Tony Tan verbally assaulted the victims of the govt’s
so-called ‘Marxist Plot’ arrests in the late 1980s by implying that
they were potential ‘TERRORIST’ in-the-making (had they not been arrested), during a recent forum organized by the TOC.
During the recent TOC’s Face To Face 2 forum, TT attempted to justify the govt’s infamous arrest of RC church workers and volunteers in the late 1980s by comparing them – the victims of the govt’s alleged “Marxist plot” who were arrested and tortured while being interrogated, and detained without trial by the ISD – to a crazed Norwegian man named, Breivik, who recently set off bombs in the Norwegian capital city of Oslo which took the lives of many innocent people. He then made his way to a Norwegian island resort and there killed even more people with lethal automatic weapons. Over seventy youths who were attending a camp there, died.
To think that so many innocent young lives died so tragically in that incident at the hands of a psychopathic gunman, yet TT made an invidious and completely outrageous and unjustifiable choice of comparing and attempting to draw a parallel between the alleged Marxist plot of the detainees and this Norwegian mass murderer! TT’s rationale is beyond me.
Once again, it rings clearly and loudly how fond he is of insulting our intelligence! By conflating the alleged Marxist plot and the Norway killings, TT has by doing this committed a well known error of Equivalence Fallacy.*
How could Tony Tan in good conscience transport a mass arrest by the ISD, almost 25 years ago, of a group of young idealistic Singaporean Christian do-gooders who were helping and advocating for some lowly educated foreign workers caught in straitened circumstances and accused them of plotting against the country, and juxtaposed it against this recent calculated and cold-blooded murderous acts of a psychopath?
Would that not suggest the existence of extreme (and worrying) mindsets in the highest reaches of our govt? Whether TT did it on purpose or out of sheer ignorance, or even perhaps, he just ‘don’t know what (else) to say’, it certainly exposed how truly little he really thought about or cared for the human and legal rights of others whose lives and careers have been so severely and unjustly violated and ruined by the shotgun methods and actions of a notoriously paranoid govt.
By his callous remarks he has deepened the wounds and drawn fresh blood. Members of the group detained by the ISD for the alleged ‘Marxist Conspiracy’ are now being referred to by some as former ‘terrorists’!
This, at a time when many of the ex-detainees (victims, really of state terrorism#) are seeking some form of closure and vindication for a cruel injustice inflicted on them so scandalously, which all but completely demolished their lives and reputations for good, by a govt seized by paranoia. For it has remained up to this day a shameful UNPROOFED allegation the purported harm they were supposedly plotting towards govt and people of Singapore.
You be the judge. Did Tony Tan answer the question posed by the MURUAH representative in good faith? His non-answer only confirms in any neutral and fair-minded person who are acquainted with the case the obvious guilt that the govt feels, but refused to acknowledge for reasons of face and, as one EP candidate put it, a lack of a ‘moral compass’.
By choosing to reply the way he did, he has once again confirmed that he is an unapologetic PAP leopard who has no desire to change its spots. Voting him into office can only mean more of the same Nathan-crap that we have seen for the past 12 years! No, TT would be far worse. At least the incumbent could play deaf-and-dumb as he has no secrets and a dubious track-record at stake to hide, unlike TT.
Far, far from unifying the country, IMO, TT would be at the centre of an even more divisive and controversial Elected Presidency than the outgoing incumbent.
The booing has already started. Should we be too surprised if he is to ‘score’ a ‘first’ of being publicly heckled? However, I do not expect slippers or shoes to fly his way, for that is not in the nature of the local cultures. We are actually more civilized and quite disciplined, even if our govt isn’t.
#The Encyclopædia Britannica Online defines terrorism generally as “the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective”, and states that “terrorism is not legally defined in all jurisdictions.” The encyclopedia adds that “establishment terrorism, often called state or state-sponsored terrorism, is employed by governments — or more often by factions within governments — against that government’s citizens, against factions within the government, or against foreign governments or groups.”
…Stohl clarifies, however, that “not all acts of state violence are terrorism. It is important to understand that in terrorism the violence threatened or perpetrated, has purposes broader than simple physical harm to a victim. The audience of the act or threat of violence is more important than the immediate victim.“
An Equivalence Fallacy is the error of defining distinct and conflicting items in similar terms, thus equating two items that are not, in fact, equal.
Someone who suggests that one act of serious wrongdoing does not differ from a minor offence commits the fallacy of moral equivalence.
Transcript of the answer given by Tony Tan to the question posed by Muruah, the Singapore Human Rights Group, on the ISD arrest and detention of the ‘Marxists conspiracy’ detainees in 1987-89:
Muruah: Roles and power of the president…specifically my question is on the ISA. And it’s directed to all the candidates. So, the president actually plays a very important role in relation to detention of persons under the ISA, and based on all the evidences today, do you think the detention of the so-called Marxist conspirators of 1987 was justified? And if not, how would you improve the transparency and legitimacy of the detention process, if you are the president?
TT: The case that you were referring to the detention of the Marxists I think took place from 87 to 89. At that time, I was minister for education. This case was very carefully discussed in cabinet and as you know, cabinet discussions are confidential. They are covered under the official secrets act. So I am not able to tell you about actually what was discussed. But, what I can say is in my view, the ISA is a very blunt instrument which should only be used in the most extreme circumstances when the govt feels it really have got no choice.
T…t..t terrorism is a fact of life today, and you know it is with us, and I don’t think there is any point in trying to disguise that, and it comes in many forms. Not only with regards to one sector of society but from sectors of society of countries which you never thought this would happen.
Look at Norway. Somebody, Anders Breivik I think from the Christian Far Right set of a series of bombs, took a gun, killed over 90 people, but would you believe that could happen in Norway from the Christian Far Right? The fact of terrorism is with us. I was coordinating minister for security and defence, and I could deal with this over a wide front. This is modern life. We have to wake up. It can happen anywhere. Tough decisions would have to be made, unpleasant steps have to be taken, but that’s life. And I tell you this, if it can happen in Norway, the most stable middle class affluent society that you can imagine, in my view, it can happen anywhere.
Viswa: Thank You