Introduction to Politics
“You know, the cure for all this talk is really a good dose of incompetent government.
You get that alternative and you'll never put Singapore together again: Humpty Dumpty cannot be put together again” – Lee Kuan Yew
My political journey began when I was 11 years old when I was first introduced to politics in my primary school in 1959.
The principal and some teachers of the primary school that I went to were DeLaSalle Catholic brothers asked the students of the school to tell their parents not to vote for the People Action Party.
They were worried that if the People Action Party (PAP) were elected the Government they would close down all the English teaching schools and send their teachers packing back to home (Ireland, England or America).
I told my mother who was also a teacher in a Chinese speaking school what the principal had said.
She laughed as she usually did in an amused way.
She told me that the Catholic brothers were mostly Europeans and were worried the new People Action Party which was a socialist democratic political party may close all the Catholic and English speaking schools.
She was confident that the leaders of the PAP were not so stupid that they would do such a thing.
In fact she believed that the leaders of the PAP were mostly English educated and would not hurt the English speaking community.
My mother was a clever and well educated woman who was educated in Shanghai in Chinese.
She was one of the top teachers in our Singapore Chinese speaking schools.
In Shanghai she had seen how the Europeans carved up her beloved city into British, French, American quarters just to further their trade.
In 1842, when the Shanghai port was opened to western trade, Great Britain, the United States, France, Italy, and Portugal established extraterritorial rights in the city's so-called foreign concessions-the International Settlement, administered by a municipal council of western powers, and the French Concession, headed by the French consul general.
She was also not pleased that the local Chinese kowtowed (lowered their dignity) to their European traders.
Because of the Japanese invasions into Nanking and the atrocities committed by the Japanese, she had fled with her elder sister into Singapore to begin a new life teaching here.
It was a tough time for them to get teaching jobs in Singapore.
She was able to get a teaching job in a small school in Johore Bahru, Malaya where she met my father.
She was 5 years older than my father and was giving tuition to him on Chinese and education in general.
My father was intrigued by her and wanted to marry her.
It was mainly the Japanese invasion of Malaya and Singapore that persuaded her to get married to my father.
I was the fifth of 6 children that she gave birth to.
TABLE OF CONTENT
Introduction to Politics
Chapter 1 Full internal self-government (1959–1965)
Chapter 2 My Secondary School Days
Chapter 3 Singapore Fully Independent
Chapter 4 My Medical Studies and Married Life (1966-1972)
Chapter 5 Medical Doctor and Father (1972-1974)
Chapter 6 A New Medical Clinic and Better Singapore (1974-1980)