7/21/2017

Red Dot’s diplomacy

The govt has been harping on the criticism by Kishore Mahbubani over its hiccup in its relation with China. The angst over the episode is very hard to get over with in several quarters meaning that what Kishore had said must have been painful to the ears of some. Over the last few days the govt has came out very strongly with its principled position diplomacy as if it is some unknown gem that must be displayed for all to see.
 

The key points were guarding and protecting our national interests and territorial integrity and also punching above our weight. The message, Singapore would walk around with a loudspeaker to make sure everyone heard us, that Singapore is not some little country to be trifled with.
 

Vivian Balakrishnan even called a townhall meeting and had it broadcasted over the national media about how big Singapore was and is, that we are the champion of small states and the interests of small states and the rule of law. Who is/are the intended audience of this ‘koyok’ selling session? Is Kishore the main target, that he had rubbed people the wrong way and must be put in his place? Or are the audience the neighbouring countries or China, the country that was poked, oops, some denied that we did that, and was not amused?
 

What did Kishore say that must be straightened out? I heard that Kishore was accused of saying something like being small we must compromise our principles and interests, that we should bend out heads and be kicked around or something like that. I am very sure Kishore did not say such things or implied either. It is an over exaggeration to put words into Kishore’s mouth that as a small state we should not speak up and allow others to trample all over us. Kishore was very outspoken on such issues when he was our rep in the UN and the US.
 

In Vivian’s townhall speech I got it that it was all about ‘we’ or ‘us’ and our interest, that these should not be compromised, our principles, our integrity. No one can dispute such arguments. Even all the smallest states that have been very quiet in their diplomacy would guard their interests and principles vehemently. And I think all the big powers would also appreciate and would accept such a position of small states. But bully they would if conditions allowed.
 

In diplomacy it is all about influencing other countries to support one’s position and interest. Every country, big and small, is doing this. Singapore too is doing the same thing. There is nothing wrong with this. What is wrong and unacceptable is to reveal what were said behind closed doors. This is a breach of confidentiality and faith. There is no need to wash such laundry in the open. Behind closed doors, many things would be said, there would be horse trading of all shades and colours. Take your positions or turn down the offers, but there is no need to kpkb in the open about what was spoken. This country or that country wanted us to do this or that. This is bad manners and poor taste in diplomacy!
 

And in the cause of protecting our principles and interests, it does not mean that we can go around compromising other people’s principles and interests. While we are talking about ‘we and us’ there is a need to know if we have violated or compromise the principles and interests of other parties. A good example is the hosting of American air and naval forces here. There is nothing wrong with that and it is in our national interest to want the Americans to be here. But we need to be careful of what the Americans are doing to others. And we need to be careful in what we said and why the Americans are here for. Telling China that the Americans are invited here to balance their influence is very unfriendly. Some things are left better unsaid. If the Americans are using our facilities to violate, intimidate or threaten the interests of our neighbours or other countries, can we walk around with a halo over our heads and proclaim we are innocent, none of our business, we are not involved?
 

Every nation state would pursue their national interest at all cost. But while doing so, and it compromises the interest of other states, then it is not so innocent and acceptable by others and one can expect consequences. The Americans’ provocative and belligerent behavior in the South China Sea, and operating from our shores, would not be accepted kindly and would affect our relations with China for sure. Do not do unto others if we don’t want others to do unto us. This must also be a key principle in diplomacy. It cannot be always about ‘we and us’ with no regards to others. This is elementary. This is decency.

7/20/2017

Peaceful China versus warmonger USA

 What are the main differences between a peaceful country and a warmonger? It is not what they said or claimed to be. It is what they are doing around the world. In the recent decades with the opening up of China and China’s participation in world trade after its admission into the IMF and WTO, China has been actively engaged in all kinds of major infrastructure projects around the world. And China backed these up by setting up the AIIB and the BRI to connect the Asian countries together to advance trade and economic activities.
 

China is not just talking and investing in the BRI projects that joined the Asian countries by land and sea. China is also attempting to open another route through the Arctic region. A massive US$20.1b has been budgeted by China towards these projects. Apart from the high speed railroads crisscrossing Asia to Europe and Africa, the Chinese are also building high speed rails in the Americas and Africa. The Chinese are also intensely involved in the development of ports from Greece through the India Ocean littoral states, Malaysia and Indonesia and in Papua New Guinea.
 

