Dr Maliki, thank you for your letter. I really appreciate it.
From the content of the letter, I understand that the book editor, Dr Hadijah and her Research Team did some investigations after I claimed the photos of Ahmad Ibrahim in the book "The Last Kampung Mosque in Singapore" are wrong. Please take note that when I say those photos contributed by Mr Hammer are wrong, not only those on page 54 are wrong, other photos contributed by Mr Hammer featured on other pages are also wrong.
No doubt Mr Hammer has a friend by the name of Ahmad Ibrahim, but most likely his friend is NOT the former Minister. Mr Hammer himself ever say (in Berita Harian, 11 Feb 2006) that he is shocked to hear that his friend (Ahmad Ibrahim) became a Minister. I hope this Ahmad Ibrahim (a friend of Mr Hammer) family to come forward and reveal the truth.
When I first met Tuan Haji Othman Wok to verify the wrong photos, Tuan Haji already prepared himself with a magnifying glass. Meaning, he already has difficulty with his eyesight and not the photo are too old to see. Furthermore, I showed him the photos features on page 54 of the book " The Last Kampung Mosque in Singapore." The Editorial Team did contact Tuan Haji Othman Wok on 17 July 2008 and Tuan Haji Othman Wok concluded to the Editorial Team that those photos contributed by Mr Hammer which is featured on page 54 are NOT of Ahmad Ibrahim, the former Minister. Tuan Haji Othman Wok is Ahmad Ibrahim political colleague in the 50's and 60's.
Nevertheless, I am happy to hear Dr Hadijah did correspond with Yang Berbahagia Tan Sri Dato Dr Haji Yahaya Ibrahim who reside in Kuala Lumpur to find out the truth from the family perspective. Dr Yahaya Ibrahim is Ahmad Ibrahim's younger brother. To me, as long as the book editor and/or book publisher is in contact with Ahmad Ibrahim's immediate family, I feel rest assured. Dr Hadijah and her team did consult Dr Yahaya Ibrahim and Mr Haji Othman Wok. However, she and the team did not consult Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew. I didn't see MM Lee name being mentioned in the letter. MM Lee was a PM at that time (1950's) when he persuaded Ahmad Ibrahim to join PAP (People Action Party) after he had won the election as an independent candidate in 1955. I wonder what would happen if MM Lee says that those photos contributed by Mr Hammer are not of Ahmad Ibrahim, our former Minister. Probably all the books will be recalled and stop from distribution. The book publisher agreed to add on the ADDENDUM to the current book to indicate the feedback from Ahmad Ibrahim's family (represented by Tan Sri Dato Dr Haji Yahaya Ibrahim).
Here are the ADDENDUM to be added in the book "The Last Kampung Mosque in Singapore The Extraordinary Story and Legacy of Sembawang" as agreed by the book publisher with the advice of book editor.
"We would like to notify readers that the photographs of the late Mr Ahmad Ibrahim, the former Singapore Minister of Labour and Health in page 54 of this book, are based on a source submitted to the Editorial Board by Mr Edward Hammer. Mr Edward Hammer was a kampung folk in Sembawang and a childhood friend of the late Mr Ahmad Ibrahim.
Mr Hammer has informed the Editorial Board that the photographs were personally autographed and given to him by the late Mr Ahmad Ibrahim. The Editorial Board also received confirmation on the photographs from Hj Kassim Selamat and Hj Haron Mohd Kassim, two other close friends of the late Mr Ahmad Ibrahim since his adolescent years. Recently, the family of the late Mr Ahmad Ibrahim represented by his brother, Tan Sri Dato Yahya Ibrahim, has informed us that the photographs are not of Mr Ahmad Ibrahim.
Despite the differing views, we respect both findings of the Editorial Board based on research and also the late Ahmad Ibrahim's family.
However, the mosque undertakes to include this note on their findings in each issue of the current publication. We hope readers will continue to enjoy reading the book and appreciate the original intent of documenting the rich history of the Masjid Pemtempatan Melayu Sembawang."