Teo Chee Hean – Related to Lee Hsien Loong?


* Thanks to Veritas for making the original identification.

I have included a family tree chart and verification below.


Short Version: Teo Chee Hean is related to Lee Hsien Loong.

Long Version:

1) Kwa Geok Choo is the mother of Lee Hsien Loong.

2) Kwa Soon Chuan is the brother of Kwa Geok Choo.


Image from NLB.

3) Kwa Soon Chuan is the husband of Ivy Lim Seok Cheng.

4) Ivy Lim Seok Cheng is the daughter of Lim Chong Pang, a prominent businessman.

5) Lim Chong Pang is the son of Lim Nee Soon, one of the pioneers of rubber planting.

6) Lim Nee Soon is the son of Lim Peng Guan, who married Teo Lee’s eldest daughter (Teo Choon Lian). He died in 1887 and left his son Nee Soon in the care of his maternal grandfather, Teo Lee (1833).

7) Teo Lee was the husband of Tan Poh Neo, the granddaughter of the Kapitan Cina from Muntok. Teo Lee is the great-great-grandfather of Teo Chee Hean.

  • Teo Bah Tan = 5th son of Teo Lee.
  • Teo Eng Hock = Uncle of Teo Beng Wan (great-granduncle of Teo Chee Hean).
  • Teo Eng Hock = Brother of Teo Choon Lian and Teo Bah Tan (Father of Teo Beng Wan). 
  • Teo Beng Wan = Father of Teo Cheng Guan
  • Teo Cheng Guan = Father of Teo Chee Hean

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Some closing words by Veritas:

It has been wildly speculated [that] family members of top civil servants and elected officers from PAP either own big businesses or hold important appointments. Although information regarding families of our politicians are held almost like a top secret, some interesting dots between them can still be connected thanks to the Internet.


Calvin Cheng Quotes


Quotes by Ex-NMP, Calvin Cheng (followed by a selection of rebuttals)

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QUOTE #1: “I was confident that it [would] not in any way affect my ability to be impartial, objective and non-partisan.” — Calvin Cheng (July 2009)

Rebuttal: “Mr Cheng is missing the point. If NMPs are truly supposed to be non-partisan, he should have resigned from the party upon submitting his application to become an NMP, not only after the results are out.”
— Ng E-Jay / Socio-Political Blogger (July 2009)

+ + +

QUOTE #2: “The biggest danger I feel are an emerging group of Westernised, educated, champagne socialists and latte liberals who pontificate about social inequality, democracy and freedom in the comfort of their condos.”
— Calvin Cheng (Oct 2014)

Rebuttal: “The greatest threat to Singapore is in the form of reactionaries who promote self-serving policies under the guise of pragmatism and meritocracy.”
— Terence Ng (Oct 2014)

+ + +

QUOTE #3: “[The association had ‘noble goals]. . .if wages of models have been left higher and they have benefited permanently, it’s a good thing.”
— Calvin Cheng (Oct 2013)

Rebuttal: “Calvin Cheng played a central role in price-fixing as president of the Association of Modelling Industry Professionals (AMIP). . .he knew [it was] wrong, and he did it all the same.”
RedWireTimes c/o Terry Xu (Oct 2014)

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QUOTE #4: “I don’t respond to anything on The Real Singapore, which is a Facebook page and website written by morons, commented on by morons, and read and shared by morons.”
— Calvin Cheng (Oct 2014)

Rebuttal: “Disgusted to see that a Hwa Chong alumni can behave in such a pathetic manner. Never have I been more embarrassed of the fact that I too, am a Hwa Chong alumni. The tone of your comments and posts here, or anywhere else for that matter, reek of elitism. You have gone against the values that you were supposed to have as a ‘distinguished’ alumni of Hwa Chong. Quite disappointing indeed. In case you were wondering, I do read TRS too, and let me tell you this: many of the people reading/commenting on TRS are fairly smart. They are intelligent people, able to make their own judgements and form their own opinions.”
— 17 y/o Tim Ling (Oct 2014)

