Pleasantly surprised that ST editor allowed “Qatar: Big lessons from a small country” to be published.
The article was written by Kishore Mahbubani who seems to have grown wiser with age. 🙂 It appears to be a wake-up slap in the face for PAP/PM Lee.
PM Lee’s international standing, if there’s still any, has gone down the drain. Because he has mistakenly assumed LKY’s shoes fitted him, he has been speaking his mind too freely and insulted/offended superpowers.
In Kishore’s “LESSON NO. 1: SMALL STATES MUST ALWAYS BEHAVE LIKE SMALL STATES“, he highlighted Qatar’s “one big mistake”, ie it believed that it could act as a middle power and interfere in affairs beyond its borders because it “sits on mounds of money”.
Isn’t this similar to Singapore which has almost $1 trillion?? in state reserves and CPF mostly invested in foreign assets? Isn’t PM Lee talking big because Singapore has “mounds of money” and not because he has any substance?
Kishore then went on to praise LKY and said he “never acted as a leader of a small state”; LKY “had earned the right to do so because the great powers treated him with great respect as a global statesman”.
Kishore then tried to put it subtly across to PM Lee: times have changed and like father, not like son.
Kishore was referring to the South China Sea not-family dispute in which Singapore has taken sides. According to a SCMP article, “Beijing believes the island state has been playing both China and the US cards to advance its own interests.”
Perception counts and if PAP continues to live in denial of its mistakes, Singapore will suffer. PM Lee is ultimately responsible for lowering our international standing. PAP should remember that small states must always behave like … small states.
The takeaway for me from Kishore’s article: PAP/PM Lee kena slapped. 🙂