In Malaysia alone, the four key projects of Melaka Gateway, Kuala Linggi Port, Penang Port and Kuantan Port would cost China US$10.5b. In Indonesia, the development of Tanjung Priok Port would be to the tune of US$590m.
 

Arctic route ports that are in the pipeline are Norwegian port in Kirkenes, Russian port Arkangelsk in Siberia, and Klaipeda port in Lithuanian to complete the opening up of an Arctic sea route.
 

And as usual, asshole thinkers like Jonathan Hilman, director at the Centre for Strategic an International Studies started to put up a spin on the possible use of such ports for ‘non commercial activities like hosting military forces and collecting intelligence.’ Aren’t these activities the key roles of American military and non military installations and bases around the world? Further, he did not admit that these ports are in the sovereign territories of the respective countries and military activities would not be allowed without the approval of these independent states.
 

While China is deeply involved and spending hundreds of billions in such economic projects, what is the world’s number one warmongering nation doing? No need to guess. It is building more and more military bases, forming military alliances, developing and selling more deadly weapons of mass destruction and threatening other countries with sanctions and wars. The USA has run out of ideas. It is only interested in wars and creating tensions around the world. It is spending all its limited resources in weapons and everything related to wars, about wars and nothing about economic development and trade. It backed away from the TTP and even the Paris Climate Change accord.
 

These are the stark contrasts between a peaceful super power and a warmongering super power. One is about trade and economic development and the other is about wars and more wars. What else do the Americans think they can contribute to the world other than wars and selling weapons for wars?
 

How many more pieces of evidence are required to wake up the unthinking Asians to call a spade a spade instead of being misled by the western media to believe the Americans are for peace and China is for war? Who is fighting wars in the Middle East and going to start a war in the Korean Peninsula and possibly the South China Sea?

7/19/2017

New manpower strategy

MOM, NTUC and SNEF put up a press release on a new manpower strategy for Singapore. The three main points, one, enhanced internship and training for new entrants into the industry, two, self help HR portal for employers and three, provide free HR solutions and expertise to SMEs.
 

Good, but what about the influx of foreigners to replace Singaporeans? Would the above three points address the concerns of Singaporeans looking for jobs? No, non issue? What are the real problems facing Singaporeans today when many graduates are finding difficulties in getting jobs here and ended underemployed or unemployed while foreigners just waltz into the island and found jobs aplenty, almost instantly employed?
 

For the last couple of decades, there appears to be a de facto manpower authority that is setting the agenda and strategies for Singapore’s employment scene and the authority of this de facto agency is foreigners. They set the rules and dictate who should be employed, who is skilled, qualified, what kind of degrees or fake degrees are acceptable, and in most cases to the detriment of Singaporeans. Maybe this is a fake issue, that the employment scene for Singaporeans is healthy and bustling and nothing needs to be done, everything is fine?
 

Is there a problem? Are Singaporeans being replaced by foreigners and becoming redundant, unskilled and obsolete? The impression I have is that the problem is very serious. But maybe I am getting fed the wrong information by people who are paranoid. Everything is fine. If that is the case, then the new strategies would be fine. Singaporeans would be happy with the employment scene and things would even be better, rosier by the days. Nothing to worry about.
 

What do you think? What is real or fake news?

7/18/2017

Moon Jae In’s dangerous overtures to North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae In has made good his election pledge to reduce tension with North Korea by proposing direct talks between the top military officers of the two states. Some reports have come out saying that this is a dangerous policy to deal with the North. How dangerous could it be? To the western narrative and thinking, the North Koreans are mad people and cannot be trusted. So talking to them about peace is a dangerous thing to do.
 

I have a different take on this. The first South Korean President Park Chung Hee that initiated talking with the North to reunite the two states was assassinated. By who? Definitely not by the North Koreans or by pro unification South Koreans. This is how dangerous it is to talk with the North and to think of reunification. Moon Jae In got to walk gingerly along this path and be wary of reunification talks if he wants to avoid being assassinated. It is a treacherous path.
 

The other dangerous things that could happen while Moon Jae In is proceeding with talks with the North is that there could be more false flag incidents to depict the North Koreans as untrustworthy, dangerous and mad. Such false flag incidents could the sinking of South Korean ships or attacks on South Korean installations, acts that are obviously ‘committed’ by the North without much thinking.
 

