'Misleading account' of lives of exiles

'Misleading account' of lives of exiles
Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim says the government has no plans to pursue co-regulation of arts entertainment scene with arts groups until the fundamental differences of views over co-regulation between MDA and arts groups are narrowed.

Local film-maker Tan Pin Pin's film To Singapore, With Love has not presented the historical facts on the political exiles featured, said Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim.

Instead it gives a misleading account of their lives, when actually some were active communists, while others omitted mentioning their criminal offences.

Six people in the film are Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) members, and had been in - or were still in - a village at the Thai-Malaysian border that houses former CPM fighters who have since laid down their arms.

Chan Sun Wing and He Jin had served under senior CPM leader Eu Chooi Yip in the party's China-based propaganda radio station.

Dr Yaacob said that He Jin had in the film deflected questions about the communists' use of violence, speaking instead about the CPM's involvement in fighting the Japanese during World War II.

His wife, Shu Shihua - another CPM member - was also in the film.

Another member, Wong Soon Fong, fled Singapore in 1963 to avoid arrest.

And while Tan Hee Kim and his wife Yap Wan Ping claimed to have joined the CPM only after they decided to leave Singapore, they were - in reality - active members before they left.

Meanwhile, Ho Juan Thai and Tan Wah Piow avoided mentioning the criminal offences they remain liable for, noted Dr Yaacob.

Ho admitted in an open letter in 1982 that he had amended the expiry date of his Singapore passport.

Tan Wah Piow also left Singapore illegally to evade national service and travelled to Britain on his expired passport with a forged extension endorsement.

This article was first published on Oct 8, 2014.
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