PM meets with Singaporean political dissidents, activists


SINGAPORE: Former political dissident Tan Wah Piow, along with several Singaporeans, met with Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday and invited him to speak at a regional conference on democracy.

The Singaporeans present at the meeting, which took place at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya, were historian Thum Ping Tjin, freelance journalist Kirsten Han, civil rights activist Jolovan Wham and award-winning graphic novelist Sonny Liew.

According to Tan, the meeting with Dr Mahathir lasted an hour and 20 minutes.

Tan, who lives in exile in London after his citizenship was revoked over 30 years ago, had requested to meet with the Malaysian premier and invited him to speak at a conference on democracy in Southeast Asia that his non-profit organisation – Forces for Renewal of Southeast Asia – is organising. Tan said the conference will take place in Kuala Lumpur in the first quarter of next year, but did not have further details.

Dr Mahathir has accepted Tan’s invitation “in-principle”, subject to his availability, a representative from the Malaysian Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to Channel NewsAsia.

Malaysian activist Hishamuddin Rias, who is part of Tan’s organisation, helped to organise the meeting with Dr Mahathir and was also present at Thursday’s meeting.

Tan was involved in a planned Marxist coup in 1987 and had his Singapore citizenship revoked.

Dr Thum, who is a research fellow at Oxford University, crossed swords with Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam earlier this year during the public hearings by the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods after he claimed Operation Coldstore was politically motivated.

Following their meeting with Dr Mahathir, both Dr Thum and Tan posted a photograph on Facebook of their meeting.Click here to read the original article © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd