Headlines, Lifelines

SM's message to Plen: Try Malaysia
The New Paper, Aug 4, 1997

WHY don't you just settle in Malaysia?

This was Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew's press secretary's reply to remarks made by the "Plen", Mr Fang Chuang Pi, in recent interviews.

Madam Yeong Yoon Ying noted that Mr Fang, 71, believes the Malaysian government's policy is more charitable to communists.

"This may well be so because the communists have never been able to influence the Malay base," she said .

Mr Fang should accept Malaysia's terms and settle there.

"There is no point arguing about his return to Singapore, which he has described as a freak which will die young," said Madam Yeong, in a letter published in Singapore's Lianhe Zaobao today.

Mr Fang was interviewed by Nanyang Siang Pau
Mr Fang Chuang Pi was interviewed
recently by Malaysian newspaper
Pic/ Nanyang Siang Pau.

Mr Fang, of the former Malayan Communist Party (MCP), had told Malaysia's Nanyang Siang Pau, of his wish to settle in Singapore. He said although he was allowed to return, he had chosen not to because of "disagreements in conditions".

He also disclosed that he had met SM Lee Kuan Yew in Beijing in 1995 to discuss the return of the Singapore-born ex-communists and a resolution of the conflict.

Madam Yeong gave more details of the meeting in her letter.

"Mr Lee said he was no longer in charge, but even if he were, there was no need for a resolution as the conflict was over.

"If Mr Fang wanted to return to Singapore, the terms were a quiet disclosure of his activities to the ISD and severing of his ties with the CPM."

She noted Mr Fang's own leader, the late Eu Chooi Yip, and several others had returned on those terms without being harassed.

Madam Yeong also took issue with some other points Mr Fang made. Mr Fang had said he was in favour of merger, but his actions in the 1960s contradicted his words.

"He strongly opposed merger and ordered the late Lim Chin Siong to break up the PAP and to stop merger. There are documents and people to attest to what happened."

'Let the past be judged by historians. Arguments between old contestants are not productive.

-- Madam Yeong


Mr Fang Chuang Pi, 71, was born in China and now lives in southern Thailand. The ex-Singapore boss of the defunct Malayan Communist Party was dubbed the Plen by SM Lee.

The MCP laid down arms on Dec 2, 1989, when it signed the Haadyai Peace Accord with the Thai and Malaysian governments.

Next: Plen -- the court reporter


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