On Its 60th Anniversary The WP Conspires with PAP to Create A Fake History

The State Times had published an Insight article  on  the Workers Party 60th Anniversary. A misnomer, since the article was remarkable for its lack of insight or rather for its deliberate glossing over of the real reasons for the WP’s success and for the airbrushing of my father, JBJ, out of history. Everyone in the West now knows about Fake News but long before it became a global phenomenon the PAP were already masters at it. In their eagerness to emulate the PAP, puff up their leader Low Thia Khiang and play down JBJ, WP prove that they are equally adept at fake news.

David Marshall, the founder of the WP, is given most prominence despite the fact that he left the party in a huff in 1963 and had nothing to do with the WP after that date. The party was dormant until it was revived by JBJ in 1971. It could thus be said that JBJ was the true founder of the WP. Certainly he created the party as we know it today. He poured all his wealth and more into the party. He sacrificed his family including ultimately my mother’s life. Without JBJ’s sacrifices and his intellectual ability to challenge the PAP, it is safe to say that Low Thia Kiang would have remained a Chinese teacher and never have been elected to Parliament.

Nothing of this is mentioned in the article. State media cannot omit my father’s historic breakthrough at Anson in 1981 but they downplay it by getting PAP academic Derek da Cunha to say that it was due to “specific constituency level issues”, which has always been the standard PAP line. There is complete silence about the disgraceful way LKY abused power and used a subservient judiciary to get rid of JBJ by bringing fake charges against him in 1986, securing a conviction which removed him from Parliament and prevented him from standing again for five years. The conviction was overturned by the UK Privy Council in 1988, though the PAP Government refused to vacate the conviction, maintaining the fiction that JBJ was a criminal which persists to this day.

Low Thia Khiang’s victory in Hougang in 1991 was only possible because of JBJ’s performance in Parliament where he put most of the ministers and MPs to shame to such an extent that the PAP stopped televising Parliamentary proceedings. Comparing JBJ’s performance with the meek current crop of WP MPs, all of whom seem unfamiliar with the basic principles of democracy and effective Parliamentary opposition, one can easily understand why the PAP have been very happy with the WP under its new leadership.

None of this comes over in WP’s 60th Anniversary book because Low like the PAP, has a vested interest in minimising his former mentor’s role and puffing his own.

In an appalling display of racism which illustrates perfectly the double standards of the PAP when it comes to sedition offences, the State Times quotes a so called WP “stalwart”, Lim Ee Ping, as saying that “At that time, if it was Jeyaretnam who fought in Hougang, he would not have been able to win. No matter what you say, Jeyaretnam was not Chinese, that area was a little racialised,”  

This is the kind of nativism that even Donald Trump and Steve Bannon would not dare express openly. How can Singapore claim to be a First World nation when these sentiments are not only expressed openly but voiced by the WP but the PM and all his MPs?

It is of course also not true and therefore Alternative Facts. My father often said that most of his support came from the Chinese community and not from the Malay or Indian communities, both of whom tend to be more fearful  of supporting the Opposition. exactly what has been said by Lim Ee Ping in this article was said about Anson and we know what happened there. That the dominant Opposition party in Singapore is able to get away with espousing such openly racist and seditious views is just another sign that the WP under Low are really little different from the PAP and are totally unfit for the role of opposition.

The truth is, as shown by JBJ’s victory in Anson against a Chinese candidate in both 1981 and 1984 (with an increased majority) and an Indian PAP candidate’s easy victory against Chee Soon Juan in 2016 in Bukit Batok, voters in Singapore are colour blind. Tharman would probably be Prime Minister by now if it were up to the Singapore electorate.

The article also glosses hurriedly over the circumstances of my father’s departure from WP in 2001, merely saying that “Mr Jeyaretnam left in unhappy circumstances”. The truth is Low and the other CEC members refused to help my father pay off his debts arising from a  supposedly defamatory article in the Hammer. I have never been able to understand why my father ended up having to pay off the debt when he did not write the article and Low was a member of the CEC.  My father always maintained that LKY was very pleased with Low for doing what the PAP had been unable to do and removing him from the WP.

This cosy collusion is over though. The biggest irony is that the WP, or rather the leadership triumvirate of Low, Sylvia Lim and Pritam Singh, are now facing lawsuits from an independent committee that they appointed. If they lose and end up being bankrupted and losing their seats, like JBJ, this will be poetic justice. And the PAP can claim that they had nothing to do with it.

