Fighting Communism Over the Radio

 

Singapore could have taken a strange turn if Lee Kuan Yew hadn’t been able to foil plans for a communist undertaking during our formative years.

We could have been a communist state, our national anthem could have been different, our pledge might not be what it is today and we could all have had personal little red books. Oh yeah, Samsungs and Apples either because, y’know…communism. If your history lessons from your days in school still serve you well, you would probably remember the turmoil and struggle during our nations battle for independence from the British after the war.

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From a colony to being a part of Malaya and finally independence, there were many different alternate courses that our nation could have steered towards instead of the cosmopolitan that we are today. Anti-colonial sentiments were rife after the war, with many locals having lost faith in the colonial masters. Leading the charge was Lim Chin Siong, known for his roles in the infamous Hock Lee Bus riots and the Chinese Middle School riots.

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These events were covered in textbooks but can also be found in “The Battle for Merger” a reprint of a book that was first published in 1962. The book sheds light on the radio broadcasts given by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in his efforts to tame growing communist efforts. If you read it with no knowledge of Singapore you’d probably think you were reading a Spy thriller, but beneath the covert operations you’ll learn the deeper lying strategies that were in place to make Singapore the republic that it is today.

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“Our hard-fought attempt to gain independence by merging with Malaya was in fact a battle for the future of Singapore. On the surface, it was a battle for merger. But this was only on the surface. Below the surface was another deeper, more momentous, more dangerous battle – that between the communists and non-communists in Singapore.”
– DPM Teo Chee Hean

 

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Samantha Wong

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