A rejected proposal from Human Rights Watch (HRW) from Dec 2017, titled “Kill the Chicken to scare the Monkeys”, has turned out to be the truth: the Chicken of the day is now Oxford historian Dr Thum Ping Tjin.
At the public hearing on online falsehoods last month, Dr Thum testified that historical records revealed that former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew organised a fake news campaign and activated “Operation Coldstore” to arrest his political opponents so he can become PM.
The testimony triggered Law Minister K Shanmugam, who went on a 6 hour tirade accusing Dr Thum of being akin to a Holocaust denier and a fraud.
How dare an Ivy League university professor write historical records unfavourable to the PAP government? What blasphemy. This Chicken must be killed.
Attacks on Dr Thum Ping Tjin has since started, with the historian now under background investigation by the Parliament. The Singapore government is now portraying Dr Thum as a foreign spy funded by American philanthropist George Soros. Two PAP Ministers – Minister Janil Puthucheary and Minister Desmond Lee – also provided support fire accusing Dr Thum of being an activist abusing his privilege as a historian to make inaccurate historical records about the PAP. Ex-PAP NMP Calvin Cheng outright defamed him as a “foreign funded political activist”.
The knife has swerved in his direction, but the Chicken is not dead yet. Dr Thum is after all a respected Oxford academic, so that at least makes him a premium Chicken requiring more knife works.
More than 130 academics over the world – including an outgoing professor at NUS – rallied their support behind Dr Thum in a signed letter, vouching for his credibility and character. Foreign news media covered the 6 hour marathon debate, revealing why Singapore is still stuck in a dictatorship. Even in Singapore, a state media Straits Times reporter even covered up for him reminding that politicians should have no interference on historical writings.
There is however no doubt the government is working to kill the Chicken, to warn historians, writers, scholars and other monkeys what the PAP government is capable of. If the public remains unconvinced that Dr Thum is a fraud as what the government want you to believe, chances are the PAP will bring out it’s chest of legal tools to incriminate him. For a start, if Dr Thum is being found guilty of acting for foreign powers to influence local politics, he can be jailed indefinitely without trial under the Internal Security Act. Well, he’s the historian. He should know better.