Celebrating Singaporeans - Dr Lim Hock Siew
Stories of the victors and the vanquished The APEC Meeting was a scintillating example of what life can be for the victors of a political contest, a gathering of fine wine, fine people and fine company. Everything is so beautiful and glamorous for the victors. Last night I viewed the video of Dr Lim Hock Siew who told his story of the vanquished. He was detained under the ISA for nearly 20 years. His was a life moving from one dungeon to another. He spoke of the miserable conditions that he went through for being a political prisoner on the losing end. He spent all those years in darkness, no friends, no niceties, no finer things in life. He could have got out much earlier if only he was willing to repent, to confess, to say something like quitting politics or things like that. He had the choice, if he was willing to go with the tide. He did not, chose not. He stood by his principles, beliefs and ideals. He would not be beaten or compromised on his ideals. He was no criminal but a contestant in a political game for power, or for the right to govern a country. In Africa, the dark continent, they made people like him into President and honoured with the Noble Peace Prize. In paradise, he is history, forgotten and lost among the debris. Or is he part of our history? I did not read the MIW book and do not know if his name was mentioned. If it was, then he is part of the new history. If not, he will have to wait for a new history to be written. His parting shot in the video was about man and ideals. Man without ideals is hollow. He paid a very heavy price to live his ideals, 20 years of his prime life under detention.