Watching Kay Siu is watching the life of a politician unfold on stage! He is so damn good! You will love him as a political prisoner and praise him because he is such a comfort to the other star, female lead, Kristina Hu played by Zelda Tatiana Ng. Young Zelda with her low, husky and sexy voice immerses into her role easily and with conviction. She is the pure and strong human rights lawyer who becomes the innocent victim of politics but who holds true to her profession and her principle in life.
Do not miss this amazing play at the University Cultural Centre Theatre on Fri 20 Dec and Sat 21 Dec. This is the most intense political play to be staged in Singapore. Three shows only. For details, see http://www.ticketbooth.com.sg/EventDetail.ntuc?EventId=434
The Company of Masters & Slaves
I grew up with you
Your ring meant hours
Of happy chatting
Of connecting with my friends.
I grew strong with you
My hearing made acute
Straining for nuances
My jaws made firmer
Laughing and talking.
I grew wary of you
Never dreamt you could turn foe
After years of constant touch.
When I connect with my friend
Who else are you letting in?
Aileen Lau Guek Lin
6 November 1992