31 January 2017
In August 1957, Singapore was still a British colony. However, earlier that year, Britain agreed to set in motion the wheels for internal self-government.
The Labour Front, helmed by then Chief Minister Lim Yew Hock, was in power in Singapore’s fledgling Legislative Assembly, and the People’s Action Party (PAP), led by Mr Lee Kuan Yew, in opposition.
That month, at the fourth PAP conference, pro-communists won control of the top posts in the Central Executive Committee (CEC), the party’s highest decision-making body – a blow for its more moderate wing.
Such a blow that Mr Lee’s name cropped up in intelligence reports by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), in the context of a bold new development. Mr Lee might leave the PAP to start a new party with the Labour Front’s Mr Lim, the CIA was told.
A source within Mr Lim’s Labour Front party told the American consulate-general that Mr Lee was staying in the PAP temporarily so as to marshal the moderates “to create confusion among the leadership”.
… “They show that the CIA 50 years ago was well informed about politics in Singapore, and able to make perceptive judgments about Lee Kuan Yew and how he was defining Singapore and its policy dilemmas,” said Mr Kwa Chong Guan, senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. “There is not much to disagree with in these assessments even today.”
RSIS / Online / Print
Last updated on 31/01/2017