This is the historical memoir of Dr Poh Soo Kai, a man of medicine and a founder member of the People’s Action Party, but cruelly locked up in the political prison of Lee Kuan Yew for a total of 17 years.
“Dr Poh Soo Kai shatters the history of Singapore espoused by Lee Kuan Yew and the People’s Action Party. Nine years younger than Lee, Dr Poh exposes the tactics of Lee as a master politician — how he made use of his friends and foes to achieve his goals and how they were discarded or punished when they switched allegiance or were no longer useful to him. Dr Poh’s refusal to let Lee have his way cost him his family and an illustrious career in medicine. He spent a total of 17 years in prison without trial. Singapore today is the result of what Lee Kuan Yew did to his political opponents in the 1960s and 70s. The publication of this memoir more than 50 years after Operation Coldstore is late but exceedingly important to Singaporeans who wish to understand why they are deprived of basic human rights which are taken for granted by people in other first-world countries. I admire and respect Dr Poh for his determination and courage in recalling a painful past.”
–Teo Soh Lung, Director, Function 8
“This is a powerful, well-researched history of Singapore that will be invaluable to scholars and ordinary citizens alike. For those of us aspiring activists, hoping for a more democratic and just Singapore, the work is both inspiring and cautionary in the ‘post-knuckle duster’ era. Dr Poh describes the release of the ISA detainees as ‘accompanied by the endeavour to imprison us within a narrative in which we were villains who had been defeated’. Books like this are essential to the process of the freeing of the Singaporean mind that is only just beginning.
– Paul Ananth Tambyah, Professor of Medicine and Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the 2015 General Election
“I think we do have a breakthrough here. This is probably the first time that an account of Singapore’s history in the 1950s and 1960s is pieced together outside of The Singapore Story logic. It will be something that the authorities, scholars and Singaporeans in general must reckon with.”
– Sai Siew Min, Singaporean historian