Liong Min Loy is an Indonesian born of Chinese descent. His forefather had lived in Bangka Island for decades, way back during VOC time. Like many red-blooded idealist generation of his time he was a nationalist actively involved in the struggle against the Dutch colonial government.
After Indonesian declaration of independence, Liong and his friends were given the official assignment to carry out clandestine opium barter operation with Singapore to gain the much needed revenue for the newly formed Republic of Indonesia. The story vividly documented his horrific experience upon landing on Singapore shore. The local triad societies were waiting right there to take over the smuggled goods. At the same time they were wanted by the police who considered them enemy spies.
The book is a rich tapestry of human drama and astute observation of social and political history of Indonesia and its connection with the neighboring Singapore and Malaysia. It is filled with epic tales and brilliant description of family life, a riveting experience that celebrates the fighting spirit of survivors.
The story related Liong’s lifelong political and family journey that was a microcosm for the ethnic Chinese living in the region over the centuries. It documented their sweat, tears and sacrifices, but most of all it is a story about the triumph of the human spirit over racism, injustice and inhumanity.