Chia Thye Poh muzzled for trip
ASSOCIATED PRESS in Singapore. July 19, 1997
Related: Chia free to travel abroad
A FORMER political prisoner detained without trial for 23 years may travel to Germany for a year to study, but cannot make public statements without permission, a report says.
Chia Thye Poh, 56, would travel to Germany this month or in early August to spend a year studying through a Hamburg Foundation fellowship, The Straits Times reported yesterday.
The newspaper quoted the Home Affairs Ministry as saying he would need permission from the Internal Security Department to make public statements or address public meetings.
Mr Chia was an MP with the now defunct Barisan Sosialis Party and a university lecturer when arrested in October 1966. Until 1989, he was imprisoned under the Internal Security Act, which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
Mr Chia has denied the Government's accusation he is a communist. He has demanded unconditional release, but refused to confess to having communist links.
In 1989, he was released from prison and confined to a fortress on the tourist island of Sentosa, a kilometre from Singapore. In 1992, he was allowed to visit and work in Singapore for eight hours a day, and last year restrictions on his movements - but not his speech - were lifted.
Published in the South China Morning Post. July 19, 1997