Monday, 19 January 2015

The unfathomable Lysa Hong

This is yet another unfathomable response from a known 'revisionist' historian. It is quite an unusual response from an academic who is supposed to be objective, detached and impartial. The name calling and emotional outbursts aside, she has at least conceded that Lim Chin Siong did work with the Communists after refusing to admit even this for a long time. 

She is also quite mistaken in a number of areas.She claimed that all the communists cadres (over 50) had been withdrawn before Op Coldstor. She is plainly wrong. 

First, any historian who has read Lee Ting Hui and Chin Peng's memoirs would know that there were more than 50 communist cadres in Singapore. Second, while some were withdrawn, many were left in place as affirmed by Chin Peng. Some were not even arrested during Op Coldstore eg Chan Sun Wing and Wong Soon Fong who were Barisan Assemblymen during Op Coldstore; both later absconded and appeared at the CPM jungle camp at the Thai-Malaysia border. It is quite puzzling how Hong allowed herself to be blinded by her prejudices.

Hong parroted Moore's statement that there was no instruction from CPM, Beijing or Moscow to Lim Chin Siong, and that Lim acted independently. But she contradicts hereself later when she concedes that it can be assumed that Lim was working "surreptitiously" with the communists. The CPM historiography is full of examples of instructions from Beijing and even Moscow to its operatives in Singapore and Malaya, starting from its formation in 1930. 

This is evident from CPM's various policy statements, directives and actions. Chin Peng had even revealed frankly that nothing could move without China's consent! Chin Peng, Eu Chooi Yip and the Plen all conspired to oppose merger and this was communicated down the line. The formation of Barisan itself was also at the CPM's behest! 

Picture from Chin Peng: My side of history

Furthermore, Singapore's former president and erstwhile communist, Devan Nair, said in his oral interview that he was introduced to Lim through Samad Ismail, a known CPM member since 1949, as someone who was "getting his guidance from South Johor". "Nair, who used to spend his evenings and nights at Lim's Middle Road union headquarters, remembered occasions when "somebody from the underground who is not know to the police" arriving to pass Lim a note. "And Chin Siong would read it and straight away burn it.""

Love him or hate him, when Lee Kuan Yew challenged Lim Chin Siong to take him to court for libel and forgery in 1962, after Lee accused Lim of being a Malayan communist, Lim choose not to. Why not? No one knows for sure. But it made his case weaker in the ensuing months when Lim was arrested under Op Coldstore for being a communist threat.  

Hong appears to have thrown caution to the winds, and along with it her academic independence and objectivity. She continues to ignore, dismiss or suppress hard evidence so as to be able to insist that Op Coldstore had no security basis whatsoever. Why she continues to do so is unfathomable.   

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