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Tuesday November 23, 2010

Sun’s political ideology

Officially done: Minister in Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon (centre) launching the 102nd anniversary of Penang Philomatic Union and opening of the exhibition hall at Penang Sun Yat Sen Centre in Macalister Road on Sunday.

ALTHOUGH many people know about Dr Sun Yat Sen, few actually understand his ideology, according to Singapore Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall council member Dr Lee Peng Shu.

He noted that it was important to review the chronology of Dr Sun’s struggle for the people of China by holding strongly to his ‘Three Principles of the People’ and nation building strategies.

“We should realise the spirit behind his call for the abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a republic.

“This was what brought about the downfall of the Chinese dynasty system and the rise of China’s economic and political development today,” he said at the international symposium on ‘Sun Yat Sen, Soong Ching Ling – Their Life and Legacy’ with special focus on the 1910 Penang Conference at Wawasan Open University (WOU) in Penang on Sunday.

About 50 delegates from China, Taiwan, Singapore, the Philippines and Japan, together with the Sun family’s descendants from the United States, Hong Kong and China, attended the day-long symposium that was held in conjunction with the international centennial celebrations of Dr Sun’s ‘Penang Conference’.

The symposium was jointly organised by Sun Yat Sen Penang Base, WOU and Penang Heritage Trust.

A total of 10 speakers shared their views on Dr Sun and his family’s descendants, the life of Soong and her social influence, Dr Sun’s ideology and its impact overseas, his supporters and the Penang Conference 1910.

Speaking of the Wan Qing Yuan, that has since been preserved and renamed as the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall, Dr Lee said it was a miracle to have the building standing today amidst the rapid development in Singapore.

“It was the place where Dr Sun stayed for two weeks to have the swearing-in ceremony for the setting up of Tongmenghui (Chinese Revolutionary Alliance) in April 1906.

“His second stay in Wan Qing Yuan was in July 1906 where he called for a secret meeting for the uplifting agenda.

“His third stay was with his family members for one-week where he called for a meeting to revamp the revolutionary team and later proceeded to Penang for the fundraising plan,” he said.

Dr Lee said despite having only three visits by Dr Sun, Wan Qing Yuan became the meeting point of the revolutionary figures and the hiding place for some 400 soldiers.

“It was an important scene in the revolution’s history and even Taiwan president Ma Ying-jeou was in tears on three occasions during his visit to the place earlier.

“Tears came rolling down when he paid tribute to Dr Sun’s bronze statue and as he passed by the exhibition corridor depicting pictures of the unsung heroes who were sacrificed during the series of failed uprisings.

“He was filled with tears for the third time at the main entrance where he imagined the scene of the unsung heroes who did not return after leaving for the movement,” he said.

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