Rebuttal:Thanks for your mercy and snobbishness.”
— Angie Ng (to CC’s reply that she “represents the low IQ segment of the public”; Oct 2014)

Rebuttal:Calvin Cheng, reading through your earlier comments in this thread, you have clearly lost your argument to 17 year-old Tim Ling, who has shown a greater level of maturity than you. . .TRS/TRE may seem to you to be ‘moronic’ reporting, and it is so simply because it goes against the same elitist ideologies you share with the ruling elites. At least reports in the TRS/TRE are neither restrained nor controlled like that in The Straits Times which gives it a greater appeal. Thousands of readers that include ardent PAP supporters like Jason Chua (who founded Fabrications About the PAP), several PAP MPs and yourself take the time to read TRS/TRE frequently, so I presume that makes you and the people that support or are in your beloved PAP party morons.”
— Mike Tan (Oct 2014)

Rebuttal:How on earth is this loser a ‘nominated member of parliament’? I would have expected a basic amount of political correctness and common sense, instead he spends his time on Facebook trading petty, personal insults with random strangers like a 12 year old. Ridiculous.”
— Bob Chan (Oct 2014)

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QUOTE #5: “Are Singaporeans so easily offended? Please. Have more of a backbone and thick-skin. Are you going to go on a frenzied witch hunt just because some foreigner called you a loser on the Internet?”
— Calvin Cheng (Jan 2015)

Rebuttal:This smug Calvin is not the only idiot in town. He is a boon to the opposition — his silly pieces do not do Oxford University proud. Why wasn’t Ello arrested for his blast against the Muslim religion?”
Comment (Jan 2015)

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QUOTE #6: “Chee Soon Juan’s reply to Minister Chan [Chung Sing] is completely nonsensical and disingenuous, rebutting a point that was never made. Nowhere did Min. Chan call Chee a failure. Min. Chan called Chee Soon Juan a POLITICAL failure and that’s a fact. Even by the most stretched definitions, I don’t see how Chee could possibly be called a ‘political success’. ”
— Calvin Cheng (Jan 2015)

Rebuttal:I consider Calvin a success too. He single handedly proved the NMP system is a joke.
— Eric Chionh (Jan 2015)

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QUOTE #7: “Faith in our legal system and our police force underpins our hard-won social harmony and stability. By inciting people to question this and shaking the faith in the pillars of our society, these [half-wit] dissident-bloggers and websites are plainly speaking, inciting sedition.”
— Calvin Cheng (Mar 2015)

Rebuttal:Mr Cheng, I am concerned about the state of your mental health. Best regards.”
Lim Yong Chin (Mar 2015)

Rebuttal:But Mr Cheng, I notice you haven’t specifically said if you believe [what I mentioned about other parties putting anti-PAP flyers into people’s mailboxes] would be legal. Are you doubtful?
Ng Yi-Sheng / Singapore Literature Prize Recipient (Mar 2015)

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QUOTE #8: “I tell you what freedom is. Freedom is being able to walk on the streets unmolested in the wee hours in the morning, to be able to leave one’s door open and not fear that one would be burgled. . .These are the freedoms that Singaporeans have, freedoms that were built on the vision and hard work of Mr Lee, our first Prime Minister. And we have all of these, these liberties, while also being one of the richest countries in the world.”
— Calvin Cheng (March 2015)

Rebuttal:There are at least three elementary mistakes that Cheng makes in his piece that allow for it to be a very useful case study in logic and politics classes. The first, and the most obvious one, is that he has mistaken security for freedom. The second mistake that Cheng makes is that Singapore never had to sacrifice freedom for security, and democracy for an effective government.”
Donald Low / Associate Dean at LKYSPP (Mar 2015)

Rebuttal: “We are a country where Human Rights are seen as luxury. The security that is achieved in Singapore is not secured by respect and understanding, it is achieved through ignorance and fear.”
Rizzy Khaos / Blogger (Apr 2015)

