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.


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?


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?


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.


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.


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.


Public protest at Hong Lim today 4pm to 7pm

The issues, allegations of abuses of power by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling.

The speakers are:-
1. Danny Ng – researcher – “What is fear?”
2. Sivakumaran Chellappa – private educator – “The future of our country should not be determined by Oxley”
3. Jan Chan – recent graduate – “Need for government to respect and abide by the separation of powers in Singapore”
4. Osman Sulaiman –business owner/active in politics – “A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves”
5. Tan Kin Lian – former Presidential candidate – “Abuse of power by our government”
6. Dr Ang Yong Guan – psychiatrist – “What else could PM have say in Parliament?”
7. Leong Sze Hian – Blogger/President of Maruah – “Secret committee and what it shows – so many secrets in Singapore”
8. Lim Tean – former Sec Gen of National Solidarity Party – “Wherever law ends – tyranny begins”
(Mr Kwan Yue Keng will be the MC for the event)

There will also be a press conference on site immediately after the event at about 7pm.

Gilbert Goh (Organizer)
Dated: 14th July 2017

The above quoted from TRE.

Christopher De Souza’s tough questions in Parliament

Responding to Hsien Loong’s call for tough questions in Parliament on the Lee Family feud, MP De Souza submitted 10 tough questions in Parliament. The questions below were from a post in TRE titled PAP MP put forth ‘tough questions’ on familee feud’.

Mr De Souza said that it was important to investigate whether the mission of the organs of state were subservient to the agenda of any personality, as alleged by PM Lee’s siblings.

He then put forth the following ten questions to the Prime Minister and to Parliament:

1. Is it true or false that organs of state are being used to target Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling?

2. Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang questioned whether “able leaders with independent political legitimacy will be sidelined to ensure Hsien Loong’s grip on power remains unchallenged.” Is it true that ensuring the Prime Minister’s power remains unchallenged trumps independent political legitimacy?

3. Mr Lee Hsien Yang said, “a few of the attacks we had to face in private are now public. False accusations, character assassination, the entire machinery of the Singapore press thrown against us.” Is it true or false that the Government uses Singapore press to target Dr Lee Wei Ling and Mr Lee Hsien Yang?

4. The siblings have said that they see “many upright leaders of quality and integrity throughout public service who are constrained by Hsien Loong’s misuse of power at the very top.” Is it true that public service is constrained by the Prime Minister’s misuse of power at the top?

5. Is it true or false that the leadership and direction of the government is directed for personal purposes or any other improper purpose?

6. Is it true or false that organs of the state may be used for personal agendas?

7. Is it true or false that the ministerial committee is merely a facade that the Prime Minister is able to influence in one way or the other?

8. Is it true or false that the ministerial committee never told Mr Lee Hsien Yang and Dr Lee Wei Ling about options they were exploring?

9. On 15 Jun 2017 at 9.25pm, Mr Lee Hsien Yang wrote, “Hsien Loong’s public statement contradicts the statutory declaration he made to his secret committee. It is wrong to lie to Parliament and it is wrong to lie under oath. Is it true or false that the Prime Minister lied to Parliament?

10. On 14 June 2017, Lee Hsien Yang said, “Hsien Loong has asserted to the committee that Lee Kuan Yew would accept any decision by the Government to preserve 38 Oxley Road. In doing this, Hsien Loong has deliberately misrepresented Lee Kuan Yew’s clear intentions for his own political benefit. He has also gone back on his own declarations that he would recuse himself from all government decisions involving 38 Oxley.” Is it true or false that the Prime Minister has misguided a ministerial committee to fulfill his own personal purposes?

The questions were tough alright. But De Souza put in all his experience as a lawyer to frame the questions in such a way like questioning or cross examining a witness and only allowed the witness to answer yes or no, in this case true or false. Hsien Loong would not be allowed to say but or if or maybe, just answer true or false. He also made it easy for the people reading the tough questions to come to a quick conclusion. 50% false answers, pass, 70% false answers, good, 90% and above false answers, distinction.

In a way the questions also made life easier for Hsien Loong, just tick true or false. So simple!
What would happen if Hsien Loong tick all as false or as yes? Who will be the judge, the Parliament, De Souza or the public? To me it is the public acting as the jury. It is anytime better than being the accused, the witness, and also the judge.


China must change its investment strategies in Malaysia

Wan Saiful Wan Jan wrote a piece titled ‘Malaysia’s priority is to manage not stop, China’s investments’ in the Today paper on 11 Jul 17. While many doubters are raising red flags when the Chinese govt is pouring money into Malaysia, Wan Saiful took a slightly different stand, understand the pros and cons and manage it to the best advantage of Malaysia. The money coming in is good if not why ask for the money, but more important is how to capitalize it to the best for Malaysia and its people. Who else is going to give you money?

In his article he addressed some issues with the Chinese investments and quoted the experience in Latin America and Africa to offer some hindsight on the pitfalls to avoid. One of the key issues is the repayment of the soft loans for the infrastructure that China is building for Malaysia. Wan Saiful lamented that after the projects are completed, Malaysia would have to pay and pay, ie to repay the loans over 20 years or more, and plus interest some more. This is bad. Ok, pointed noted. China must reconsider this, maybe let Malaysia determine how long to repay the loan. But this is also bad. The best thing that China could do is to offer the loan to build the infrastructure without having to pay back, build them for free, give the loan for free. Now that would be nice. China must seriously consider this strategy then Wan Saiful and his friends would not have to raise this concern again.

The second serious concern and I quote, ‘Not only does China get back a substantial portion of its money immediately in the form of payment for work done by their state owned enterprise CCCC, they will also get more money when repayments start, with interest. Ultimately, over the long term, there is still an outflow of funds from Malaysia to China.’ How can China do this? This is no good. China must rethink how not to get back a substantial portion of its money immediately for payment for work done and to ensure that there is no outflow of funds from Malaysia to China. Again, the solution is simple. Build for free, give the loan for free. No need to pay back and Malaysia will be very happy.

Another concern, the infrastructure built may not be profitable and ‘the risks and liabilities are borne by Malaysian taxpayers through a government guarantee of the loan.’ Now how to overcome this? Maybe China should guarantee that the project should be profitable and take the risk and bear the liabilities if the project is not profitable. How about that? This is something that China must seriously think over before embarking on the project. It is not the responsibility of the Malaysian govt to ensure that the project is profitable or useful to Malaysia.

Another important point raised by Wan Saiful is how Venezuela ended up with huge debts despite China’s soft loans. Venezuela’s mistake was to agree to repay the loans with oil. But then oil price collapsed. With this lesson, China must let Malaysia choose whatever way it wants to repay the soft loan, maybe by paying in ringgit, RMB or US dollars or coconuts. Oops, not a good idea either. The value of the currencies can fluctuate and Malaysia could end up paying more. Maybe China can work out a flexible option to let Malaysia pay in whatever currency or commodities it so chooses without having to make exceptional and unexpected losses. The best way is to leave the option for repayment blank, to be determined by Malaysia as and when it likes. That should do the trick, I think.

