Tan Wah Piow
Tan Wah Piow, a Singapore student dissident and lawyer who fled to the UK in 1976 to evade National Service, was charged by the Singapore government as the alleged mastermind behind the Marxist Conspiracy
Operation Spectrum
Operation Spectrum was launched on May 21, 1987 by Singapore's Internal Security Department using the Internal Security Act . 16 people were arrested for their involvement in what was described as a "Marxist conspiracy". On June 20, 1987, four of the original 16 were released and six more were...

. In 1987, the Government of Singapore arrested 16 people for their role in an alleged Marxist Conspiracy, where there were said to have concerted plans to overthrow the Government to form a Marxist state. Tan had been influenced by Marxist and Maoist ideas since the early 1970s. Some of Tan’s ideological beliefs include waging “a class struggle” between the “labouring proletariat” and the “ruling class”, and the rejection of capitalism. In essence, Tan saw Singapore as a franchise of international capitalism and the MNCs here as a manifestation of neo-colonialism.

Early beginnings

Tan was president of the University of Singapore’s Students’ Union (USSU) in 1974. In his time there, Tan politicised USSU and mounted campaigns, protests and strikes against the Government. Tan was purportedly involved in an industrial dispute which led to his arrest in Nov 1974 for unlawful assembly and rioting. Tan had allegedly instigated workers of American Marine (Singapore) to agitate against their employers. Tan was eventually convicted and sentenced to one year’s imprisonment. He subsequently fled to the UK in 1976 on a Singapore passport with forged renewal endorsement to evade National Service.

Marxist plans undeterred

In the UK, Tan continued with his Marxist activities. His plan was to achieve political power through infiltration of mainstream organisations such as schools and unions to mobilise workers and establish strong grassroots support. To achieve that, Tan established himself as the leader of the Federation of United Kingdom and Eire Malaysian and Singapore Students’ Organisations or FUEMSSO in short, which was used to recruit supporters for his cause.

Through Federation of United Kingdom and Eire Malaysian and Singapore Students' Organizations (FUEMSSO), Tan succeeded in recruiting several activists for his plans. Upon their return to Singapore, these students were supposed to join forces with a local group led by Vincent Cheng
Vincent Cheng (dissident)
Vincent Cheng is a Singaporean Catholic social worker who was detained without trial under the Internal Security Act for 3 years....

(one of those detained under Ops Spectrum) to penetrate lawful organisations and eventually dominate them, in preparation for Tan’s seizure of political power.

Tan and his group also used FUEMSSO to launch a number of strident campaigns against the Singapore and Malaysian Governments. Most significantly, Tan and gang actively campaigned on behalf of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) elements under detention in Singapore and Malaysia, demanding for the abolishment of detention without trial and immediate release of those under detention.

See also


The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.