 

Kenneth Jeyaretnam

* The author blogs at https://kenjeyaretnam.com/.

 

 

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10 Responses to “On Its 60th Anniversary The WP Conspires with PAP to Create A Fake History”

  • Amos exposed PAP hypocrisy:

    This explains why WP under Low is so quiet in Parliament. It is really a fake opposition party. It is actually PAP “Team B” whose objective is to deprive real opposition parties of votes and help PAP win. At the next GE I will actively campaign AGAINST WP. Singaporeans who want change should not waste their votes on WP. A vote for WP is actually a vote for PAP.

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  • Lan Tua Kee:

    Its also quite obvious the singlish cowboy AVOIDED mentioning JBJ at all cost and distance from him.

    But old singlish cowboy is nothing compared to JBJ.

    JBJ is a real Opposition leader. A real Man.

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  • Selfish Sinkie Syndrome:

    By joining in the 2 day wayang pariahment session to ownself declare ownself no abuse of power in the Oxley saga, WP has also become merely part of the wayang show.

    Let me say firstly that some of WP are really good people, but I suspect WP has mostly already sold its soul to the MIW some time ago. Just looking at how accepting they have become of the various failures of MIW, especially on the recent obvious abuse of power as shown by the siblings.

    Yet not much pursuit by WP in the end on such critical issues of national importance, everyone in WP just meekly accept and take it at face value and then forget about the whole incident like it never happened. In any other democratic country, you will already see mass protest and opposition parties calling for the immediate investigation and resignation of the Leeder.

    If Kenneth is to give credit to his dad’s legacy, he should make sure his team is prepared for the next GE, and if need be, get a better party leader. This is not about 1 man person anymore ….look at how 1-man personality rule for 50 years brought us? The weaknesses of the entire system is now glaringly obvious. Singapore needs a viable T-E-A-M, NOT a 1-man show which inevitably leads to total failure because a single man is mortal.

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  • opposition dude:

    Poor Kenneth, forever spewing venom and talking about his dead old dad. Give it a rest please, you hate the WP then write in to them telling them they have whitewashed history, that your dad was a very important guy, that WP would not be what it is today without him and all that. See what kind of reply they give you eh Kenneth?

    How about you get your Reform Party into parliament and then air all your grievances then? I would like to see how they are handled.

    Kenneth, do send more time doing walkabouts and posting pictures of them. Letting residents know who are RP’s members frequently is a good step towards securing their votes you know.

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  • Harder Truths:

    Respected Sir

    To those of us who knew and loved your father – he was a beacon to us regardless of our race. language or religion.

    There could have been no greater leader and humanitarian than Chief Justice JBJ. I will always remember him that way since he epitomised the true meaning behind our pledge.

    History will one day reveal the truth and your father will not only be exonerated but I believe given his rightful place as a true Hero of Singapore.

    Thank you also Sir, for your continued battle in your own name and in that of your father. We are indeed fortunate in having the Jeyaratnams still with us on our journey.

    God Bess You, Your Father and Your Family

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  • pap selected INDIAN president:

    we support all OPPOSITION. as long as not pap we support.

    we live in aljunied. NEVER once did we vote pap. as long as there is voting our votes go to OPPOSITION.

    even so, we do think we lack the fiery type in parleement to change its spelling back to parliament.

    granted pap 80+ Ljs and Cbs all gang up because of S$m they pay each other. but WTF. what is there to lose?

    with more local born losing in own land of birth, with more mrt train injuries akan datang, the timing is right for New Government to be voted into power.

    May the best Singporeans be voted into place to form New Government. to right all the pap current wrongs. and to put many of pap Ljs and Cbs still alive then into changi chalet for long long.

    any OPPOSITION is good opposition. we do say we desire a stronger individual in WP. even so, given what we have at the moment, our votes still go to WP. we live in aljunied. we were once under jalan besar, then marine parade, then macpherson. whatever. our votes go to OPPOSITION. at the moment, they have all gone to WP.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    our address has aljunied written on it. yet we have been moved around for so many election cycles. as if ic actually not much use. is this why INDIAN written on ic can be read as malay? WTF.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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  • clowns running the country:

    I agreed with part of your story that JBJ built the foundation for WP. I regarded JBJ as the martyr of democracy, his fiery and undying fight for justice and democracy. However, during the last mile of his journey, there was too much anger and resentment that his lost his mind and were misfiring causing the amount of lawsuits to be launched to bankrupt him and drag WP down.

