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Singapore Dissident

* Chia Thye Poh claimed that he was not a Communist and never advocated violence (Feb. 13). Chia also claimed that his past activities were constitutional, which did not require any admission of guilt on his part. Chia’s membership in the Communist Party of Malaya was independently disclosed to the Internal Security Department by several CPM members, including two who were in the clandestine reporting line of the CPM linked directly to Chia. A high-ranking CPM cadre later confirmed that Chia was indeed a CPM member. The government has publicly documented Chia’s speeches, which advocated violence, armed struggle, unconstitutional and illegal action. Chia presents himself as a peace-loving democrat, hoping that if he persistently denies the truth, the facts will be forgotten. This will not happen.

The government’s position on the Internal Security Act is clear. It is a critical legal instrument to protect political stability and communal peace, which are not the natural order of things for Singapore, a small, multiracial city state. The government’s record, which includes instances of the ISA being used against Communists, communalists, terrorists, subversives and spies, has been put to the people in successive general elections. The election results show that Singaporeans understand the need for the ISA.

LEE HWEE HONG

First Secretary

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Singapore Embassy

Washington


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