And another point, not the last, is the transfer of technology. From Malaysia’s past experience with investments from western countries, including Japan, there was always a transfer of technology to Malaysia. Look at how much technology the Proton car has transferred to Malaysia today. Or remember Dunlop, Shell and all the famous western companies that have invested in Malaysia and all the technologies they have transferred to Malaysia and made Malaysia a modern and industrial power house? China must transfer its technologies to Malaysia just like what these western and Japanese companies did before, the Sony, Panasonic, Sharp etc. This should be easy for China, by following what the western and Japanese companies have done before.

Oh, one more concern, Chinese companies should not use Chinese workers in their projects. They must employ the Malaysians to do the job. Actually it would be easier and less troublesome if China just offer the money to Malaysia and let Malaysia hire all the locals to work on the projects and all the local SMEs would also have subcontracts to work on. Just give the money to Malaysia and everything will be fine. It would also be easy for China too, no need to do anything. A little catch, would China still be responsible for the completion of the projects and profitability of the projects when Malaysians are doing all the work?

Oh, one more very big concern. China is an authoritarian state promoting authoritarian capitalism. If more Chinese investments poured into Malaysia, Malaysia is likely to be influenced and become an authoritarian regime as well. This is so dangerous. How to overcome this? Ok, Wan Saiful concluded with this remark, ‘The responsibility to ensure good governance in Malaysia lies with the Malaysian government and the Malaysian people, not China.’ So China no need to do anything, just invest and don’t try to influence the Malaysians to become an authoritarian state. Don’t try regime change also. Don’t ask questions about 1MDB. I am not sure how easy it is to influence the Malaysian leaders and people to become an authoritarian state just by investing and building infrastructure in Malaysia. I am still scratching my head.

China should read my above points carefully and seriously rethink how they could invest in Malaysia without getting back their investment capital. If they continue to do it this way, always thinking of repayment, Malaysia is likely to invite western countries to invest in Malaysia with free loans, no need for repayment. Then China would lose out in investing in Malaysia.


Cheng Bock stands a chance to stand as a minority candidate

The entry of Farid Khan, a Muslim of Pakistani descent, as a possible Malay candidate for the next EP opens up a window for Cheng Bock to get in using the same route. As reported, ‘Although his identity card shows his race as “Pakistani”, presidential hopeful Farid Khan Kaim Khan considers himself “Malay enough” to run in the coming presidential election(EP) reserved for Malay candidates.’ Khan added, ‘I was born in the Malay village in Geylang Serai, the heart of the Malay community. And I adopted the Malay language, and when I studied in school, my second language was Malay.’

Farid Khan must have read the provisions of the EP in the Constitution and its definition of what constitute one to be a Malay and eligible to stand. If I can remember, it was something like one needs not be an ethnic Malay but must be accepted by the Malay community as a Malay, or by the govt committee.

So, how can Cheng Bock make himself qualified? He must act very fast. Get himself converted to Islam and become a Muslim. Show proof that he is very conversant in the Malay language, which I think he is. Change his lifestyle a bit more to be like the Malays. Get all his Malay friends to accept him as a Malay. If he can convince his Malay friends that he is a Malay, then all the obstacles in his way would be cleared, technically and according to the definition in the Constitution. Then he can tell Singaporeans that he considers himself a Malay.

It is not easy. The Malay community may not accept him. But he can try, just like Farid Khan and other non Malay or half Malay candidates. The Constitution is very clear that one needs not be a Malay but must be accepted by the Malay community as a Malay. Correct me if I am wrong on this interpretation of the Constitution. I would not seek a court interpretation on this. I am just a layperson trying to read and understand the Constitution, like Farid Khan and the other non Malay or partial Malay candidates are doing.

Thank you very much. How about this, President Abdullah Tan Cheng Bock? (Oops, no offend intended. Just looking at the possibilities. If Constitution can change, every can change to suit the Constitution).

PS. Cheng Bock has appealed against the judgement of the court counting Wee Kim Wee, an appointed President by Parliament, now also read as elected President or no difference according to the court. Appointed or elected, same same, no difference in law. We need to change our dictionary on the meaning of these two words. Would the students pass their English Language examination if they write appointed and elected mean the same thing, sama sama?


Act big or act small

This debate between Kausikan and Kishore continues with Han Fook Kwang chipping in with his two cents worth in an article in the Sunday Times on 9 Jul. Han Fook Kwang was trying to point to the changing circumstances and the need to apply intelligently on lessons and policies of the past. Not every event is the same and it is important to understand the new forces in play before blindly applying past methodology that may no longer be relevant today.

One take away from Han Fook Kwang’s comment is his quoting Kausikan, ‘Small states like Singapore cannot allow their sovereignty and national interests to be dictated by others.’ This is sound and good, just like the same saying, ‘Singapore leaders stood up to major powers in the past when they attempted to intimidate them.’ On first glance, both statements are statements of principles and laudable and should be the guiding principles of small states. As such, small states must act big and talk big.

However, take a serious look at the statements and understand them a bit deeper. Both are important statements but must be applied cautiously and discriminately and not recklessly or foolhardy. Do not read the statements superficially.

Take the first statement about not allowing our sovereignty and national interests to be dictated by others. By sticking our guns onto this policy, we must also put ourselves on the other side and not to dictate on other people’s sovereignty and national interests. Get the point? We do not want others to dictate to us, and we must not dictate to others as well. Yes, do not trample onto others…

Similarly we must stand up when others try to intimidate us. There is a big difference between standing up to intimidation and trying to intimidate others, especially when it has nothing to do with us. When the big powers did not intimidate us, it is foolhardy to intimidate the big powers. When the big powers are not infringing on our sovereignty or national interests, it is silly to infringe on their sovereignty or national interests. In the South China Sea issue we are just an outlier, a peripheral party.

I think this is as simple and easy to understand as you can get, no need to explain further. The poking of our nose into the South China Sea dispute is not just being a busy body, not only minding other people’s business, but infringing on the sovereignty and national interests of China and intimidating China. We deserved to be fucked. Period. This is applying past lessons and Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking blindly, foolishly and unintelligently. Don’t fuck around with big powers when they did not fuck around with you.

There is a time to stand firm, act big when you are intimidated but act small and don’t try to intimidate the big powers when there is no need to. Small states have the right to chart its own course, but don’t be foolish to want to chart the course of big states.

A little knowledge is dangerous.


Fake news is a national issue in Singapore

The recent revelation of ‘reputable’ American media printing fake news or alternative truths in their papers came as a rude shock to the ordinary unsuspecting readers who have all the years been made to believe that these media only print the truth, nothing but the truth, with some claiming to double or triple check their facts before printing, to ensure that they print only the truth. And of course some of these media have been ranked at the bottom of the list for their fake news printing prowess.