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QUOTE #9: “Amos Yee will be charged in court. The kind of freedom he exercised is exactly the kind of freedom no civilised society needs. Insulting another’s religion, and trying to incite hatred during a time of national unity and mourning. And so, in order to secure the freedom of our civilised society, this boy should lose his.”
— Calvin Cheng (March 2015)

Rebuttal: Are we such a petty and insecure people that we have to demand blood whenever someone insults us on the Internet? Your own words, Calvin.”
— Joshua Chiang / Former TOC Editor (March 2015)

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QUOTE #10: “There is no such thing as total anonymity on the Internet. Troublemakers can be found and will be found. Troublemakers can set up new websites but they will similarly be hunted down. I do hope that the 2 editors of TRS already charged will be handed lengthy jail sentences as a warning and deterrence to others who may have similar intentions.”
— Calvin Cheng (May 2015)

Rebuttal: “Calvin Cheng will surely be greeted with strong approval by the PAP government. He is trying to scare the people. I will suggest that he try something more intelligent. Unless there is a legitimate ground, most notably a terrorist threat, I don’t think you can just walk into another country and hunt down the foreign sites. Don’t embarrass yourself, Mr Calvin Cheng!”
— Dosh / TRE Comment (May 2015)

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QUOTE #11: “Kudos to the NAC. More grants should be revoked from those who publish objectionable content. Taking tax payers’ money to publish content the majority don’t agree with is a social sin.”
— Calvin Cheng (May 2015)

Rebuttal: Because [it’s about] Operation Spectrum. Nobody likes to talk about Operation Spectrum.”
— Acedia Nazrul Amri Tristitia (May 2015)

Rebuttal: The art that Cheng is calling ‘subversive’ is, in essence, critical. “
— Ng Yi-Sheng (May 2015)

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QUOTE #12: “The self-radicalisation of the ISA-detained youth by ISIS propaganda is worrying. People like Alfian Sa’at for example need to be careful of their irresponsible rhetoric. . .the Government should watch commentators like Alfian Sa’at closely and if red lines are crossed, the use of the ISA on these domestic agitators should not be ruled out.”
— Calvin Cheng (May 2015)

Rebuttal: Self-radicalised Oxford-educated PAP zealot Calvin Cheng hopes the government will invoke the ISA on playwright Alfian Sa’at.
— Martyn See / Filmmaker + Blogger (May 2015)

Rebuttal: “If anyone is behaving in a traitorous manner, it is this abomination called Calvin Cheng for constantly and insidiously trying to turn Singaporeans against Singaporeans who dare to speak up on social political issues. He has made a serious and unfounded allegation against Alfian Sa’at and he should apologise if he has any conscience.”
— Min Zheng / Jentrified Citizen (May 2015)

Rebuttal: “The scary thing is not just what Calvin Cheng posted. The scary thing is also that he is probably not the only one in the pro-PAP camp who, in their increasing and blatant arrogance, think like this.”
— Andrew Loh / TOC Founder (Post #1 + Post #2)

Rebuttal: “CC: You claim that you had sought legal advice from a senior counsel and that Alfian should take proper legal advice instead of advice from armchair lawyers. Well, I happen to be a lawyer too, Calvin. And I think you’re in pretty serious trouble.
— Respect Singapore (May 2015)

Rebuttal: I believe I speak for Oxford when I say we are ashamed that a graduate of this institution would suggest using detention without trial to silence an honourable man.”
— Thum Ping Tjin (May 2015)

Rebuttal: In other more important news, my short story collection Corridor has been republished by Ethos Books. And contrary to what Calvin Cheng would like to insinuate, it’s not on ISIS’ reading list.
— Alfian Sa’at / Playwright (May 2015)


CALVIN CHENG was a Nominated Member of Parliament in Singapore. He currently serves on the Ministry of Communications and Information’s Media Literacy Council, and the Media Development Authority’s Board for The Singapore Media Festival.

Calvin was formerly the Head of Elite Models for the Asia Pacific region. Calvin is also a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum.

