Monograph #42

Monograph #42

Yale Southeast Asia Studies Monograph #42

TO CATCH A TARTAR: A Dissident in Lee Kuan Yew’s Prison

by Francis T. Seow

A semiautobiographical account of Seow’s experiences as a government official and his 72-day detention in 1988 for “courting if not colluding” with U.S. Diplomats to build an opposition in Singapore. 
   Reviewers’ Comments:  “…a devastating account of the destruction of the rule of law…” -Ian Baruma, The New York Review 

”..a landmark expose of Lee Kuan Yew’s Singapore written by an eminent Singaporean who has experienced both the best adn worst of life in that country…it is a very necessary book which will affect public perceptions of Singapore…convincing testimony…(and) a very worthy contribution to the serious study of repression everywhere.” - Margaret John, Amnesty International

Francis Seow was educated at Saint Joseph’s Institution in Singapore and at the Honorable Society of the Middle Temple, London.  he joined the Singapore Legal Service in 1956, serving as a deputy public prosecutor until 1972, when he enterd 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 Seondary IV examination boycott by Chinese students.  Seow received the award of the Public Administration (Gold) Medal for his work on the Comission, and was ultimately 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.  Seow was appointed the first Orville Schell Fellow, Yale Law School in 1989, and in 1990 a Fellow at East Asian Legal Studies, Harvard Law School.  He lived in Arlington, Massachusetts until his death in 2016

See also Monograph #55 - Beyond Suspicion? The Singapore Judiciary, by Francis T. Seow (2006)

390pp  (1994)

>Paper $22.00; ISBN: 978-0938692560

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