Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean said the reprint of the talks is meant to "provide a reality check" to attempts by some historians to recast the role played by communists and their supporters on the issue, most of whom are dead or exiled, and unable to fact check the minister's assertions. Melanie Chew's "Leaders of Singapore" is a treasure trove of alternate views from key persons of that era. Her archived interviews cover Goh Keng Swee to Lee Siew Choh, with only the notable exception of Lee Kuan Yew.
Dr Toh Chin Chye is on record telling us that when Lee got back to Singapore (Toh stayed behind in Kuala Lumpur to clear up the mess), he invited the members of the Malaysian Solidarity Convention to attend his press conference. He was crying. "I don't understand him at all. On one hand, he worked so hard for merger. Having gotten the cupful, he shattered it. And then cried over it." That's not included in the "The Battle For Merger" compilation.
Our "strongman" disappeared to Changi, staying incommunicado at the government holiday bungalow for 6 whole weeks. Toh was not appointed to act for him while he was away. The constitutional position was not clear about an absent or an incapacitated Prime Minister. When Lee went off to Changi, Parliament did not meet. So Singapore had a Parliament in suspended animation.
Melanie asked if Lee's provocative speeches could have been part of a deliberate strategy:
"I do not know why he did that. But he was influenced by Alex Josey, who came from the Middle East where he had been a reporter. Josey fed him ideas about the Muslims. The "Mad Mullahs." The "Ultras." Lee used the term, "Mad Mullahs." This was Alex Josey's phrase. Alex Josey was his close friend, golfing friend and biographer."
And why did Lee Kuan Yew ask the Tengku to write to Toh to explain that it was Tengku's decision to separate, was it because he was afraid?
"Yes, I think that was the purpose. To tell me that it was a decision made by the Tengku. So the blame would be on the Tengku's shoulder. Not on our shoulders. The Tengku was far sighted. However desirable it was to continue as one country, we could not do so. He wrote, "We cannot avoid a bloodshed if we remain."
Forget about the compilation of one sided radio talks, pick up a good book to read instead. That way you get a better perspective of the merger issue.