What has happened in the USA may have rubbed off some people in Singapore to realize that there were lots of fake news printed in the media and that these are dangerous. Oops, I must make a clarification on this. Fake news only occurred in social media, not in the century tested, proven, trustworthy and reliable main media. They print only real news, factually correct and nothing else. The govt is starting to get uneasy and planning to introduce more laws to protect the citizens, normally very daft, not sure it is part of the DNA or nurtured, so that they would not read fake news. To do so, people who published fake news would face the wrath of the new laws and may end up behind bars. This is how serious the govt is today, to protect its people from being harm by fake news.

The most reputable paper in the island that only published truthful news (please ignore the fake reports that ranked the reputable paper at the bottom of the ladder) has come out to tell its reader not to worry as they would help the people to decide what is fake news from real news. And if the readers are not sure, they can ask the paper for their opinion. I am not sure how the local media are going to do this, probably a hot line to let readers call in to check on the news, is it fake or not fake. This is how caring the govt and local media have become, to make sure the daft citizens of this island would not be bluffed by fake news and taken advantage of.

In the past I used to tell myself that when I write a satirical post or a joke, I must add a PS at the bottom of the article to tell my readers that it is a satire or a joke as they are not supposed to know the difference and would take everything as real stuff. And for believing my satire or joke as real, I can be accused of propagating fake news because the readers cannot tell the difference and I did not tell them it is not real. I think from now onwards when I write something I must add a remark to tell my readers that it is real or fake news, not that my readers could not tell but one or two here may have such problems, but to protect myself in case the law comes after me for publishing fake news. I think it should be alright if I print something that is fake, a satire or a joke and state it as so, then I would not be accused of publishing fake news to mislead the innocent and unthinking readers that are supposed to have difficulties telling the difference. When you have a nation of daft, people with low thinking ability despite having tertiary education, it is necessary to take precaution not to mislead them and to protect them. Did someone say they never grow up?

So what if more than 50 percent of the population received tertiary education and cannot tell between fake and real news? If they could then the govt and the media would not have such a big headache trying to come up with laws and assistance to help them understand. Dunno to laugh or to cry.

Stupidity has no cure. Maybe next time they will teach the people how to have sex and pass law to protect them in case they can’t tell the difference between having real sex and fake sex. Oops, I am walking a fine thin line on posting another piece of fake news. Ok, ok, no such things ok, I am just using an example, not because of inhaling some drugs or hallucinating without the aid of drugs. Ok, ok, I am just another daft Singaporean that needs the protection of the laws on fake news. Thank you very much. Now I feel safer already.


First world parliament absolves PM Lee from abuse of power allegations

After two days of vigorous debates with the opposition MPs and PAP MPs asking tough questions and throwing everything they had to Hsien Loong, Singapore’s first world parliament has found Hsien Loong innocent of all the charges by his brother and sister on corruption or abuse of power. ESM Chok Tong said he has full confidence in Hsien Loong’s integrity. Minister Heng Swee Kiat said there is no abuse of power. 

Hsien Loong also said there is no abuse of power and demand the MPs in parliament to show proof. None of the MPs could come out with any proof that Hsien Loong has abused his position as the PM. The allegations by Hsien Yang and Wei Ling were thus unfounded, unjustified and unproven. It is not easy to tarnish the reputation of our incorruptible politicians, and the squeaky clean political system has stood the test of the day, its integrity intact, faith in the govt restored. They are not paid millions for nothing.
Now that these serious allegations are out of the way and confidence has been restored on Hsien Loong as the PAP leader, the govt and the Civil Service, everything is back to normal. Chok Tong told the Parliament to move on.

What is left outstanding is the dispute on Lee Kuan Yew’s will on his house. This is a private matter and both Hsien Yang and Wei Ling have written a facebook post that they would settle these matters privately or pursue them in court. Latest is that their conditional truce is not agreeable to Hsien Loong and everyone is waiting for Act 2 to start.

The whole episode has ended just like a storm in a tea cup. Hsien Yang and Wei Ling should count themselves lucky for being the brother and sister of Hsien Loong. Otherwise, with such serious allegations and unable to prove them, they would be sued till their pants dropped.

Whatever, the storm has subsided and calm has returned to the island. The MPs and ministers can now go home and have a well deserved rest after posting so many challenging and difficult questions to Hsien Loong in Parliament. Not to forget the ministers and MPs that vigorously came out to defend their leader and forgot that they were supposed to ask questions about the allegations. They also did exceptionally well in their arguments and defence of Hsien Loong. They should deserve more than just a good rest. How about a bigger bonus or promotion?

Singaporeans have again been given a chance to watch how first world Parliament worked in full transparency without everything laid on the table, all above board, nothing to hide, and how false allegations without proof are easily dispatched to the waste bin. Our Parliament is a good example for others to learn from as a role model parliament of the first world.


US on the Maniac Psychopathic War Path again PART 2

US war in Syria and threat to attack North Korea shows it is on the maniac psychopathic war path again.

Historically US has been on a psychopathic war path. This is criminal and is no different from a psychopathic serial killer except much worse and may be incomparable. US criminal wars kill hundreds of thousands or even millions of lives and cause untold painful sufferings to millions more as well as damages and destruction to countless numbers of properties and resources.

Why is America on a psychopathic war path since the day of its independence from England? US politicians and statesmen always have that inherent  animal instinct of  fierce and wild aggression which is similar to that of a tiger, lion, hyenas , leopards or crocodiles. This wild aggressive animal instinct is further aggravated by their strong belief in  their religious doctrine of militancy and aggression which they claim is sanctioned and supported by their Christian God and therefore they claim they have not committed any wrong or sin in their unprovoked wars of aggression and conquests and killings of other peoples who do not subscribe to their religion. They are insane and their insanity can be found in their counterparts of the just as evil extreme Islamic militants of the Arabs. In fact both the Arab militant Islamic doctrine and the white men or American Christian religious doctrine spring from the same roots in the Holy Bible especially of the Old Testaments.

To learn more about American militant religious doctrine it is necessary to delve into its source "The Doctrine of Christian Discovery" and its offshoots :American Manifest Destiny" and "American Exceptionalism". These topics can be searched in Google or Wikileaks.

Who is behind this American Psychopathic war path? US seems to be ruled by an establishment consisting of two political parties The Democrats and The Republicans. a president, the Senate and Congress  and House of Representatives. The two political parties are actually two sides of the same coin. They both subscribe to the same militant religious doctrines such as "The Doctrine of Christian Discovery"  as well as the doctrines of American Manifest Destiny and American Exceptionalism , all of which are geared for aggression and conquest of other countries. Then what is the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans? The difference is that the leaders of both political parties are competing to be at the centre stage of political power directing government policies and strategies. They are no different from the Catholics and the Protestants or the Islamic Sunnies and Shias for they will always unite against others who are not one of them.

