Fight against communists crucial in road to independence, PM Lee says as marker unveiled at Esplanade Park

(From left) Former PAP MP Mahmud Awang, former president SR Nathan, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, Lawrence Wong launching the commemorative ma
(From left) Former PAP MP Mahmud Awang, former president SR Nathan, Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean and Minister for Culture, Community and Youth and Second Minister for Communications and Information, Lawrence Wong launching the commemorative marker at the opening ceremony on Dec 8, 2014. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Eter Foo, a former Special Branch officer who spied for Force 136 against the Japanese during World War II. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Eter Foo, a former Special Branch officer who spied for Force 136 against the Japanese during World War II. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Former president SR Nathan (third from right) launched a commemorative marker at the Esplanade Park on Dec 8, 2014, to remember Singapore's fight against Communism. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO
Former president SR Nathan (third from right) launched a commemorative marker at the Esplanade Park on Dec 8, 2014, to remember Singapore's fight against Communism. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND FOO

SINGAPORE - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Monday reminded Singaporeans that the fight against Communism may be a distant memory, but they should never take the country's peace and harmony for granted.

Mr Lee made this point in a Facebook post where he urged people to visit a new marker built to honour and remember those who fought and sacrificed their lives to keep Singapore a free, democratic and non-communist nation.

 

//

Former president SR Nathan unveiled the marker at the Esplanade Park earlier on Monday.

"One crucial fight Singapore went through on the road to nationhood was the fight against Communism, specifically the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM)," Mr Lee wrote.

"The CPM sought to oust the governments of Malaya and Singapore, and replace them with a communist regime. It launched a campaign of violence and intimidation which lasted four decades," he added.

"Fortunately the CPM failed, but 8,000 civilians and security officers lost their lives in the struggle."

Mr Lee noted that Mr Nathan had personally witnessed Communist violence, and worked in the trade unions to overcome the influence of the pro-Communists in the unions.

"Today, the CPM is a distant memory. But we should never take our peace and harmony for granted. Do visit the marker if you can," he added.

The granite-and-steel marker is located in Queen Elizabeth Walk, next to the Tan Kim Seng fountain and Lim Bo Seng Memorial and a stone's throw from the Cenotaph.

December also marks the 25th anniversary of the signing of the 1989 Haadyai Peace Agreements between the CPM and the governments of Malaysia and Thailand, that marked the end of the CPM's four-decade campaign of violence and subversion.

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, and Senior Minister of State for Home and Foreign Affairs Masagos Zulkifli were also present at the ceremony along with survivors and family members of those who were caught up in the communist-instigated violence.

Mr Wong had said in Parliament the marker was partly the result of feedback from retired police officers, who wanted recognition for the people who stood up to the Communists.