A Singaporean pioneer has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize award and it is not Lee Kuan Yew.
After serving 32 years of detention, Chia Thye Poh, the world’s longest political prisoner has just been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The former teacher, MP, interpreter and physics lecturer who completed his PhD thesis in development economics in 2006 was a brilliant talent. Too brilliant for Lee Kuan Yew’s taste apparently.
The former Barisan Sosialis MP for Jurong in 1963 boycotted Parliament for the ruling party PAP’s decision to split from Malaysia (contrary to Singapore media, the ruling party PAP wanted the split and was not expelled from the Malaysia Federation). On 8 October 1966, Chia Thye Poh protested with 30 people and demanded the ruling party PAP to release all political prisoners, remove un-democratic laws and hold a general election. He was subsequently arrested on 29 October 1966 and never see light again for the next 23 years until 17 May 1989, of which he was confined in a guardhouse in Sentosa for the next 9 years until his formal release.
Former Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, is solely responsible for Chia Thye Poh’s 32 years of detention. The former dictator died in March at the age of 91 this year and although hundreds of thousands attended his funeral, Lee Kuan Yew was not nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize award. His son Lee Hsien Loong is the present Prime Minister and the chairman of Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund company, GIC, while his daughter-in-law Ho Ching is the CEO of the other sovereign wealth fund company Temasek Holdings.