But who actually runs the American government and controls its governance and policies. Is it the president, the senate and congress or CIA and The Pentagon -the military. Whoever they are , they are all rogues, crooks and scoundrels with no iota of conscience. They are in turn control by a sinister body the Illuminati and the Free Masons which form a Deep State or shadow government controlling everything from behind the veil.No American politicians like the president, senators, congressmen and others can get elected without the approval of the Illuminati or the Deep State. And who are the ultimate powers behind the Illuminati? They are the rich and mighty powerful Anglo-Saxon Jewish Zionist Rothschilds cabal and the one percent elite Americans who hold the ultimate authority and decision making in Washington over watching and controlling the judiciary, Wall Street, banking and commerce,war and peace, CIA and The Pentagon in the military.

Don't ever hope for the world to have peace for as long as US is controlled by the Deep State or the sinister Shadow Government of the Illuminati, the Zionist Rothschild cabal who thrives on wars to make money. They believe in conducting permanent wars to sustain its humongous military war industries so as to perpetually make mountainous profits out of it. US will as a policy instigate and provoke other countries to fight so as to be able to sell military hardware to the unsuspecting warring factions. During the Second World War US was making hundreds of billions of dollars by selling oil and other natural resources to Hitler and Japan until it itself was caught in the web of the war when Germany U-Boats-submarines began to destroy and sink American merchant ships carrying war cargoes to England and Japan began to attack Pearl Harbour.

In order for the world to have peace it is necessary and essential for the world to unite and destroy America and the Zionist Rothschild Illuminati cabal.

Southernglory 9 Jul 17

Hsien Loong, sue, sue, sue

This call for Hsien Loong to sue is getting louder and louder. The WP has called for it in Parliament with Low Thia Khiang firing the first shot. Lim Tean has come out with a 8 minute video to tell Hsien Loong why he has to sue. Similarly the whole social media is flooded with the same call, sue, sue, sue.

Tan Jee Say up the ante by writing to the President to demand an inquiry and also calling for Hsien Loong to step down. SDP's Chee Soon Juan too made a similar call not much different from what Low Thia Khiang said in Parliament.

This is the first time in Singapore’s history that the call for the Prime Minister to step down is heard so loudly. And if Hsien Loong still refuses to sue, this call is likely to gain credence and volume. More and more people will be embolden to demand Hsien Loong to sue as this is the PAP standard for integrity and conduct of its MPs and ministers, and the PM is no exception. Sue or step down.

Singapore is a rule of law country. The law is blind and there can be no exception. Would the people allow the siblings to get away with the serious allegations of corruption and abuse of power by the PM without being sued and without the PM clearing his name in the court of law? Is Hsien Loong’s explanation in Parliament adequate to absolve him from the allegations and so he is clean and innocent and there is no need for any follow up? Case closed, move on?

Without a proper closure in the courts of law how would it affect the integrity and credibility of Hsien Loong and his standing among his ministers and his reputation among world leaders?

What if the call for his resignation continues to a state of civil disobedience, like another mass gathering at Hong Lim Park? It would not look very good for Hsien Loong nor for Singapore. There must be a proper closure for Hsien Loong to stand tall again, clean and pure and his integrity restored and unquestionable. That is the Singapore standard, the PAP standard.

The main issue cannot be about brotherly relationship or family ties. The main issue is whether the allegations have any basis, true or false. That is the crux of the matter. Not whether to sue or not to sue.

Protest at Hong Lim Park

Activist Gilbert Goh is organising a public protest on the allegations of abuse of power by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in his dealings with his siblings.
The proposed event will be held at Hong Lim Park on Saturday (15 July) from 4pm to 7pm.

G20 Summit 2017 - Subtle signs and nuances

When I first saw this photo (credit to CNN) I was wondering where was Donald Trump. Then I saw him at the edge of the photo, far far away from Merkel unlike the usual spot occupied by past American presidents, beside the host, I was puzzled. Given Trump's big bully antics, he would have elbowed everyone in the way to be right beside the host.

Then I saw a video clip showing how the guests were escorted to their spots with their names marked on the floor giving them no choice to muscle around, then I got the picture. Merkel specifically put Trump in a spot she chose for him. The USA is not a key player in Germany, in G20, cold shouldered.
This is another picture that is worth a thousand words and telling the same story. American President not welcomed in the front row. Look at both photos and see who were there to get the picture of who was in favour and who was not. (Credit to Getty's)

The days of the Americans as the front seat or front row VIP are over. Move over Trump.


The Evil Empire - US, threatening another Korean War PART 1

This article is written as a sequel to Redbean's article, "The world's number one Outlaw threatening war in Korea." dated 07-07-2017.

Do not believe when US labels other countries as hostile, irresponsible, badly behave and  a threat to world peace. The truth is always the other way round , the Americans.

The US has from the day of its independence from England adopted war as an acceptable means to national policy designs whether it is attacking and grabbing other countries lands, opening markets for trade, installing friendly puppet regimes and regime change. At the time of its independence US consisted of thirteen ( 13 ) states amounting to about Six Hundred Thousand Square miles. The rest of North America was still ruled by self-governing native American Indian states albeit under British sovereignty. For the start US planned the destruction of all the self-governing native Indian states and thus eventually acquired all the rest of North America with the resultant genocide of eighty-Five million North American natives or almost ninety-eight  percent of them.

Beginning with the brutal genocidal wars on defenseless native American states US has been declaring and fighting more than 230 aggressive wars continuously out of its 242 years of its history. All these wars were criminal in nature as they were carried out wantonly and brutally against all the victimised countries with mass killings irrespective of men, women or children, genocide and destruction of scarce resources and native cultural sites, icons and artefacts.

The American people by and large are ignorant of their government using War as a national policy to achieve its ends of conquests and domination. US government and its state's mass media deliberately manipulate fake  news and shore up official  twisted and slanted official reports from the White House, CIA and Pentagon through misdirection.

For many years North Korea had accepted the good offices of China in the Six Party talks involving DPRK, China, Russia, South Korea, Japan and US to achieve a fair and just peaceful settlement to the Korean issue. Each time just as DPRK had accepted and signed the agreements the Evil Empire reneged, tore up the agreements and illaterally imposed further unwarranted conditions and sanctions. It then carried out frequent mass military drills involving the army, navy and airforce with Japan and South Korea to intimidate DPRK simulating an attack on North Korea. Thus DPRK has always been forced to react to US  endless insidious provocations to protect itself from US attack and regime change by going nuclear.