The South Koreans must be very careful and alert to the risks and dangers along the way for peaceful talks and in the longer term a reunification of the two states. When reunification takes place like in Germany and in Vietnam, there is no reason for the deployment of Thaad missiles in Korean soil, there will be no reason for American bases in Korea and the South Korean armed forces would not be controlled by the Americans as their supreme commander. The stakes are too high.
 

A peaceful Korean peninsula, a reunification of the two Koreans, must not take place and any South Korean president taking this road is flirting with his own safety and possible assassination. It is a dangerous policy to pursue.

Lim Tean’s speech at Hong Lim Park

For the link to Lim Tean's speech at Hong Lim Park on the Protest against abuse of power on 15 Jul 17 please go to TRE and read this article, 'Lawyer Lim Tean’s speech at Hong Lim Park on 15th July'. (Somehow unable to put the link here)

The 30 minute speech gave a good insight on what had happened in Parliament and what is next to this episode raised by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling. Though Hsien Loong and his camp in Parliament gave the impression that everything had been properly addressed and all the allegations were unfounded and the case is closed, Lim Tean's speech called for a commission of inquiry to be initiated by the President whose two major duties are the safeguarding of the nation's reserve and the integrity of the govt.

The case is anything but closed in the eyes of many Singaporeans. And it looks like Act 2 Scene 1 has just started with the revelation that the AG’s office is looking into a private facebook post by Li Shengwu. Wei Ling has joined the play and questioning AG’s role and interest in a private correspondence. Someone squealed and this private mail is no longer private anymore. It is now all over the media.

Looks like the ball is now in the court of the AG office, to decide if there is a case to proceed on.



The 30 minute speech gave a good insight on what had happened in Parliament and what is next to this episode raised by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling. Though Hsien Loong and his camp in Parliament gave the impression that everything had been properly addressed and all the allegations were unfounded and the case is closed, Lim Tean's speech called for a commission of inquiry to be initiated by the President whose two major duties are the safeguarding of the nation's reserve and the integrity of the govt.

The case is anything but closed in the eyes of many Singaporeans. And it looks like Act 2 Scene 1 has just started with the revelation that the AG’s office is looking into a private facebook post by Li Shengwu. Wei Ling has joined the play and questioning AG’s role and interest in a private correspondence. Someone squealed and this private mail is no longer private anymore. It is now all over the media.

Looks like the ball is now in the court of the AG office, to decide if there is a case to proceed on.
Lawyer Lim Tean’s speech at Hong Lim Park on 15th July « Editorial « TR EMERITUS with courtesy from TRE and TOC.



The 30 minute speech gave a good insight on what had happened in Parliament and what is next to this episode raised by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling. Though Hsien Loong and his camp in Parliament gave the impression that everything had been properly addressed and all the allegations were unfounded and the case is closed, Lim Tean's speech called for a commission of inquiry to be initiated by the President whose two major duties are the safeguarding of the nation's reserve and the integrity of the govt.

The case is anything but closed in the eyes of many Singaporeans. And it looks like Act 2 Scene 1 has just started with the revelation that the AG’s office is looking into a private facebook post by Li Shengwu. Wei Ling has joined the play and questioning AG’s role and interest in a private correspondence. Someone squealed and this private mail is no longer private anymore. It is now all over the media.

Looks like the ball is now in the court of the AG office, to decide if there is a case to proceed on.

7/17/2017

A Malay President

The Constitution was amended for a simple reason of having a minority president, should there be no Malay, or member of another minority group be elected as the President over a 25 year period. The idea and intent were simple and clear to the Malay and other minority groups. You will have a chance when all else failed.

This simple but untenable proposition is increasingly looking like a bad dream coming true. And as the goal posts keep shifting, the issue of a Malay president is looking more like a farce when reality hits the roof. What is a Malay becomes a major issue to address.

With the ridiculous and extreme elitist conditions in place, hardly any Malay would qualify, and those that qualified are either partial Malay or ethnically non Malay in all counts taking the application of Mohamed Salleh Marican and Farid Khan as examples. Even Halimah Yacob is only half Malay at most.

