Singapore History Textbook

The picture is an extract from the history textbook, Crisis and Conflict. Clearly, they've forgotten about Operation Coldstore and Operation Spectrum. *Click on the image to see a larger version*


I've forgotten what page this extract is from as I lost the history book. But losing the history book isn't the important thing. The most important thing is that this WAS from a history book. 

*This book's use ended in 2013, when it was replaced by a new book, the World In Crisis, thus it's no longer on the shelves anymore.

As usual, I like history, so I would want to repeat a very famous quote, "Those who have forgotten history are doomed to repeat it". It's a great quote by George Santayana, a simplified version of "'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it'"  The saying, changes over time, however it's meaning remains intact: We cannot forget and repeat the mistakes of the past. 

The truth, no matter how hard it seems, it's still the truth. The Holocaust did happen. It's an obscene truth neo-nazis want to deny. Like it or not, there are pictures proving that the Holocaust did happen. Take a walk down the street, grab a teenager and ask them if the holocaust happened. Chances are, they will tell you yes, it did, but to ask them about ISD arrest of "Marxist", chances are they didn't know that it happen.

We cannot change the past. We only learn from it and not make the same mistakes. Each of us, by supporting human rights and freedoms, can change the future. So, I find it absurd that this history book wants us to remember the holocaust but not operation coldstore/spectrum. Stating that the ISA is used for terrorist when the famous dissent, Vincent Cheng, is not a terrorist! I could go more on the Operation Coldstore/Spectrum, but it's up to your own curiosity to find out more. It will shock you, like the first time I heard and read about it. Tell me, was the Holocaust the right thing to do, because Leaders must do what's right more than what's popular? 

We are bound to repeat this mistake. Even more with the new MDA licensing rule, we cannot be sure about what is the government doing. Well, if you believe that ignorance is strength, I have no comments for you. If you are as old as me, I can understand you. I was shocked when I first find out the ugly, shameful history of the ISD. It is not used just to catch would-be-terrorist, serving them a cup of coffee and having a nice talk. 

It's important for young Singaporeans to learn about this part of Singapore's history. The importance of learning History is it's ability to point out what happened in the past and to prevent it from happening again; you need to learn what happened first. We all would have heard this from our teachers, friends, parents, if we don't learn from our mistakes, we will make the same mistakes in exams, sure fail liao! 

If we never learn about this History, and do nothing to stop it from happening again, don't be surprised if ISD comes banging on your door at 3am.


*Article first appeared on