US has never have any intention to a peaceful Korean settllement. Portraying North Korea as hostile and as an enemy will give US legitimacy in continuing to operate its over 400 military bases in South Korea, Japan, Guam, Philippines and the Marshall Islands

The crux of the Korean problem is not North Korea but the ultimate aim of the Evil Empire in containing China and Russia. US is using DPRK as an excuse and a proxy against China and Russia,the only two countries able to stand up to to US wild ambitions and capable of stopping  the Evil Empire from world domination and hegemony.

The hot heads in Washington, CIA and Pentagon are contemplating and delving into the pros and cons of the possibilities of taking a pre-emptive nuclear strike against Russia and China foolishly thinking US will be able to survive and win a nuclear war.

The Evil Empire has more than 1,000 military bases around the world threatening every country big and small. The United Nations must demand that US close down all these military bases and let the world live in peace less humanity may have to face Armageddon due to US irrational wild ambitions.


Saturday, 8th July,2017.

A fig leaf covering deep cracks

This is what Chok Tong elegantly put it, a fig leaf covering the deep cracks within the Lee family. Actually the cracks go must deeper and far wider than one would notice. The main show is the fight between the siblings, to fulfill LKY’s last wish or not to grant him his last wish. In Parliament, all the PAP ministers and MPs have taken the side of Hsien Loong, not to demolish the house at Oxley Road. Some when further to cast aspersions on LKY’s state of mind when he signed the will. The main battle is being fought with Hsien Yang and Wei Ling on one side against the PAP govt on the other side led by Hsien Loong.

There is another sub plot going on between the Lee Kuan Yew camp aka known as the PAP old guards versus the Hsien Loong camp aka the young turks. This battle blew up when the ST published an article by Kishore, Dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, criticizing the loud hailer diplomacy coming from the Rajaratnam School of International Studies on the South China Sea dispute. Kishore’s stand was that small states must be more circumspect and know where it stands unlike the days of LKY. Coming soon after the bollocking from China for spouting too much, talking too loud on an issue that affected every country, not just Singapore that has no stake in it, then the after effects of the Terrex Incident and the non invite to the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the proponents of loud hailer diplomacy felt like Kishore was rubbing salt into the wound. They responded vigorously and violently calling Kishore’s comments as ‘muddle, mendacious and indeed dangerous’. This was quickly supported by Shanmugam as a brilliant response to slam the professor. Let me quote the Today paper, ‘Home Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam on Sunday said Mr Kausikan’s response was brilliant as he slammed the professor’s piece as “intellectually questionable”, adding that Singapore did not get to where it is by thinking small.’

This was not all. Kishore was accused by Kausikan and I quote the same paper, ‘I disagree, it is a thinly disguised attack on PM’. The immediate thought was that it was a way to divert the target to the PM and Kishore would not look very good or would not be in Hsien Loong’s good book for long. Kishore quickly replied that he wrote the piece a few weeks back and the timing to run it to coincide with Hsien Loong having to defend his position in Parliament was coincidental. ‘Hence, it is obviously not an attack on PM. By floating this canard, the officials are distracting attention from their own contributions to our problems.’ Kishore added. Kausikan responded by saying, ‘I accept that he may not have intended it as an attack on PM, but many read it that way…I am glad he has clarified that was not his intention.’

Many would have let this episode come to passé as a bickering between the ex govt officials. But wait a minute. Why was the call by Kishore seen as an attack on Hsien Loong? Why was Hsien Loong in the picture? A Freudian slip has let out a jigsaw piece to explain what all the shouting at China to follow the ruling of the so called ‘UN backed’ Hague Tribunal was all about and also the subsequent events related to Singapore’s relations with China and the USA. This slip makes the picture complete to the observant and why two DPMs have had to make trips to Beijing lately to mend fences.

The battle of the PAP old guards versus the young turks has just started. Fortunately or unfortunately, not many PAP old guards, or LKY camp are still around. The days of the old guards are numbered and fading away. The young turks shall rule the day and more loud hailer diplomacy can be expected. They have been bestowed the imperial edict to do so.

Kishore must be feeling very lonely. His good advice is like casting pearls to the swine. Where are the old guards? Have they pledged new loyalty given that the LKY era is over?

A new era has begun.


The world’s number one Outlaw threatening war in Korea

One war after another, one regime change after another, the warmongering nation of the USA is planning to start another war in the Korean Peninsula. What is the reason for it? North Korea has tested ICBM that could possibly reach Alaska? Why is this a threat to the USA when thousands of American ICBMs could flatten North Korea that is thousands of miles away from continental USA? Who is threatening who? Who is threatening to use military force on the other? It is the big bully of course, the world’s number one Outlaw!

It is not that the North Koreans are capable of starting a war of invasion against the Americans or stupid enough to want to do a mission impossible. The growing capability of the North Koreans as a threat is only as far as to negate or limit the Americans from threatening them. With the growing military might, the North Koreans could inflict a small dent on the American defence shield at most. They could not do much damage to the Americans and would invite total annihilation of their country if they dare to make a single wrong move.

The threat is that the Americans now cannot anyhow threaten them with military options, can no longer threaten a pre emptive strike and get away scot free. The Americans cannot bully the North Koreans at will anymore. The North Koreans can now give the Americans a black eye should it dare to.

The real threat is the Americans everyday threatening to invade the North Koreans and wanting to conduct a preemptive nuclear strike. Read the article from 4th Media below on what the Americans are doing and planning to do to the North Koreans. Yes, the real devil is the Americans. And the Americans are at the North Korean doorstep conducting wargames simulating an invasion while North Korea is tens of thousands of miles from the American shore. This is the kind of hypocrisy the Americans are making the silly Asians and the rest of the world to believe in. The North Koreans are a threat to the Americans when the truth is that the Americans are the real threat to the North Koreans, clear and present danger.

War can start at any moment and the two Koreans would be made to kill and destroy each other at the command of the Americans. What is the UN going to do to stop this monster from starting another war in Asia? What is the world community going to do about it, blame the North Koreans and gang up with the evil Americans to start a war against the North Koreans?

Everything the North Koreans is doing is exactly to prevent the Americans from attacking them. The weaker the North Koreans are militarily, the more tempting would they become for an American attack. The stronger they are militarily, the more nuclear weapons and ICBMs they have, the safer they are from the evil Americans, and the less likelihood that they would suffer the same fate as Iraq and Libya.

The mad Americans are bent on starting a war in Korea and in Asia. Their war economy depends on war to survive. Their world hegemony depends on suppressing and threatening the rest of the world with wars. And war is what the Americans want, away from the American continent. And many silly Asian leaders love wars and are easily manipulated to go to war. Pray the Koreans are not so stupid to kill each other at the behest of the evil Americans.

The American outlaws are the real threat to world peace.


Extracts from an article in the 4th Media
… James R. Lilley puts it succinctly when he says: “At the end of the Cold War, if North Korea didn’t exist we would have to create it as an excuse to keep the Seventh Fleet in the region.” …

IN its latest move early June 2017, the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) unanimously adopted a resolution drafted by the United States to expand the scope of sanctions against Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its latest missile tests.