CC Online: Facebook | Wikipedia | LinkedIn | Parliament SG

Lim Chin Siong


I am currently reading Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore by T.J.S. George. If my schedule permits, I should be able to post a review in a week or two (I am a slow but thorough reader…).

The chapter I was reading today contained several mentions of Lim Chin Siong (included in the first excerpt below), which reminded me that I wanted to do a post on him quite some time ago.

Described in a sentence, Lim Chin Siong was “a young rising star in Singapore’s political firmament in the 1950’s and 1960’s,” who was arrested and detained during Operation Coldstore (1963).

I have very strong feelings about Operation Coldstore and Operation Spectrum, because the destructive element in them is dark and depressing.

The first time I heard about these events was early last year. The more I read about it, the more I came to realise the reason for The Straits Times’ reputation as a government mouthpiece. (That reputation is also mentioned in this Contemporary World History academic text published by Cengage Learning.)

I have an interest in history and historical accuracy because I don’t like being lied to, especially when it’s a “deeply personal topic” such as the political history of one’s birth country. It’s the same with trust in any kind of relationship — in the case of governance, nation-building can’t be fostered if there is a lack of genuine trust between a nation’s citizens and its leaders.

These are some excerpts on Lim Chin Siong from books and online resources. I hope the snippets are easily understandable for people who would like an introduction to the side of Singapore and/or a portion of its history that runs contrary to the official state narrative (so far).

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Artwork on right by Captain Ness

1. Chapter 3: The Making of a Prime Minister

“[Lee Kuan Yew] was afraid. Lim Chin Siong had qualities that made him a formidable political rival, and he was superior to Lee as a human being. First, his, charisma and mass appeal were embellishments evidently beyond Lee Kuan Yew’s reach. Second, his interest in general reading to Lee’s inclination then and now to avoid everything that was not immediately and directly relevant to his job (some say he stopped reading when he left Cambridge). Third, Lim was widely recognized as being utterly selfless.”
(– T.J.S. George, Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore1973 / Pg-47)

2. Feature: Comet in Our Sky: Lim Chin Siong in History

“Lim Chin Siong [is] the vanquished other hero of Singapore’s political history. . .Lim’s bright career however, was abruptly destroyed before he could realise its full potential.

It was during his third imprisonment, says his friend Dr M.K. Rajakumar, that Lim was “destroyed, both psychologically and politically”. He had a nervous breakdown, became depressed and suicidal. In 1969, in this state of depression, he was released from detention after announcing that he would quit politics.”
(– Cheah Boon Kheng, ThinkCentre.org, July 2001)

3. Former President of Singapore Devan Nair’s 1988 Letter to Lee Kuan Yew

“Memorable words of your own, uttered 27 years ago, will attest to the fact that this is not the first time I have been the victim of a total smear, a furious attempt at utter demolition. I quote from a radio talk you gave to Singaporeans in 1961, when you and I were fighting real enemies, and not tilting at windmills as you are doing today:

. . .Lim began to fight Devan Nair relentlessly and ruthless, by fair or unfair methods, by smears and intimidation, to destroy every influence that Devan Nair had with the workers and the unions. His personal friendship for Devan Nair meant nothing. I knew that this was what one must expect of a good Communist.

Well, the Lim Chin Siong of 1961 turns out to be an incompetent juvenile in the art of demolition compared to the awesome efficiency displayed by the Lee Kuan Yew of 1988.”
(– Devan Nair, 1988 Letter to LKY)

4. Youth of Singapore: It’s Time to Rise

“The Student Movement gave rise to leaders like Lim Chin Siong who co-founded the PAP, [and] Dr Lim Hock Siew, Soon Loh Boon and Dr Chia Thye Poh, just to name a few.

