By Tessa Wong
Former Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees Michael Fernandez and Vincent Cheng have joined the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), and may stand as party candidates in the upcoming general election.
The two new members were introduced at the party's anniversary dinner last night at Fort Canning.
Both men told The Sunday Times they would consider standing for election under the SDP banner if they were asked to by party leaders.
Mr Fernandez, 77, is a retired former unionist whose lawsuit against the Government for alleged torture during his detention from 1964 to 1973 was struck out last Friday.
He has another suit pending against the Government that alleges he was unlawfully detained for part of his detention.
He said he joined the party two months ago because he wanted to 'let more young people know about ex-detainees' experiences'.
He felt that his age and health would not affect his decision to run. 'I am still very healthy. As for age, Lee Kuan Yew is also very old, and he is still in Parliament.'
Mr Cheng, 64, is a former social worker who was detained in the late 1980s for being part of an alleged Marxist conspiracy to overthrow the Government. He joined the SDP shortly after speaking at its rally last November.
Both men are advocates for the abolition of the ISA, which the SDP has also called for. They said this issue would be part of their campaign platforms if they ran.
[Good to see Vincent Cheng getting back on his feet. However, most s'poreans don't really give a hoot about the ISA. Campaigning on this platform shows how out of touch SDP is. As for the other ex-detainee, the question is how to move SG forward. Looking back to old enemies/opponents of the PAP hardly fills me with confidence that these potential candidates have answers for the challenges of the future. PAP looks for young blood, looking toward the future. The SDP (Slightly Dead Party) seems to be seeing what corpses they can dig up and reanimate.]