'Marxist plot' revisited

May 21, 2001

ON May 21, 1987 the Singapore government arrested and detained without trial 16 people, including several lay Catholic church workers, who the government claimed were part of a Marxist plot to overthrow the government.

This paper, written in French by John Mais in late 1987, recounts the incident and offers an analysis the event.

Due to the length of the paper it is presented in smaller sections.


Notions about Singapore

Relating of the facts (May – September 1987)
- the arrests
- the persons arrested (detainees)
- 4 Christians
- 6 volunteer workers of the Church’s organisations
- 6 activists

The Report of the Minister of Home Affairs and the contents of the accusations

Initial reactions of the Church of Singapore

Pressures of the State
The government endeavours to accredit the thesis of a plot
-International reactions
-the televised interview of Vincent Cheng
-liberations and new arrests
- Let the Church remain within its own domain!
-A discourse of Lee Kuan Yew
-Liberation Theology, the source of all evil
-Fresh liberations and sudden reversal of policy.

Concluding Reflections
-what is most probable
-what is probable
-the Singapore system
-the state of the opposition
-the state of religion

Related article: A detainee remembers