Escape From The Lion’s Paw

About the Book
Exile is not a choice, but a response to lawless oppression. The narratives in this collection might awaken readers from their complacency and make them question the relevance of the Internal Security Act, a law that makes a mockery of democracy.

The six authors — Ang Swee Chai, Francis Khoo Kah Siang, Tan Wah Piow, Tsui Hon Kwong, Tang Fong Har and Ho Juan Thai — speak of their narrow escapes in the 1970s and 1980s, and their lives then and now with frankness, humour and sadness, but always with optimism and hope for Singapore and the world.

“Every autobiography aims to impose its moral visions of the past. Nowhere is this more evident than in the flood of first-person accounts bySingapore’s establishment elite.

Escape from the Lion’s Paw joins the trickle of counter-narratives that have appeared in the last decade which call the dominant plot into account, revealing the underside of the country’s political history. The exiles aim to present exposés of repressions of campus and social justice activism in the 1970s and 80s, explicitly linked to the socialist movement of an earlier generation, not only through a shared social and political mission, but also the same political leadership using the same tool against them: the Internal Security Act.

These recollections make no pretense to be reflections gathered in tranquillity.

Yet the most poignant of them is precisely that.

 It records the homecoming of political exile Francis Khoo’s ashes.

More than anything else, it is the sadness, grace, magnanimity, and purposefulness with which his widow, Dr Ang Swee Chai wrote that show up the nature of those who continue to keep her and others in exile.”

Hong Lysa, historian

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