That We May Dream Again (2nd Edition)


In the early morning of 21 May 1987, sixteen Singaporeans were arrested under the Internal Security Act of Singapore. The Act legitimizes detention without trial. In the weeks that followed, another six were detained under the same Act.

Among those arrested were professionals, students and, workers from the Catholic Church in Singapore. Most were social activists who championed the cause of the disadvantaged in society and were concerned with issues of peace and social justice.

The Singapore government alleged that the detainees were part of a ‘Marxist conspiracy’ aimed at subverting the existing social and political system in Singapore through the use of communist united front tactics. Over three years, all these detainees were gradually released, most with Restriction Orders imposed on them for a significant period of time.

Four years ago, some of the ex-detainees from the Catholic Church groups recounted together with their families and friends, their thoughts from those tumultuous years in a book. Today, on the 25th anniversary of that event, more of those who lived through those dark days have added their voices, private stories and reflections of that incident, resulting in this second edition of That We May Dream Again.

The new stories speak more extensively of bewilderment and sadness as formal institutions retreated while friends and families rallied. They speak of the difficulty of being asked to “move on” without proper reconciliation. What is unspoken, but which comes through with ultra clarity is the quiet strength and creative flexibility which the writers have marshalled as they continue their unending quest to “… love tenderly, to act justly and to walk humbly with the Lord, our God.”

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That We May Dream Again (2nd Edition)

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"It is a thin book that one should be able to finish reading in a couple of hours. However, it took me three days to complete it. It wasn’t that I had to plod through it and it certainly was not that the accounts were dull. It was more because after almost each chapter, I found it difficult to move on for the experiences suffered by the detainees were heart-wrenching. It was not easy to read about how some of my fellow Singaporeans were used, bullied and persecuted by our own Government... this compressed book offers us hope and encouragement to stand up to injustice and oppression in our own country." - Chee Siok Chin, Singapore Democratic Part


Fong Hoe Fang