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Longest-Serving Political Prisoner Chia Thye Poh Received Award

1 December 2011

Press Statement

(Kuala Lumpur) The longest-serving political prisoner in the Asian history, former Singapore member of parliament Chia Thye Poh, 70 years old, was awarded Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award today, which is announced by the LLG Cultural Development Centre at a press conference.

The reason for his winning is upholding of his belief on democracy without any comprise and never losing his faith under 32 years of unjust detention without trial. An exemplary of the spirit of Nanyang University.

In 1963, many activists in Singapore were arrested and detained.  Chia selflessly stood forward to replace a detained candidate in the general election as subsequently elected as member of parliament on a Socialist Front ticket. He was also once Malaysia member of parliament from 1963 to 1965 when Singapore was part of Malaysia then.

A genuine believer of freedom of speech and upholder of justice, he was banned permanently from entering Malaysia in the wake of a political speech he delivered to the Perak division of the Labour Party of Malaysia on 24th April 1966.

He was arrested under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) by the Singapore Government on Oct 29, 1966 which allows for indefinite detention without trial.  In may 1989, he was placed under the condition of house arrest in the island of Sentosa for 9 years.  After 32 years living under various restrictions, he was finally granted freedom on 27 November 1998 unconditionally.  Chia is a man of principle. Immediately after being informed of the lifting of his restriction order, Chia issued a statement condemning the ISA.  There after, he went to Netherland and completed his Master and PhD degree at the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague.

Established in 1988, Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award is widely seen as the highest honour in the Malaysian Chinese community that award to those contributed to Chinese education or upholding the bravery spirit of Mr. Lim Lian Geok who struggled for equality and justice without fear and favour. Lim Lian Geok was the key leader of Dong Jiao Zong in the 50s and 60s, his citizenship was revoked by the Alliance government in 1961 due to his opposition to the1960 Rahman Talib Report that aimed at converting Chinese secondary schools to national schools, he was beatified as the Soul of the Malaysian Chinese since his passing in 1985. LLG Cultural Development Centre was formed in the same year to commemorate Mr. Lim Lian Geok.

The Lim Lian Geok Spirit Award Ceremony will be held on 18 December 2011(Sunday), 10am at Confucian Independent secondary School’s Multi-Purpose Hall. All are cordially invited, thank you.

 

LLG Cultural Development Centre