    Yes they could all have supported JBJ to his last breath, but WP would have sunken also. JBJ were caught playing into hands of PAP law suits, that was the issue then. I believe LTK saw that and decided to back off. Yes his efforts had probably save WP and later on successfully broke into parliament with GRC win. If WP had gone all the way with JBJ, probably there would be no WP candidate in parliament and bankrupted by now.

    Your dad is our hero, but we need to be pragmatic to understand whats the goal for WP and the country. Since WP had broken into parliament and kept expanding, PAPPY now see the danger and created all the holes such as AIM, Town Council etc to entrap it. The aim is clear, it is to remove WP and all other oppositions to make way for a complete dictatorship.

    I saw your many responses on WP and your dad, you had been angered by WP’s inaction towards your dad last mile and bore grudge ever since. But you need to be pragmatic, to do well in politics, people need to put aside emotion and for the better good of the party and the country.

    I still think what WP had done wasn’t really wrong. If they had decided to go with your dad all the way, oppositions would have been eliminated by then.

    Remember your dad spent his whole life fighting dictatorship, the white party. If your dad is alive today, between WP and the white party, your dad will still choose the latter! We Singaporeans love and respect your dad’s sacrifice and hope you will continue his undying hope to fight for a truly democractic Singapore than to keep harping on the past that never helps.

    My take is for you to raise stakes and go unite all oppositions and go for the final battle GE 2020.

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  • Patriot of Temesak:

    Kenneth, I feel for you and EMPATHIZE with your frustration…BUT…the sad thing about an island USURP & Ruled by a FamiLEE has reached a stage where TRUTH is considered Lies and Lies & Deceit are considered as SUCCESS & ‘hard-truth’

    2020 is not far and it will be there in a wink…Reform yourself and your Party to PREPARE once again for Battle of the Underdogs, put aside your self-interest and vendetta and RALLY a group of Thinkers & Doers now readily available AND the Best of LUCK to you!!!

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  • Zhenzidan:

    clowns running the country:
    I agreed with part of your story that JBJ built the foundation for WP. I regarded JBJ as the martyr of democracy, his fiery and undying fight for justice and democracy. However, during the last mile of his journey, there was too much anger and resentment that his lost his mind and were misfiring causing the amount of lawsuits to be launched to bankrupt him and drag WP down.

    Yes they could all have supported JBJ to his last breath, but WP would have sunken also. JBJ were caught playing into hands of PAP law suits, that was the issue then. I believe LTK saw that and decided to back off. Yes his efforts had probably save WP and later on successfully broke into parliament with GRC win. If WP had gone all the way with JBJ, probably there would be no WP candidate in parliament and bankrupted by now.

    Your dad is our hero, but we need to be pragmatic to understand whats the goal for WP and the country. Since WP had broken into parliament and kept expanding, PAPPY now see the danger and created all the holes such as AIM, Town Council etc to entrap it. The aim is clear, it is to remove WP and all other oppositions to make way for a complete dictatorship.

    I saw your many responses on WP and your dad, you had been angered by WP’s inaction towards your dad last mile and bore grudge ever since. But you need to be pragmatic, to do well in politics, people need to put aside emotion and for the better good of the party and the country.

    I still think what WP had done wasn’t really wrong. If they had decided to go with your dad all the way, oppositions would have been eliminated by then.

    Remember your dad spent his whole life fighting dictatorship, the white party. If your dad is alive today, between WP and the white party, your dad will still choose the latter! We Singaporeans love and respect your dad’s sacrifice and hope you will continue his undying hope to fight for a truly democractic Singapore than to keep harping on the past that never helps.

    My take is for you to raise stakes and go unite all oppositions and go for the final battle GE 2020.

    Well said! My sentiments exactly. If KJ keeps raking up the past about how WP mistreated his father, then forgetting about winning votes!

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  • LIONS:

    Without. JBJ,WP would have slipped into oblivion then.
    In any case,LTK is heada n sholuders below JBJ as true spirited oppo.

    JBJ just did not have much back up support back then.LTK has disappointed as LEADER OF OPPO.
    Think he is afraid to lose back AJ as SG ?

    Just want to have “good name”?
    WP has yet to be the voice of voiceless n ltk thinks he has achieved big???

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