19 Points & Three Steps Back for the PAP Govt

From online postings and media reports, we can be fairly certain of the following:

  1. The Archbishop did send a letter of support to Function 8 on its anti-ISA event
  2. It was unsolicited.
  3. The letter contained ‘warm words’.
  4. The Archbishop then had a lunch meeting with DPM Teo.
  5. The Archbishop apparently thought the better of the letter after his meeting with DPM Teo.
  6. The Archbishop then sent a registered letter, with numbered paragraphs, to Function 8 asking for the first letter to be returned.
  7. Alex Au broke the story, suggesting govt interference in the withdrawal of the letter.
  8. The Archbishop claimed that it was the right decision for him to withdraw his original letter of support as it could have been misused by Function 8 and disrupt religious harmony in Singapore, not to mention the good relations the Catholic Church has with the Govt.
  9. MHA accused Function 8 of being disrespectful to the Archbishop.
  10. Function 8 responds by asking the Archbishop to release the letters openly.

We can therefore conclude the following

  1. The Archbishop knew Function 8 was going to protest the ISA detentions.
  2. He was supportive of this.
  3. He must have known that Function 8 would likely read out his letter at its event.
  4. The Govt somehow came to know of the letter and initiated the meeting with the Archbishop.
  5. The Govt must have been alarmed by the support of such a high Church official for anti-ISA protests.
  6. Religious ‘harmony’ is a red herring. There is only one religious group involved in this affair.
  7. 25 years after the event, the Govt is still very afraid of how Catholics might feel over the ISA arrests of Church workers in 1987.
  8. The Govt has yet to respond fully to allegations that ISA detainees were tortured and ill-treated during their interrogations and detention. It has also refused to hold an open Committee of Inquiry to present its evidence of ‘Marxist’ plots.
  9. Alex Au is a pain in the neck for the Govt.


About politicalwritings

Someone who sees beyond PAP and "opposition" in Singapore politics. To understand more please see the Top 10 link below.
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9 Responses to 19 Points & Three Steps Back for the PAP Govt

  1. anonymous says:

    Good summary, but i think adding dates to your points will give a better context.

  2. SS says:

    Yep, great insights. Pretty much what most of us in the ground agree. This evil MHA is trying to pull some dirty works behind ISA act/scenes. After 25 yrs and they still want to pull wool over people’s eyes on Marxist plot, is time they come clean and the people demand some transparency. Corruption can come in many subtle forms.

  3. May says:

    So the usual headline predictably says “Group seeking to use church for political aims: Govt”
    How about this “Government seeking to use Church for civilian aims : People”
    Or what about this “Church seeking to use Group for political truths: Church”

    Which is which? Why must such matters always be done behind closed doors, or in private recess conducted by secret groups? What are the protection to civilians if an abusive authority in the name of ‘security or harmony” is merely using another unfettered tool to crack down on dissenting groups? People just want the facts out and they can decide for themselves if the truth is with ulterior motives, or simply seeing justice be done for past wrongs? The clamness among Singaporeans on the anti-japanese protest and muslim riots have proved that we are rational thinking people, who is capable of exercising critical thinking to decide for themselves. Stop treating us like idiots.

  4. yuen says:

    with all these news items swirling around getting everyone excited, I prefer to remember again the report about lee-yong meeting 1987, and recommend it to others:

    archbishop yong went to see PM lee (whether invited there or on his own initiative I do not know) to express the church’s concern about the arrests; when the talk finished, PM lee told him the reporters were waiting outside to hear his views, and he agreed to be interviewed though reluctantly – archbishop yong later told his church associates that he felt “cornered” and did not see how the press interview could be avoided – and among various things, he said the arrests did not indicate the government was against his church, which was understood by the reporters to be a kind of exoneration; his use of “cornered” later, on the other hand, was understood to be a kind of complaint, which he then had to deny;

    as far as I can read into it, yong’s hand with the press was weakened by these two episodes

  5. passerby says:

    I don’t think you can conclude that the Archbishop knew F8 would read out his letter. Maybe he sent it as a personal gesture?

  6. Observer says:

    Entire episode strongly suggests the use of state surveillance on either the Catholic Church or on Function 8. I want to know if there is really such a national security case for this application of state surveillance resources? They are costly, and makes you wonder if our ISD is overloaded with excess capacity.

  7. Tanker says:

    And what would the reaction be if the Govt released a statement saying “Catholic Church stance on abortion and contraception is antiquated and must be modernised”

  8. Pingback: On Separation of Church and State | Political Writings

  9. MA says:

    The unlawful deeds of our government and skeletons that had been hidden in PAP’s closet for 25 years is now coming back to get them!

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