Prior to this the UNSC slapped the North Korea with six rounds of sanctions, but Washington and its allies have been pushing for more powerful and crippling sanctions in an attempt to halt the increasing wave of missile tests by Pyongyang.

Meanwhile, President Trump said “all options are on the table” (implying military solution), while his Vice President Pence declared the “end of strategic patience.”
Pence added:

“The patience of the United States in this region has run out …………The world has witnessed the strength and resolve of the US in actions taken in Syria and Afghanistan.”
Pence was alluding to the 59 cruise missiles the US launched at a Syrian military airfield, and the 22,000-pound “mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear bomb ever used in combat by the United States, dropped in Afghanistan.
US War Games

Right after striking Syria, President Trump dispatched a giant armada led by an aircraft carrier, USS Carl Vinson, to the Korean peninsula as a show of force. The US also dispatched a nuclear-powered guided missile submarine, the USS Michigan, to the region, capable of launching up to 150 Tomahawk cruise missiles with a range of about 1,000 miles. The 6,900-tonne USS Cheyenne arrived in the South Korea port of Busan.

The US also has nearly 80,000 US military personnel in South Korea and Japan, as well as military aircraft and other hardware on a high state of alert in South Korea. The USS Ronald Reagan and its carrier strike group are based at the Japanese port of Yokosuka, while the US 7th Fleet, armed with tactical nuclear weapons, patrols the region.
The US nukes are also based in South Korea and Guam, while US heavy B-1 and B-52 bombers can fly from North America to Korea. In the event of war with North Korea, the US military take over the South Korean military with some 625,000 personnel as well as naval, air and anti-missile systems.

To top it all, U.S. performs, twice annually, the largest war games in the world with South Korea, in which it practises an assassination of the North Korea’s top leadership, the invasion and occupation of North Korea, and a nuclear first strike against North Korea with imitation armaments.

The Foal Eagle war games include 300,000 South Korean soldiers and 15,000 US troops. This year, the exercises also feature Navy SEAL Team Six, which is best known for assassinating Osama bin Laden on Obama’s orders.

Moreover, an American plan was made public last September proclaiming that “the North’s capital city will be reduced to ashes and removed from the map if it shows any signs of using a nuclear weapon”.


China, making sense of massive projects

Ghost towns, endless highways, super high speed trains traversing the whole of Asia and Europe, hanging bridges straddling across mountains, pipelines crisscrossing countries, you name it, China has done it. Many blur westerners are pouring scorns over what the Chinese are doing. They don’t make sense, money wasting projects at huge cost that have little or no value. China is in big and deep financial trouble due to debt from these projects. Economy will collapse or collapsing, from double digit growth to 6.6% growth. What’s new?

Launching the Belt and Road Initiative cost China hundreds of billions and still promising to pour more money into the projects. China is also building massive infrastructures in countries all over Asia, Africa and SE Asia, with its own money. What western fools are complaining about? These are genuine money, printed papers unlike the greenbacks. If China is about to collapse, where is China to find so much money to give away? AIIB, China contributed hundreds of billions, the biggest contributor. China got no money?

This article is not about how much money China has or how much more they in the reserves. It is about the thinking and policies behind the huge infrastructure projects. Do they make sense? Or are the Chinese foolish as the western pundits alleged, throwing good money away?

Think about it, which country is going to give China massive infrastructure projects if China cannot prove that it has the capability, the knowhow and technology, the experienced engineers and technicians to do the job? And where did all these capabilities, knowhow, technologies and experienced engineers and workforce going to get their experience and skills if they have no projects to work on to add them into their testimonials? Get the picture?

China has a very short history of industrialization and infrastructure building and in many things like building factories, towns, ports etc etc. They must develop these capabilities and skilled and experienced workforce quickly. And only in China can they be given the chance to do so when they did not have any experience to do them. No country will give China a chance to gain these technologies and to train its people. They are learning and testing new technologies in China, to master and perfect them for export. Now the picture is clearer. China is spending a lot of money to build and acquire experience and capabilities, and armed with these achievements and track records, they are going to the world to build the world with their own technology, knowhow and with their skilled and experienced workforce. They have all the records to show what they have done and the people to do it.

This is something that China has done right and everything wrong in Singapore. Singapore is buying skills, buying experience and neglecting to develop its own skills and workforce. Singapore has nothing except some money and when money runs out, there is nothing left for Singapore to offer to the world. No skills, no knowhow, no technology and no experienced workforce except foreigners that come and go. When Singapore was building its MRT with foreign expertise, China was still an agriculture country running on Second World War trains. Today, China is building the fastest train system around the world. Singapore cannot even run its train system without a day free of stoppages, unable to even produce a train cabin.

Compare what China is doing, to develop intrinsic and organic skills and technology using its very own people while Singapore is using, hiring and buying foreigners to replace Singaporeans. How long can Singapore go on destroying its own skill and technology base? Where is China heading and where is Singapore heading?

The Chinese are not stupid and that is why they are now the Number Two super power in everything in such a short span of time and going to be Number One in everything soon. Singapore is heading from the First World to Third World with a snap of the finger. Singapore is bidding for the right to build the HSR from KL, with foreign expertise again, like when it started some 40 years ago when it built the present train system. Where are the skilled engineers and technicians and the industrial base to build them? In China of course.

Are we teaching China? China learning from Singapore? Who is teaching who and learning from who?


Red line over Hong Kong

On the eve of the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's return to China, President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech to the elites of Hong Kong society reminding them of the enduring and uninterrupted Chinese Civilisation and the confidence of building a new and prosperous China for its people, including the Hong Kong people. In this journey, Hong Kong could walk with China towards a glorious future of great opportunities and possibilities.

On the inaugural ceremony on the handover and the installation of Carrie Lam as the next Hong Kong Chief Executive, President Xi got down to more serious business to warn of a divisive and disruptive Hong Kong society that could undermine the story of a new China. No one, no country, not the dissidents of Hong Kong, would be allowed to challenge the national sovereignty and security of China that the continuing growth and prosperity of Hong Kong depended on. Anyone attempting to disrupt the social order of Hong Kong would not be tolerated. President Xi drew the 'red line' for handling relations between the mainland and Hong Kong, and warned, "Any attempt to endanger national sovereignty and security, challenge the power of the central government and the authority of the Basic Law of the HKSAR or use Hong Kong to carry out infiltration and sabotage activities against the mainland is an act that crosses the red line, and is absolutely impermissible,".

This message came down hard and clear, a warning to the protesters harping on more autonomy and democracy. This is the biggest paradox of Hong Kong today. The louder the voice of protest and street disturbance for more democracy, the greater would Beijing want to exert fuller control over Hong Kong. On the contrary, the lesser the protesters politicised issues in Hong Kong and took to the streets, the more Beijing would be confident to let Hong Kong to have more leeways to govern itself. 

