Living in a Time of Deception
This is the historical memoir of Dr Poh Soo Kai, a medical doctor and a founder member of the People's Action Party. Here he tells the story of his incarceration as a political prisoner under Singapore's notorious Internal Security Act, and the anti-colonial struggle which defined the years after the Second World War.
Poh was born in Singapore in 1930. He is the maternal grandson of prominent businessman Tan Kah Kee. After the Japanese surrender in 1945, he continued his studies at Raffles Institution and entered the University of Malaya in 1950. He was a founding member of the Socialist Club in 1953 and became its second President from August that year till the following year. Poh was one of the eight members of the Fajar editorial board charged with sedition in 1954. He graduated three years later with a degree in Medicine. Poh became acquainted with Lee Kuan Yew, who was the legal advisor for the students during the Fajar Trials, during his time in university. He subsequently became a founding member of the PAP in 1954. When the party split in 1961, he left to join the Barisan Sosialis as its Assistant Secretary-General. He was arrested and detained without trial under the Preservation of Public Security Ordinance during Operation Coldstore in 1963. He was arrested again without trial under the Internal Security Act in 1976 and 1982.