The movement was thriving in Singapore and it gave birth to a new dawn after a successful fight with the colonial rulers. That is, of course, until the PAP themselves started clamping down on student activism more ruthlessly than what the colonial rulers did. They witnessed the power of the students first-hand and they were afraid of it.”
(– Ariffin Sha, July 2014)

5. An open letter to Lee Kuan Yew

“…a response to open records of the National Archives of UK which contained testimonials that contradict the government’s long-held assertions that Mr Lim Chin Siong and the detainees of Operation Coldstore were engaging in communist activities.”
(– Martyn See, June 2014)

6. Lim Chin Siong was never a communist…?

“As much as LKY wanted him to be a communist, he could never prove Lim Chin Siong as one, conclusively. Even if he was one, he would never publicly admit to being a member of the Communist Party of Malaya as that would land him in jail. The CPM was an outlawed organisation.”
(– Kampong Academic, October 2014)

7. What Is History

“If Kumar Ramakrishna, author of Lim Chin Siong and that Beauty World speech: A Closer Look had only identified himself as Associate Professor and Head of the Centre of Excellence for National Security at the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Nanyang Technological University, I would not have bothered with his article at all.”
(– Hong Lysa, June 2014)

8. The Sobering View of an Ex-ISD Officer

“It was a well-known fact that Lim Chin Siong, the former general secretary of the powerful Singapore Factory & Shop Workers Union, was the undisputed leader of the communist united front and controlled the mass base. Lee Kuan Yew could not have been unaware of this fact and knew that he had to depend on Lim Chin Siong and his mass base to advance his political ambition.”
(– Former ISD Director Mr. Yoong, December 2009)

9. Lim Chin Siong vs Lee Kuan Yew

“But in his memoirs, The Singapore Story, published in 1998, Lee Kuan Yew condescendingly described Lim [Chin Siong] as “modest, humble and well-behaved, with a dedication to his cause that won my reluctant admiration and respect.”
(– SDP Blog, July 2007)

10. An annotated bibliography of Operation Coldstore

“. . .to consider how Lim Chin Siong’s contribution to Singapore lay in his ability to harness international and local forces to build a strong multicultural alliance against British colonialism. . .”
(– Loh Kah Seng, New Mandada, Jan 2015)

11.  Lim Chin Siong was wrongfully detained

“For over five decades, the official government narrative of Singapore’s history has justified Lim Chin Siong’s detention by asserting that he was a communist who advocated violence and subversion.”
(– Dr. Thum Ping Tjin, The Online Citizen, May 2014)

12. Chapter 4: Living in a Time of Deception

“Detaining Lim Chin Siong was always in the cards. Following the PAP defeat in the Hong Lim by-election, the British high commissioner, Lord Selkirk, reported:

He [Lee Kuan Yew] seemed to accept that this [the detention of Lim Chin Siong] was a desirable end and in fact, claimed that he himself had suggested this to S.B. [Special Branch] a year ago [i.e. early 1960 not long after Lim’s release] that the best way to deal with Lim was a direct attack, but that S.B. had persuaded him to adopt the alternative policy of detention of prominent trade unionists near to Lim.”
(– Poh Soo Kai, The 1963 Operation Coldstore in Singapore, 2013 / Pg-172)

13. Message via email (this does not mention Lim Chin Siong, but contains an important message to younger generations)

“Whatever the political activists achieve presently are always built on things done by the generations before them over the decades. I remember Dr Ang Swee Chai (the widow of the ex-exile Francis Khoo) said at a small private gathering followed her husband’s memorial service in Singapore. She said she would like the younger generations to know that it was not that their generation didn’t try — they tried so hard and so many of them ended up in jail or in exile…”
(– CMX, sent to me via email, December 2014)

Chris Ho


Chris Ho is a DJ, music critic, and pop culture personality in Singapore. He goes by the name X’ Ho as a singer.

The first piece of his writing that I came across was a 2013 blog post on Hushed Fascism.

I started following Chris Ho’s Facebook profile shortly before the STOMP incident.

