|Taking politics seriously|
The blemish on his good name started when he was wrongly accused by a diagnosed dyslexic who could have mistakenly transposed "communalism" into "communism". Lim had on 31 July 1961 stated categorically in a forum letter to the Straits Times, "Let me make it clear once and for all that I am not a Communist or a Communist front-man or, for that matter, anybody's front man." Since the credibility of the 153rd ranked daily rag has always in question, Lim told Melanie Chew ("Leaders of Singapore", Chew, Melanie, Resource Press, 1996):
"To brand someone as Communist at that stage was the best and most convenient way to put him into jail.. . Of course, my brief period of association with the Anti-British League had become a "useful pretext" to brand me as a Communist."
Lim Chin Siong (Chinese: 林清祥) was an influential leftwing politician and trade union leader during the 1950s and 1960s. He had the dubious distinction of being detained without trial twice in his life: first from 1956-1959 during Lim Yew Hock's government, and subsequently from 1963-1969 during Operation Coldstore. His wife was locked up in the Women's Prison from 1967 to 1969. Lim co-founded the People's Action Party (PAP) in 1954, and was elected Legislative Assemblyman of Bukit Timah in 1955.
In 1955, Lim was alleged to have instigated a labour strike (the euphemism preferred today is "industrial action") by bus workers that resulted into the Hock Lee bus riots. Historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin, however, notes that a transcript of Lim's speech shows that far from inciting violence, Lim used humour to diffuse the tension, reminding the crowd that the police were employees and did not deserve anger. This was in the good old days when cops don't bash citizens at the flip of an ID tag. Lim would have been useful at Little India.
It's bad enough when history gets written by victors, it's horrible when distortion is set to tune. Whoever is putting propaganda into musical score to be - to borrow a phrase from Dr Poh Soo Kai's statement on 23 March 2015 - a political pimp of the worst kind.