There is a bigger picture that the protesters are not seeing and struggling to understand, the story of the growth of China into a big economic and military power. China's peaceful rise is founded on a stable and peaceful international environment, internal stability and a united China. But there are many external forces that would want to use Hong Kong to destabilise China and cripple the Chinese growth machine. Hong Kong would not be allowed to be that poison pawn to be exploited by external forces to cause a breakup of China and to trip China in its path for economic growth and prosperity. 

To the protesters and the many young people of Hong Kong, they would need to learn and understand the history of China and the difficult period China had gone through under foreign invasion and humiliation. Some Hongkongers have forgotten what it was like when they were the subjects of the British Empire. China would not allow history to repeat itself and the young people of Hong Kong would be best to understand this bigger picture to know when not to cross the red line. 

China would assist and support Hong Kong to be a rich and prosperous city under the one country, two system policy. Hong Kong and its people could choose a path of economic prosperity with the full backing of China or could destroy it with their own hands by indulging in divisive and disruptive politics that undermine China's security and sovereignty. They could choose between a win win formula for both China and Hong Kong or it could mark the end of Hong Kong and the political agenda of the dissidents and protestors. The Hong Kong people have been warned of the 'red line' and cross at their own risk. The common good of 1.4b Chinese people cannot be compromised by a few demonstrators in the streets of Hong Kong.


Lee Kuan Yew’s will – A better way…

I desist from using the word wayang. What about a better way to handle the issue with a win win for everyone, especially for Hsien Loong? It can be easily done. For the moment, other then all the allegations from Hsien Yang and Wei Ling about abuses of power and govt organs, Hsien Loong is also being accused of being unfilial. All these could have been avoided with the govt gazetting the property and Hsien Loong still coming out looking good and very filial, and his siblings could not to anything about it or to accuse him of all the allegations.

Here is what I thought would be an easier and nicer way for Hsien Loong to have his cake and eat it, ie keep the property from being demolished and do whatever he wants with it and looking very, very filial and honourable and maintaining Singapore as a rule of law country. There is no need for the Ministerial Committee to go asking Hsien Yang and Wei Ling funny questions. Just get the National Heritage Board to put up a case to gazette the house as a historical and national monument.

Hsien Loong can then go to Parliament and make a plea for the demolishment of the property, telling the House that as a filial son, it is his duty to fulfill his parents’ last wish. He could even shed a few tears to make it even more emotional, to tug at the heart strings of people when the session is aired on TV plus a few photos on the front page Straits Times and other local media. Then he can let Parliament to put it to a vote and knowing that all the ministers and MPs would want to keep the house and would vote for it, he could then say his father is not above the law and he would respect the law no matter how filial he wanted to be. He would then reluctantly agree to let his father’s last wish past as the decision of Parliament is about the rule of law, above a private citizen, and he cannot go against it for personal interest. He could even make a last plea for Parliament to reconsider its decision, maybe a second voting after 3 months or 6 months of cooling off period to think it over and over again. This is what a filial son could do to try to fulfill a father’s last wish, die standing for it.

By then, whatever the decision of Parliament to keep the house, he would be seen as a filial son, honouring his father, and also respecting the law of the country. No abuse of state organs or power, just following the normal process of Parliament. Wouldn’t that be nice? And his siblings cannot accuse him of any abuse of law or being unfilial. Swee swee.

What is so difficult about this, why mess around with a Ministerial Committee and having so many ministers voluntarily standing up to run down the will of his father and at the same time running down LKY in the process? All this is so unnecessary.
It could have been done better surely, and quite easily done too.

PS. An after thought. How nice it would be if the will was put to a vote and Hsien Loong, after declaring that he has a vested in it to grant his father's last wish voted to demolish it while all his ministers and MPs voted to keep it. It could then be used to tell the world that democracy works in Singapore when the ministers and MPs dare to vote against the PM. Damn good PR for Singapore.


Kishore Mahbubani – Telling the unpleasant truth is hard to do

When Singapore was beating its gongs and blowing its trumpets during the South China Sea claims by the Philippines and screaming that the fake Tribunal was ‘UN backed’ and China must obey or be seen as not abiding by the rule of law, I thought Kishore would say something to cool down the hot heads in the Foreign Ministry and the Rajaratnam School of International Relations. He did not.

Perhaps he was still recovering from his ops. Or maybe he was just folding his arms and standing by the ring side, telling himself it was better for the hot heads to learn the lesson the hard way. Subsequently the teacher did deliver the lesson. Whether the hot heads have learnt anything, this I am not too sure, and I think not likely though they kept a very low profile for a while, probably gagged from doing more damage to Singapore China relations.

Finally after a long wait, Kishore opened up. The School of Lee Kuan Yew did not share the youthful or naïve enthusiasm of the Rajaratnam School. You see, today information is everywhere, knowledge is everywhere, at the finger tips. There is no need to go to the library and bury oneself in tomes of literature to gather knowledge and information. The difference between two persons having the same store of knowledge is the wisdom in understanding, interpreting and applying the knowledge. That separates the boys from the men.

When there is an eclipse of the moon, some will take out their gongs and drums and beat to their hearts content for the moon to reappear. The wise and knowing will just wait for the truth to show up. Everyone is concerned, but beating the drums and gongs like crazy would not help but to make one looked crazy in this modern world.

What Kishore said is the hard truth, the painful truth, but the stubborn and arrogant would not want to understand. It is difficult and painful to be told of the unpleasant truth. Singapore was what it was during the time of LKY, being a big mouth in everything, was not because Singapore was principled or strong, but because of LKY. He was the senior statesman that achieved a lot in his life time. He was the oracle, the Jedi master that green political leaders would come to beg for some pieces of enlightenment. He could say anything he want and they would defer to him. Singapore’s politicians then rode on his coat tail to talk big. Now he is gone. No one could fit that shoe and think he could talk like LKY and people around the world would listen to. 

Some arrogant nuts would think otherwise, that they are as clever and influential as LKY and demand respect from leaders of the world, to listen to their cocky stories.
It is painful to delve further into this silly mindset that Singapore must blow its trumpets and beat its gongs on grounds of principles. Kishore reminded the hot heads that Singapore went against its principles to join the Americans to invade Iraq without the consent of the UN. Why, to serve Singapore’s interest, to join the world’s number one bully to invade a smaller country and think it was safe to do so? Kishore was warning the hot heads that Qatar too did the same only to be turned against and dropped by the Americans.

Yes, Singapore was not a tame dog to the Americans. Would it sound better being the barking dog, the attack dog of the Americans? Singapore could talk big during the time of LKY on two important factors. One is the LKY dominant presence. The second was to be in the American camp with the Americans standing behind it. Today LKY is gone. Singapore still can talk big with the Americans standing behind. But be careful. This big bully has many interests and should its other interests rule to favour others more than Singapore, than it is going to screw Singapore in the back.

