The Law Society was attacked in 1986 by the government for acting as a political pressure group. During televised Select Committee hearings on the Legal Professions (Amendment) bill, Lee Kuan Yew tried to browbeat two petite, bright eyed and idealistic members of the Special Assignments (Civil Legislation) Subcommittee. But Misses Teo Soh Lung and Tang Fong Har stood their ground. They bested him. Lee would not forget this perceived lèse majesté, for which both ladies were to be arrested 8 months later, falsely labelled as Marxists, subjected to physical indignities in the notorious Whitley Detention Centre and dragged in front of prime time TV cameras for a forced "confession and contrition".
Even after the hearings were abruptly ended, Lee twisted the dagger with relish in a Parliament speech that was redolent of conspiracies and enemies of his paranoiac psyche,
"When I met the young lady, Miss Teo Soh Lung, and the other young lady, Tang Fong Har, all they needed were two pig-tails, and we go back to the 1950s, 1960s, because they've got determination, they want to change the world." (Francis Seow, "To Catch A Tartar", page 66)
The allusion to the hairstyle of the radical Chinese educated school girls of Singapore's tempestuous years was downright dastardly, a wicked slur. It was so typical of him to underscore his methods with his favorite Chinese adage, shā jī xià hóu (杀鸡吓猴) - slaughter the chicken to frighten the monkey.
Now what exactly was it that traumatised the 27 year old darling of the PAP?