The big question now facing the committee that is given the power to determine what is a Malay is to come up with a formula or definition on Malayness. As this is going to be a very serious matter that affects the Presidency and racial harmony, the last thing that this committee would want to do is to come up with something that is unacceptable to the majority of the Malay community. Suka suka business tak boleh pakai.

Other than being accepted by the Malay community as Malay, practising Malay culture and living like a Malay, the next big factor is the Malayness. How many percent Malayness would be considered as adequate or minimal to be called a Malay? 10%, 30%, 50% or more? Can one that is ethnically not a Malay, ie 0% but fulfilled the rest of the conditions be called a Malay? What about someone with race in the IC or birth certificate clearly stated as non Malay qualifying as a Malay? In the case of Farid Khan, his IC said he is a Pakistani.

There is this other controversy of foreigners taking up citizenship and in their IC it is stated that they are Malay when they are not. Can a person officially stated as Malay in the IC, but did not qualify in the other conditions be refused to be a Malay and thus disqualified?

This can of worms is getting serious with so many worms crawling all over the place. The whole intent and purpose of the constitutional amendment is for racial harmony. In reality it is becoming a very divisive issue facing the Malay community. How many Malays agree to the definition of Malay in the Constitution? The govt must not take the Malay community for granted. By their reticence it does not mean that everything is fine. Would they be seething with anger beneath should a non ethnic Malay be elected as the EP to represent them?

The Pandora box is opened and what would happen to this simple idea and intent turning into a Gordian knot and turning everything topsy turvy? A badly conceived idea, and rushed ahead for implementation, would have highly undesirable and dire consequences to the maker and the country as a whole.

What kind of joke is it if an EP election to elect a Malay President ended up with no Malay President or at most a half Malay President? Oops, this is not a joke but a very serious matter concerning the interest of the Malay community.

7/16/2017

Another silly NYT article trying to demonise North Korea

Some of you here cannot tahan my hard truth about the westerners and their century old smear campaign against Asians in general and China, N Korea, Iran and a few others in particular. Just read the daily verbiage in print in western media and unthinking stupid Asian media allowing themselves to be used by the westerners to rubbish Asians and you will understand why. They will keep repeating their lies and over time many unthinking readers would believe that they are truths. Some are so used to such rubbish as part of their lives and thinking that they are gems and truths and will parrot them around.
 

There was an article in the Today paper by NYT on 13 July attacking the North Koreans for sending their people to work overseas as slave labours with the govt confiscating their income for the state. I will just quote the silly things they said and readers here should be able to relate them to the conditions of foreigners working here, including Singaporeans that are no difference or could even be worst off, but never reported so negatively as slave workers.
 

1. North Korean labourers helped build a new soccer stadium in St Petersburg…a project which at least one of them died. They are working in central Moscow, where two North Koreans were found dead last month in squalid hostel near the construction site. (Try to compare this with the death of foreign workers in Singapore, including the maids).
 

2. Most of their earnings are confiscated by the state. (Got such thing in Singapore or not?).
 

3. …his highest paid workers now lose half or more of their monthly salary through confiscation, while the leader of each construction squad of about 20 to 30 labourers takes an additional cut of about 20 per cent in return for finding painting jobs for his men. (Familiar? This NYT author must be living in a well).
 

4. Quoting a North Korean painter, ‘I hope I can come back’ to work again after his work permit expires. (Think what our maids and foreign workers are saying here when their WP expired).
 

5. The Russian boss said North Koreans work “crazily long hours” without complaint and call him at 6am, even on weekends,…They are basically in the situation of slaves.”(Think of the working hours of the maids here).
 

6. All the same, he added, North Koreans will want to work in Russia, where, despite the hardships and confiscation of a big chunk of their ‘CPF, oops’ wages, they can live better and freer than they do at home. (Sound familiar?)
 

How much difference are the North Korean foreign workers’ fate in Russia compare to the foreign workers and the maids here? Why the constant attack against North Korea with such rubbish distorted news?
 

Shall I stop writing about the western media farce but let them continue to write what they want since the last couple of centuries? What they wrote daily are acceptable, reputable and respectable media, what I wrote now and then are not acceptable, fake news?

PS. Singaporeans cannot distinguish between fake news and facts. It would be worst when fake news are officially sanctioned as real news by govts  to spread their lies.