About that incident he wrote:

I only seek to lend ‘balance’ to [The Straits Times’] devout daily justifications for Singapore’s credence. All-good-no-bad doesn’t work as well in today’s Internet Revolution, though you must do everything for bread-&-butter master; yes, I know.
(– 14 April 2014)

I have always enjoyed his passionate, witty and insightful updates via Facebook. It takes a certain level of intelligence and writing talent to consistently come up with updates like that, so I highly recommend following his Facebook profile for a genuine commentary on Singapore’s socio-political situation.

As with my previous post, this post will get too long if I chronicle every single one of his updates, so I will feature a few that I particularly enjoyed.

* * *


1. Is Minister Josephine Teo Really Up to the Mark?

“If you ask me, it’s not just an issue of whether she is up to scratch as an MP. As a member of the PAP-Govt, she has been coming up with one outrageous public statement after another TO GET US TALKING, IF NOT DISTRACTED – perhaps the most alarming of which is “It is not the job of the Govt to love Singaporeans”.

If the question is whether she is ‘up to the mark’, I’d say – yes, she is certainly right up to it in representing Singapore’s PAP-Govt as a SHAMELESSLY BRAZEN government in this current era of the noisy Internet. But it’s a mark with a very scary consequence.”


Screenshot via TR Emeritus.

2. Singapore’s Education System

Yes, this is in tandem with the national arts agenda to ‘humanize’ LKY-digits who are better known as Singaporeans. However, it’s also a transparently subtle way of admitting that our education system has been screwed all these years.”


3. Year of the Goat

If Singaporeans can’t even tell hushed-fascism from authoritarian-democracy, you expect them to know a goat from a sheep? Hahahahahahaha.


4. ST highlight of the PM-conversation

“Tell me if this ST highlight of the PM-conversation (he had on FB yesterday) doesn’t make Singaporeans sound like simpleton-kids! Maybe lay Singaporeans have to be simpletons to get to hover around him. . .It’s called nation-building, kids!”


5. 5 million people, 70,000 cleaners… that’s ridiculous!

“This is exactly the kind of offensive juvenile PAP propaganda that’s been insulting our intelligence for decades with its unintended transparency while using it to backhandedly reprimand us at the same time. Of course, back then, we couldn’t say a thing and the ‘silence’ was taken as tacit agreement.”


6. God kept me awake to catch this before it was removed!!!!!!

“The photo you see here in this post is NOT a link (to the SG News), it is my screen-grab. They have already taken out the quotes (“Town Councils are not a public service”, “Town Councils fulfill a political purpose”) from the MAIN report (they can’t change the link-header is all). My guess is even this news link will be told to be removed in no time. Hence, the quick SCREEN-GRAB here for ETERNITY (download it here, it’s not illegal anyway to do so). #iObserve #iReallyLook


7. Rewriting History

“Wah, this is bloody EVIL! So now, it has become the ‘new generation wanting to rewrite history’ to make sense of the society we live in!!! How twisted is that!”


8. Hushed Fascism, Singapore-Style

“Singaporeans may have been well muted before but the Internet has already changed much to crack open even ‘mouthless fish’.



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[Photo from FB]

CHRIS HO is a singer/musician/author/underground filmmaker/music fan/DJ.

Chris Ho Online: Facebook | Photo Album | Website | Music | DJ Profile

Martyn See, Blogger/Filmmaker


I first surfed into Martyn See’s blog some time ago on a Google search for “LKY Knuckledusters.”

Martyn See is a Singaporean political blogger and filmmaker, who has made films on Dr Chee Soon Juan, Mr Said Zahari and the late Dr Lim Hock Siew.

His blog (online since 2004!) is a great resource in terms of research, quotations, and documentation. I am glad to have seen his name referenced in a couple of non-fiction Singapore books I’ve read. For anyone with an interest in Singapore’s history and current political landscape, do check out his blog and other links at the bottom of this post.

If I had to list some of my favourite posts from Martyn See’s online updates, this blog post might never end. Therefore I have semi-randomly selected a few excerpts and screenshots, which should be of utmost interest to “discerning Singaporeans” (to borrow a description from the scholarly Mr. Yoong).