Oops, I think everyone has been chirping that there is no permanent friend but permanent interests. Is this so difficult to understand? Should Singapore throw everything into a relationship and cut all other options loose, and keep shouting and bragging about its ability to punch above its weight with a big bully standing behind, or standing on the shoulders of the big bully? Isn’t this dangerous, like riding a tiger and unable to dismount? Is this good for a small state?

The contest for wisdom, not ideas, between the Lee Kuan Yew School and the Rajaratnam School has started. If the latter has its way, we can expect to hear more shouting by Singapore and China would not be too nice to Singapore again. If the former’s wisdom rules, then the hot heads would be kept in a tight leash, not allowed to bark crazily thinking that the more they shout, that only they have principles and others did not, it is ok, that Singapore may be small, but Singapore can punch above its weight, with big bully around to protect Singapore.

I think the Rajaratnam School would triumph in this match as they have more hot heads and is better at shouting down their opponents. Kishore is going to be alone in the Lee Kuan Yew School as no one would have the dare to shout back except to apologise for Kishore’s excesses in his ideas.

China, please respect Singapore’s principles, abide by the rule of law and listen carefully to what Singapore is going to say about the South China Sea, all over again.

PS. Would Singapore be able to punch above its weight, to talk big and loud without the Americans standing at the back?

The story of loyalty in Red Dot

Until the death of LKY in 2015, loyalty in Singapore is synonymous with LKY. From the politicians, party stalwarts and the common people in the streets, loyalty means loyalty to LKY. The final show of loyalty was the last day of his funeral. No Singaporean leader has ever come close to the kind of relationship and intimacy between LKY and the masses at large. There was a bond between him and many people out there, young and old.

During the GE, this loyalty to LKY was somewhat transferred or inherited by Hsien Loong and the PAP as LKY’s party. Loyalty to LKY, to PAP and to Hsien Loong was never tested or challenged till the current feud between the siblings. There was no occasion to choose loyalty to who. With Hsien Yang and Wei Ling taking sides against Hsien Loong, this loyalty is now in question. Would the loyalty to LKY be just to Hsien Loong or would there be people who would split this loyalty equally among the children of LKY, 1/3 each?

The loyalty to LKY has never been questioned or doubted at least among the PAP members and among the MPs and ministers. This appears to be cracking and apparently some PAP politicians have openly threw stones at LKY, showing scant respect to him while defending his son Hsien Loong and attacking Hsien Yang and Wei Ling. There is a new loyalty to Hsien Loong. There is no indication that these people care two hoots about their loyalties to LKY or even gave it a second thought. LKY is history and there is a new loyalty to pledge to.

There is also the loyalty to Chok Tong. Chok Tong is still around and kicking on the side line. I think some must be quite close to Chok Tong and were beneficiaries and recipients of Chok Tong’s generosity and largesse and would be loyal to him especially when LKY is no longer in the equation.

Another element is the DPMs or senior PAP ministers. Do they have their own following and loyal supporters within the party or in the masses? This has never been an issue so far but when the moment comes when people and party members are faced with a choice, put in a position to make a choice, would the splintered loyalties to the different leaders become an influential factor in the fate of Hsien Loong or the next PAP leader? Or would they play down their loyalties to other individuals, suppressed them in favour of one leader like during LKY’s era and pledge their loyalties to Hsien Loong?

Would the different loyalties be fractious enough to pose a challenge to Hsien Loong’s position as the undisputed leader of the PAP or would the present fracas throw up a new leader to challenge Hsien Loong’s leadership? Is his command and control of the PAP as dominant as his father LKY and continue to rule unchallenged at least for some time to come?


The price of filial piety - $24m or $36m

There have been many guesses as to how much Hsien Yang paid Hsien Loong for the property at 38 Oxley Road. All that was known was that he paid at market price plus 50% or 150% of the market value of the property of about 12,000 sq ft. Some have made an estimate of $2,000 per sq ft for the land or approximately $24m. This is how the $24m number is being tossed around.

Why did Hsien Yang want to pay so much for this piece of property? For all we know or read, he wanted to fulfill his father’s last wish, that is to demolish the property when Wei Ling decided not to stay in the house. As simple as that. Of course some people have made many other inferences of his motive and intention, like he wants to build a multi storey condo on it and make a big profit from this deal. Hsien Yang has disputed this by saying he has offered to turn the property into a memorial garden for Lee Kuan Yew.

Both Hsien Yang and Wei Ling are fighting very hard to want to grant their father and mother their last wish, to demolish this house. This kind of filial piety is normally immeasurable. But in this case, at least one can put a monetary number to it as the minimum value of filial piety. It is $24m or $36m, a handsome sum they have paid, or Hsien Yang had paid, as a filial son.

How many people can afford or willing to pay so much money to show how much they respect and love their parents? Filial piety does not come cheap. It is rare that one can attach a value to it. This is the least Hsien Yang has paid.

The price I paid for the house was simply a price I paid to ensure my father’s wishes are honoured' Lee Hsien Yang


Singapore idol takes a beating

Barely two years after his departure from the face of Singapore and
Singapore’s political scene, this issue suddenly surfaced overnight. No one
would expect anyone to be attacking or deriding this famous founding father
of Singapore, to be brazenly attacking him personally as a person so soon
after his death, and so soon even when his party is still in absolute power
and his son is the unchallenged PM of the island. This is surprising to
everyone, even to his own party members and to the cabinet and the MPs. Who
in his right mind would dare to attack or throw negative comments at LKY
when his son is still the PM of the island?

Unfortunately this unpleasant truth is now out in the open, in the main
media and in social media. People on both sides of the political divide are
not holding their punches and are embolden by the fact that PAP ministers
are also in the game, attacking or ridiculing LKY as a man with many flaws,
unthinking or unclear in his thinking or maybe senile if not wishy washy.

What is more unexpected is that despite of all the things thrown at LKY,
only Hsien Yang and Wei Ling have stood up to defend their father and
hitting out at those saying bad things about their father. What is more
surprising is that no one on the PAP side thinks it a responsibility to
stand up to stop the barbs hurled at LKY. No minister has done so, no MP
has done so, no old or senior PAP stalwart has done so. It is like anyone
is free to do so, at your own time, your own target, fire.

So many are taking pot shots at LKY and it is not funny anymore. Poor

Are there anyone out there, within the PAP or in the public, in the civil
service, people who were beneficiaries of LKY’s policies and decisions, be
willing to stand up to defend this man they once revered and cried for?
No, no?

Anyone wants to defend kong kong? Defending kong kong is an honourable
thing to do. Never mind if the politicians are keeping mum. He is not their
kong kong after all.