Prisoner 00001/2010

February 9, 2010

I’ve been sitting on this piece for some time. It’s been about four weeks since I was released from Changi Women’s Prison.

I had the dubious honour of being the first resident there for the year 2010. How do I know this? My prison no. was 00001/2010. My cell mate who joined me late that first night was 00046/2010.

From time to time, I do need to withdraw and get away from the maddening crowd. But spending time in CWP is not my idea of a retreat.

I spent a week in jail for “demonstrating opposition against the actions of the government” through distributing flyers. That pretty much rubbishes what Ms Chong Wan Yieng, Press Secretary to Minister for Law, says “engaging in robust criticism per se is not and has never been a crime or libellous in Singapore”.

Few people know what prison conditions are like in Singapore. Most have the impression that the door to the cell is made of bars; that you have a simple bed to sleep on; that you are allowed to go to a mass area to have your meals. Well, the reality is that each inmate is given a thin straw mat to sleep on. No pillow. Just a prickly blanket. Basic supplies such as toilet paper, soap, toothpaste and even water, are rationed.

Time passes very slowly in the small, stuffy, hard cell. You can’t help but keep waiting for nightfall so that another day in prison is behind you. But then my thoughts would turn to those who were incarcerated for months and years by the ISD. Not only were they detained without any charge or trial. They were not even told how long their detention would be. That must have been the most difficult aspect of their imprisonment. Hope is illusive and elusive when one does not how long one would spend time being locked up.

That is why people like Michael Fernandez, Chia Thy Poh, Said Zahari, Poh Soo Kai, Lim Hock Siew, Vincent Cheng, Teo So Lung, Wong Souk Yee and scores of others are heroes and heroines. Their courage, conviction, faith and resilience have triumphed the evils of the PAP Government. It is most heartening to see several of them speaking out about their imprisonment and debunking the lies of the Government and its leaders.

I have gone to prison twice and I foresee several more sentences. As much as my faith gives me the courage to endure the struggles, I draw my strength from the courage and steadfastness of the real heroes and heroines of Singapore.


6 Responses to “Prisoner 00001/2010”

  1. Hi Siok Chin,
    Be strong and of good courage.
    With prayers always.

    swee keat john

  2. Clarence Says:

    take care stays strong… i really respect what you did for your passion and dreams and fellow singaporeans…wish you all the best.. and hope one dy you will success.. stay cheers..

  3. […] vs Chee – Chee Siok Chin’s Blog: Prisoner 00001/2010 [Thanks […]

  4. fievel Says:

    I’m sorry you had to go to prison for your political beliefs.

  5. […] vs Chee – Chee Siok Chin’s Blog: Prisoner 00001/2010 [Thanks […]

  6. teo soh lung Says:

    The trick is to live by the day and not look forward to release. Life is a journey of experiences and so one day at a time is good.

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