This list is not exhaustive, as it is meant to serve as a quick introduction to the scope of Martyn’s research.

* * *

POSTS / IMAGES BY MARTYN SEE (political blogger/filmmaker)

1. On LKY: “It is a perhaps a fitting tribute to a man who led his flock by trading emotion for economics, ideals for pragmatism and compassion for politics.”

2. On Davinder Singh: “The aristocrat’s hatchet man is laughing all the way to the bank while shadowed by the ghost of a moral conscience which he aborted and left for dead at youth.”

3. On K Shanmugam potentially making an illegal political party film

4. On LHL: World’s Highest Paid Minister

5. Top 10 Quotes From PAP Chairman Khaw Boon Wan

a) On Your Medisave: “I work hard, I earn more, my medisave is bigger. You’re lazy, you work less, your medisave is small.”

b) On University Degrees: “If they cannot find jobs, what is the point? You own a degree, but so what? That you can’t eat it. If that cannot give you a good life, a good job, it is meaningless.”

c) On The Elderly: “Singaporeans could consider living in nursing homes in Johor Baru. It would be cheaper.”


6. Tale of Two Teos

On ministers’ pay versus NS men’s pay.


7. Lee Kuan Yew’s Analects, Part III

Quoted verbatim.


8. 1994 – 2012: A Chronology of Authoritarian Rule in Singapore

Dec 1994: Novelist Catherine Lim’s column in the Straits Times is suspended after Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong publicly reprimanded her for two articles which suggested that the PAP Government may be out of touch with ground sentiments. “If you land a blow on our jaw, you must expect a counterblow on your solar plexus,” said Goh, who added that Lim must enter the political arena if she wants to continue airing her views. Lim subsequently apologises.


9. The ISA as a Political Tool

The second installment of a five part excerpt from an Amnesty International report, first published in 1980.


10. PN Balji, former SPH editor, on growing old in Singapore

“I am hitting 66 and a suffocating and crowded environment are beginning to get to me. There is no hinterland to escape to. Johore, the closest Malaysian state, is a pain to get to because of the exorbitant tolls and massive jams on the Causeway link. . .”


11. A nation that refuses to heal its wounds

KC Chew, a Harvard graduate imprisoned twice under the ISA for the bogus charge of a Marxist conspiracy in 1987/88, urges the government to seek reconciliation by issuing a national apology for the wrongful arrests and torture of ISA detainees.


12. Video : Dr Chia Thye Poh

Detained without trial by Lee Kuan Yew’s government for 32 years, Dr Chia Thye Poh was the longest-serving political prisoner of Singapore. This video documents his first public appearance since his release in 1998.

* * *


(Martyn See on the right, with Dr. Chia Thye Poh on the left)

MARTYN SEE is a Singaporean political blogger and filmmaker with two banned films, two police investigations and a conscience that just won’t let him rest.

Martyn See Online: Blog (Best ISA Resource) | Facebook | Photo Album | Interview | YouTube

Ariffin Sha


I have been reading Singapore-related news on and off, due to my “schedule” for the past few months.

Today I spent some time browsing through 17 year-old Ariffin Sha’s blog posts, which I found well-written, thorough, engaging, and accompanied by good visuals.

It is certainly nice to see younger people with a cognitive interest in socio-political topics.

Here are some of his blog/FB post excerpts — I look forward to future updates! Best wishes to Ariffin with his legal studies too.

* * *

Quotes/Excerpts by ARIFFIN SHA (socio-political blogger)

1) “I still remember learning in the first chapter of my Propaganda Social Studies textbook that one of our Government’s virtue is Meritocracy. Which means that one will progress based on talent and ability instead of wealth. Well, I used to believe in that too until I graduated. Allow me to illustrate to you why Meritocracy in our Education System is nothing but a joke.”
(– Singapore’s Education System is all about the Money)

2) “But what the Mainstream Media (MSM) doesn’t realize is that their efforts of censoring the truth are becoming increasingly futile. Most people I know, get their news from multiple sources of information. All these efforts to hide the truth are simply making them look foolish. The truth can’t never be hidden for long. Dear, MSM, we are no longer your Sheeple!”
(– Mainstream Media: We are not your Sheeple!) / great pictures on this post)

3) From a speech/protest at Hong Lim Park in pictures:


4) “Our former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong once warned the writer Catherine Lim that she ought ‘to join a political party if  she wanted to air political views in public.’ I disagree, we don’t have to be members of Political Parties to be able to air our views and comment on Politics.

