What’s wrong being a Communist?
Today I can ask such a question without fear of being taken away in the middle of the night and locked up forever without trial. There was a time when talking about Communism and saying things good about Communism could end a person being branded as a communist and never see daylight thereafter.
I just read Teo Soh Lung’s post in the TRE about her arrest with 21 others in 1987, accused of being communists. And she wrote this,
‘Today I categorically deny again that I was a communist in 1987. I deny that I was ever involved in any communist network. I invite the government to prove its case against me or charge me in court if they so wish. I know it will never convene a truth and reconciliation commission to investigate the gross injustice done to those arrested.
What laws do the government need to fight fake news? It should put its house in order before it enacts more laws to blind and gag the people of Singapore.’
This prompts me to ask this question, what is wrong being a communist? Trump had dinner with Xi Jinping, the President of Communist China, so must also be a communist. Xi Jinping and his wife were invited to spend a few days in Buckingham Palace too and welcomed all over the world. The communists from China and Russia are every where as tourists, businessmen, professionals, students and whatever. There can’t be anything wrong with being a communist right?
But in those dark days of our history, associating with Communism, reading communist literature, being a communist, was like becoming a member of Satan, more frightening than being the enemy of the state. Communism is only a political ideology, an ideology of a perfect state, an utopia, where everyone is equal and live in prosperity like paradise on earth. The problems of Communism then were its militant methodology to achieve political power by force. Then Communism advocated the end justified the means and the violent overthrow of existing govts. Communism was associated with violent means.
Today, many western countries have communist parties operating legitimately as another alternative party. Would someone calling himself a communist today in Singapore be arrested? I am afraid I don’t know what is the official stand on this, because the daft could not move with the changing time and could not adapt to the new reality that Communism has in a way abandoned the violent overthrow of govts. It is western democratic capitalist countries that are using force and violence to overthrow govts, conduct wars and regime change. This is not funny.
This is also the reason why Teo Soh Lung is vehemently disclaiming that she was a communist. Is it important if she was or was not a communist then? Ah, yes and no. Yes because she is making the point that she and her group were not communists but arrested and accused of being communists, for being communists then was a crime or anti state. No, not relevant today because I think one cannot be arrested just because he is a communist, or else all the Chinese from China would not be allowed entry here. I stand corrected on this. There is no official statement on this point yet. A foreign communist is allowed here, but not sure a Singaporean can be a member of a communist party today.
Can one be a communist and would not be arrested here, and be allowed to live just like everyone else? Can one form a communist party and contest in the general election? Has the govt grew up and accept Communism as another political ideology and a communist party is acceptable here as long as it does not preach violence or using force to gain political power?
I don’t think anyone has addressed this issue or say anything for or against it. It looks like Communism is still taboo here though many are doing business with the communists, wining and dining, making deals and even jumping into bed with the communists.