- Series: Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series
- Paperback: 390 pages
- Publisher: Yale Univ Southeast Asia Studies (October 1, 1994)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0938692569
- ISBN-13: 978-0938692560
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,529,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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To Catch a Tartar: A Dissident in Lee Kuan Yew's Prison (Southeast Asia Studies Monograph Series)
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"...a devastating account of the destruction of the rule of law..." -- Ian Baruma, The New York Review
"...a very necessary book which will affect public perceptions...a worthy contribution to the serious study of repression everywhere." --Margaret John, Amnesty International
About the Author
Francis Seow was educated at Saint Joeph's Institution in Singapore and at the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, London. He joined the Singapore Legal Service in 1956, serving as deputy public prosecutor until 1972, when he entered private law practice. Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew approved his appointment as senior counsel to a Commission of Inquiry which "successfully exposed communist tactics" in the Secondary IV examination boycott by Chinese students. Seow was subsequently appointed Solicitor General of Singapore. Seow dates the beginnings of political friction between himself and Lee Kuan Yew's government from 1986 when Seow was elected president of the Law Society. In 1989, Seow was appointed the first Orville Schell Fellow, Yale Law School, and in 1990, a Fellow at East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School. A widower, Seow now lives in Arlington, Massachusetts.
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His account of his imprisonment by the Singapore police is as harrowing as anything written by Kafka. No one so articulate as Mr. Seow has described what it is like to be a detainee in Singapore.
I am an American, but was living in Singapore at the time of Mr. Seow's detention. I was in charge of the computer department of the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore (IRAS). Many of my colleagues at IRAS were disturbed by the million-dollar budget had been allocated to investigate Mr. Seow's tax matters. Naturally, IRAS determined that Mr. Seow had a considerable tax debt.
Mr. Seow was and is a charismatic and brilliant individual. He had become Solicitor General of Singapore, and President of the Law Society. Had he gone along with the dictates of the Singapore system, he could be living a very distinguished life in Singapore today, in high political office. He now lives in the United States, but has not been forgotten in Singapore.
His generosity, which shows so clearly in his book, was extended to my wife (a Singaporean), and myself recently with his kind review of our book on many of the same subjects, entitled "Escape from Paradise."