Calvin Cheng: PJ Thum was not wrong, S’poreans’ over-reaction based on lack of knowledge

4332
Photo: YouTube screengrab

Former Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) Calvin Cheng took to Facebook to explain side with historian Thum Ping-tjin who suggested that Singaporeans should celebrate Malaysia’s Independence Day with them.

Selamat Hari Merdeka to the people of the former Federation of Malaya! (and happy unofficial independence day to the people of Singapore!)

Posted by Pingtjin Thum on Thursday, 30 August 2018

In his post, Thum said, “Selamat Hari Merdeka to the people of the former Federation of Malaya! (and happy unofficial independence day to the people of Singapore!)”.

His Facebook post also came after an 80-minute long meeting with Malaysia’s Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad.

On Facebook, Cheng was against the meeting that was held with Dr Mahathir and said, “it’s unacceptable to collaborate with foreigners and enlist their help to interfere in Singapore’s domestic affairs”.

In a more recent post, he also added, “Below I condemned the gang of activists for meeting with and asking for help from a foreign leader overtly hostile to Singapore”.

Below I condemned the gang of activists for meeting with and asking for help from a foreign leader overtly hostile to…

Posted by Calvin Cheng on Saturday, 1 September 2018

However, he continued saying, “the brouhaha about PJ Thum wishing ‘Malaya’ Happy National day and Singapore ‘unofficial independence day’, is based on a lack of knowledge about Singaporean history”.

Cheng explained, “Mr. Lee Kuan Yew ‘coincidentally’ also proclaimed the DE FACTO independence of Singapore on 31 August 1963. It was a coincidence because the formation of MALAYSIA (which joined the Crown Colonies to the Federation of Malaya) was meant to ALSO be on 31 August but was postponed to 16 September 1963”.

“PJ Thum thus wasn’t wrong. He was referring to 31 August 1963, not 1957. Same day, different year.

(Teo Soh Lung however was completely wrong because she can’t get her grammar right. Singapore was part of British Malaya – but not the Federation. To say they Singapore IS part of Malaya is just deluded. British Malaya has not existed since 1963)”, he added.

Cheng also said that while Singaporeans should be angry about Thum and the other activists meeting with Dr Mahathir, they should also be informed and “be angry about the right things”.

Netizens were hardly convinced, adding that as a historian, Thum did not acknowledge Singapore’s national day on August 9, but instead deliberately chose to link Singapore with Malaysia on their national day.

Many were angry and unforgiving.

One netizen came up with an apt analogy that others agreed with. Netizen Ho Shigure said in reference to Thum’s Facebook post, “Imagine you’re twice married and once divorced (from a painful union) under common law, and someone comes over and says congrats on your first marriage”.

 

________________________________________________________________________

obbana@theindependent.sg