Dear Fellow Singaporeans,
We want to say a very heartfelt thank you for all the support you showed during our 72-hour protest last week.
In our small and humble way we wanted to show to the mighty PAP regime that it cannot continue to steamroll over our fellow citizens and us – at least without having to pay a political price.
And many of you helped us. Those of you who sat with us through the nights, you presence made us stronger. Those of you who sang, your voices lifted our spirits. Those of you who came by to share a meal with us or just to say hello, your kind gestures were soothed our minds and bodies.
As the days wore on, we could see that many of you had become bolder and came by to sit with us, despite the police cameras rolling. By the final night much of our fears had gone away.
Critics note that there were very few people who came to support us. It is true that we did not see supporters by the thousands. But in a climate where the police were doing everything they could to discourage Singaporeans from joining us – including seizing our publicity flyers, turning away the public at Speakers’ Corner, taking photographs of our supporters and asking for their particulars, and most important blacking out the news of the protest – the numbers that we saw are truly remarkable and extremely encouraging.
Several of you who defied your own fears and police intimidation to show up at the protest site were marvelous. There were also some younger members of the Workers’ Party who came and chatted for a while. A couple of them even bought some cheng tng and other refreshments. Thank you. Your gesture is greatly appreciated.
The many of you who took pictures and videos of the protest and posted them on the Internet, who helped to disseminate news reports as they came in thick and fast, who emailed your friends and told them what was going on you were all part of our protest and we owe you a debt of gratitude for your assistance.
And to the many of you who emailed us, a big thank you. To the couple of you who didn’t have very nice things to say, we hope to change your minds one day.
September 16, 2006 will go down in history as a day when Singaporeans came alive. Every one of you who was involved in one way or another, big or small, was part of a team that took on the PAP machinery. Without you the protest could not have been as effective.
All of you can truly take pride that we, the proud citizens of this nation, have begun this process of taking back what rightfully belongs to us.
Movements never start with the masses. They always take place with the few taking the first steps followed by greater numbers. We hope to see more of you in the coming weeks and months when we organise seminars to raise awareness and train more democracy activists.
Take heart and don’t stop believing that one day, democracy, too, will come to Singapore.
Yours in solidarity,
Chee Siok Chin
Teoh Tian Jin
Chee Soon Juan