Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fajar Generation - The Real Anti-colonial Struggle (Updated)

When:        Saturday 9 January 2010,
                   2.00 - 5.00pm

Venue:       Kompleks Masyarakat Penyayang
                   (Penang Caring Society Complex)
                   Jalan Utama, Penang.
                   (next to Governor’s Residence)

Speakers:    Mr. Lim Kean Chye
                   Dato Dr. Toh Kin Woon
                     Mr. Tan Kim Hong

Editorial responders:   Dr. Poh Soo Kai
                                    Mr. Tan Jing Quee

Admission is FREE. All are welcomed.



The two decades between 1945 to 1965 was an extraordinary era of political turmoil in the modern history of modern Malaya and Singapore. Dr. Lim Hock Siew, a founding member of the Barisan Sosialist was arrested under Operation Cold Storage for opposing the PAP Government on Feb 2 1963. He was detained for 19 years 8 months, making him the second longest held political prisoner in Singapore. (The longest prisoner of conscience in Singapore was Chia Thye Poh who served 23 years in prison and 9 years under house arrest, longer than Nelson Mandela). A total of 133 persons were arrested under Operations Cold Storage. Other Opposition leaders that were detained were Said Zahari (17 years), Dr. Poh Soo Kai (16 years), the late Ho Piao (19 years) and the late James Puthucheary (5 years). The clampdown continued later with the arrest of trade unionists like Tan Jing Quee.

The Fajar Generation tells the neglected story of this group of remarkable men and women who advanced a radical agenda of anti-colonialism, democracy, multi-culturalism and social justice through the agenda of the University of Malaya Socialist Club. Their stories remind us of how much of that progressive political agenda is still to be won in contemporary Malaysia and Singapore.

Welcome to a talk and book launch on the real anti-colonial struggle. Hear the personal stories of the trials and tribulations of these champions of anti-colonialism and nationalism. Listen to how they survive years of incarceration and solitary confinement. Come and listen to that part of history that was seldom told.

About the speakers:

Mr. Lim Kean Chye:

  • Doyen of Penang lawyers
  • Founder member of Malayan Democratic Union (MDU) in 1945
  • Founder member of All Malayan Council of Joint Action (AMCJA) in 1946 to seek self-rule in Malaya

Dato' Dr. Toh Kin Woon:

  • Former Penang State Govt. Executive Councillor
  • Former State assemblyman for Macang Bubok, Penang.
  • Chair, Centre for Economics, SERI, Penang.
  • Research Fellow, Asian Public Intellectuals Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Univ. of Kyoto.

Mr. Tan Kim Hong:

  • Local historian and writer
  • Expert on Chinese-Malaysian politics and socio-economic changes in Malaysia
  • Author of  "The Labour Party of Malaya: Selected Documents" and "The Chinese In Penang: A Pictorial History".  

About the Editors:

 Dr. Poh Soo Kai:
  • Detained in 1963 for sedition for publishing an article in the Fajar journal calling Singapore a "police" state.
  • Former leader of the Barisan Sosialist (Socialist Front)  detained for 16 years under Operation Cold Storage in 1963.

 Mr. Tan Jing Quee:
  • Trade unionist, writer
  • Detained from 1963-1966 under Operation Pechah for leading a general strike to protest against the deregistration of trade unions by the Singapore Govt.

This event is jointly organised by the Strategic Information and Research Development Centre (SRID) and the Sembang  Group.


The following is a collection of web-based videos, papers and book reviews on events that took place between 1945 to 1975. Click on the item to read more.






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