Here in cold wintery Perth, I am looking forward to reading Teo Soh Lung’s recollections, “Beyond the Blue Gate”.
Knowing the dynamic and spirited character of Soh Lung, I am certain it would make honest and compelling reading of her time in detention.
But more than that, Soh Lung’s book has significant importance in the political context of Singapore where for too long, sensitive matters such as ISA arrests and detentions were only discussed behind closed doors.
I congratulate Soh Lung in taking the bold and courageous step of exposing the truth of her arrest and detention while continuing to remain in Singapore under the surveillance of the PAP security apparatus.
Soh Lung’s book follows a trend of recent publications by former political prisoners in Singapore in exploding the lies and myths behind their detention propagated by the PAP Government and the local press. It will add to the ongoing debate on the legitimacy of the ISA and its place in a democracy. It will challenge each and every Singaporean to reflect whether the absolute powers of the ISA have been previously used to safeguard the security of Singapore or only to maintain PAP’s stranglehold on political power.
During the detentions, I admired Soh Lung for her determination to pursue justice through the Singapore courts. Whilst the PAP government had no compunction in using the ISA and destroying the rule of law, Soh Lung was the very opposite. By pursing justice through the Singapore courts, she affirmed her commitment to protect the rule of law in Singapore and never ceased in having faith that one day justice would prevail.
Soh Lung by her actions is indeed a true Singaporean committed to building a democratic society based on justice and equality.
Kevin de Souza
26 June 2010