I may be too young to vote, but no one is ever too young to make a difference. Students in Singapore are stereotyped to be ‘politically apathetic,’ but a quick look back in history would easily explode that myth.”
(– Youth of Singapore: It’s time to Rise)

5) “Another two Primary School students got air-time and they asked PM Lee about his favourite superhero and being a Prime Minister. At this point of time, I was quite pissed. I don’t know if PM Lee or CNA thought that answering trivial questions from kids would improve the ‘image’ of PM Lee or something, but this definitely did not go down well with those who tuned in looking for hard questions and solid answers from PM Lee. What we got instead were trivial questions and PM Lee talking about Batman, Superman, Tarzan and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (No really, he did speak at length about all four superheros.)”
(– #ASKPMLEE – Comedy Show or a Q&A with our Prime Minister?)

6) “Apart from biased news coverage, the mainstream media has also been found in multiple occasions to have published false reports and engage in character assassinations of opposition figures. . .With incidents like these, it’s no wonder we’re consistently ranked near bottom in press freedom.”
(– The embarrassing state of our mainstream media)

7) “Many of us may only remember [Elizabeth Choy] as a War heroine, but she also made history by being the first Singaporean woman to be elected to the Legislative Council in 1951. She served for a full five-year term. As a member of the Legislative Council, she even represented Singapore at the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1953.”
(– Elizabeth Choy – Singapore’s War Heroine, Politician and Teacher)

8) “I believe there was a climate of fear in Singapore, and I don’t blame [Singaporeans]. Dissent was clearly not tolerated. Times have changed now. With the internet it’s hard to control.”
(– BBC: Singapore at 50: From swamp to skyscrapers)

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ARIFFIN SHA is a 17 year-old Singaporean socio-political blogger, who’s currently reading Law at the University of London.

Ariffin Sha Online: WebsiteFacebook | Twitter | Instagram

Balanced, Compassionate and Optimistic Post


Came across this post by socio-political blogger Carlton Tan, who blogs at Asian Correspondent.

I felt it was a balanced, compassionate and optimistic blog post (hence the title of this post). I’ve plucked out a few excerpts which reflect the tone and spirit of the post.

You can check out the original article here.

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Excerpts from With Lee Kuan Yew on life support, what’s next for him and for Singapore? by Carlton Tan:

Lee Kuan Yew

Lee Kuan Yew. Pic: AP.

1) It is no surprise that so controversial a figure should evoke such strong emotions in us. I, too, find myself conflicted. Do I love or hate the man who has brought us such great prosperity but so little liberty?

2) And indeed many of us are drawn, not to his ideology—for he swears by none, save pragmatism—but to his determined, or some might say, cantankerous personality. At the same time, we would do well to remember that Singapore’s success was never the consequence of one man’s actions, not even someone as exceptional as Lee Kuan Yew.

3) Pragmatism does not have to be our guiding principle. Wealth need not be pursued at the cost of liberty or equality. And we need not give opposition parties a free pass simply because they enjoy the good fortune of not being the PAP.

4) We will mourn his passing, and we will celebrate his life; but most importantly, I hope we will be willing to honour him by asking tough questions, making hard choices, and imagining a different Singapore.

Reference: With Lee Kuan Yew on life support, what’s next for him and for Singapore?

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CARLTON TAN views socio-political blogging as his contribution to the conversations of Singaporeans.

Carlton Tan Online: Asian CorrespondentFacebook | Twitter