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Officials attack remarks by freed detainee


South China Morning Post. Dec 1, 1998.
DEUTSCHE PRESSE-AGENTUR in Singapore

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THE government yesterday hit back at remarks by former political detainee Chia Thye Poh, who was granted full freedom last week after 32 years of detention and other restrictions.

Mr Chia, held without trial in 1966 for involvement with communist insurgents, immediately denied the allegations against him when his restraints were lifted on Friday. "I was never under any communist party. I was merely performing my duty as an MP," a news report quoted Mr Chia as saying.

"This is not true," the Singapore government said yesterday in a Home Affairs Ministry statement rejecting Mr Chia's remarks. "Chia was never arrested for performing his duties as an MP."

The statement said Mr Chia, formerly an elected MP for the Socialist Front party had resigned from Parliament along with other MPs to "take their struggle to the streets".

"Chia was therefore not an MP when he was arrested on 29 October, 1966," it said.

"Instead he advocated armed struggle and violence."

Published in the South China Morning Post. Dec 1, 1998

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