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9 May 2002
Dear Mrs Chee,
I read from the AP news that you were seen weeping and following Dr. Chee as he went into the police van outside the Istana. What I want to say is this: Do Not Weep! This is part of the process, which is needed to attain what is noble and ideal; without which, the ideal will not be attained. Dr. Chee has decided to go into a political struggle, and as the word pertains, a struggle is not without effort and toil.
I understand that you are disoriented and sadly affected, but this is what your husband has decided to do and I dare say that it is a noble one. Do not for once think that he is isolated, desolate or forgotten, he is definitely not. There is a silent crowd in the population, and the wind is brewing in the right direction – the liberal direction. And your husband is on the right track, definitely. Whether he will catch it galantly and rightly in his lifetime is still undecided, but one thing is for sure, it is indeed going his way.
The PAP government, if still unchanged, will one day be down, with no sympathy and no pity, because the relentless hardness of the people is cultivated by them in the first place. This relentless hardness will one day come down hard on them, and all who have suffered indignantly under them, all shall be expiated and restored.
As the saying goes, the national register is being recorded; the day will come. Tell your husband that you are proud of him.
Someone who still cannot be named
Reply from Huang Chih-Mei (Mrs Chee):
Thank you for your kind words and encouragement.
I have to admit that I do feel a bit embarrassed when I read about news reports describing me as ‘tearful’ or ‘weeping’ over the incident. It was actually our 3-year-old daughter and not me who was crying, and that made me very upset.
We had intended to go to the Istana to watch the rally. But things happened very fast (and quite unexpectedly) when the police took my husband away. Chee Siok Chin, my sister-in-law who was carrying my daughter at that time, got caught up in the crowd. Being surrounded by so many policemen, my daughter cried: ‘Mommy, hold my hands!’ So I had to follow from behind. It was chaotic and very confusing, but everything was over in about 5 minutes.
Then it started to rain very heavily. I stood there and held her in my arms and didn’t quite know what to do for a while. But she recovered very quickly (children at that age do) and was happily prancing around again when we were at the Tanglin police station.
Personally, I am not faint-hearted and I do understand and support what my husband is doing. My daughter and I go with him to his office, meetings and activities whenever the situation allows us. In fact, it has become our way of life. We live modestly but we are quite happy with what we have. The most important thing is that we do things and go through the ups and downs together as a family.
I just want you to know that we are doing fine, and I appreciate very much your thoughtfulness and your effort in writing to me. Although I am not from Singapore, I see this place as my home, as the roots and the future for our children.
Thank you & best wishes,