Straits Times: Marshall is back in politics

SINGAPORE’S former Chief Minister, Mr. David Marshall, is back in politics.

Yesterday he was elected to the 27-executive committee of the Workers’ Party at its inaugural meeting.

About 800 people attended.

Mr. Marshall announced his intention to quit politics permanently last April after he challenged the People’s Action Party leader, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, to contest a by-election.

Mr. Marshall yesterday accused the Government of “repressing the Chinese-educated students and unionists” in an attempt to rid Singapore of Communist elements.

“It is wrong,” he declared, “to approach this problem on the basis that all Chinese-speaking Chinese are Communist inclined. That is not true.

‘This is wrong’

“It is wrong to seek a solution by repressing and crushing the Chinese-speaking Chinese. The repression of a major part of our people can only build up to a horrible explosion.

“To teach or practise suspicion and division between the races means disaster for all.

“In Singapore ‘merdeka’ is a dirty word to be ashamed of. Inter-racial respect and co-operation are things of the past. The most disturbing aspect of the past 17 months are indications of a campaign of repression of the Chinese-speaking Chinese.”

Thumping the table, he said: “During election time, Mr. Lim Yew Hock promised to repeal the Banishment Ordinance and the Emergency Regulations.

“Since he became Chief Minister, he has used the Banishment Ordinance and the Public Security Ordinance in so wide a manner as to cause real fear in decent people.”

He asserted that “several unionists” did not want to join the new party because they were afraid the Government might take action against them.

‘You’re afraid’

He said: “Everything about the party is constitutional and democratic. But some of you are afraid and I don’t blame you.

“I have a power of attorney ready and signed to hand over my secretary in case the Government decides to give me a holiday in Changi.”

Mr. Marshall accused the Government of making Singapore a “helpless slave” of the Federation.

He said that through the Security Council (under the new constitution) the Federation would have political control in Singapore without responsibility.

Through the proposed central bank the Federation would have economic control without responsibility and through the proposed Federation naval base in Singapore, they would have a military foothold.

“They say,” said Mr. Marshall, “that these controls bring us closer to the Federation. I believe in a merger with the Federation but you know that one doesn’t get married by being first a prostitute.”

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