Hong Lysa / Operation Coldstore

I saw a picture of Dr. Hong Lysa the other day, which reminded me of one of LKY’s quotes.

On his iron-fisted governing style:

“Anybody who decides to take me on needs to put on knuckle-dusters. If you think you can hurt me more than I can hurt you, try. There is no way you can govern a Chinese society.”

“If you are a troublemaker… it’s our job to politically destroy you… Everybody knows that in my bag I have a hatchet, and a very sharp one. You take me on, I take my hatchet, we meet in the cul-de-sac.”

Source: The Guardian

This is a quote from a 2014 blog post by Dr. Hong:

“That Operation Coldstore was necessary for national security is at the very heart of the PAP myth; it is also the Party’s original sin.”

Source: Dr. Hong Lysa / mini myna

Dr. Hong Lysa is one of the editors of The 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore, published in 2014.

I have yet to make the following clenched fist gesture in my lifetime during a speech or conversation. Maybe when I’m a bit older…

Left LKY image from The Age | Top LKY image from Vulcan Post | Dr. Hong Lysa image from The Online Citizen

I read rather slowly (but thoroughly) these days. I have read a few essays in the book so far. I am grateful for the historical and factual accounts that provide a record of what happened during this dark chapter of Singapore’s political history, written from the perspective of individuals who were directly involved / detained / arrested.

I might make another quick post soon featuring an interesting snippet from one of the essays in the book (update: here).

I. More Information:

1) Book launch : 50 Years of Operation Coldstore (Singapore Rebel)

2) S’pore’s 50th anniversary – time to have open dialogue on Operation Coldstore (TOC)

3) They do say the darnest things: What a to-do about Operation Coldstore (Dr. Hong Lysa)

4) Operation Coldstore book (Buy @ Select Books)

5) Operation Coldstore book (Buy @ Kinokuniya)

II. Dr. Hong Lysa (short bio from Operation Coldstore book):

Hong Lysa, formerly with the History Department, National University of Singapore, continues with her research interests independently. She is coauthor of The Scripting of a National History: Singapore and its Pasts (2008). She is a founding member of the e-journal s/pores: new directions in Singapore studies ( and comments on when matters relating to history are raised in the local press.

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