Sunday, November 8, 2009

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew opinion re-affirmed the island republic pro-US stance

By China Watcher

I am being kept busy lately with meetings and running personal errands. Also, I was also down with a very bad cough and flu but not the H1N1 which is causing a scare worldwide. I apologize for not updating the blog.

Last week, I was able to review some comments from China’s netizens who were very angry at the aging Statesman who has called openly for the US to remain engage in Asia at a US-ASEAN Business Council dinner in Washington. He quotes that “The size of China makes it impossible for the rest of Asia, including Japan and India, to match it in weight and capacity in about 20 to 30 years. So we need America to strike a balance.”

He could be playing to the tune of the mainly US audience but it at least re-affirmed my belief that Singapore has always been a strong US supporter even though 70% of its population has its roots in China. There are quite a vast number of youth who wish they could be termed “whites” but unfortunately, their skin is still very much yellow. The influence of US entertainment programs and the superiority of “white-man” technology do have a very strong influence on the lifestyle of the average Singaporeans.

Lee Kuan Yew was the person who refused to establish Mandarin as a medium of instruction in the early 70s when he was the Prime Minister of the tiny island but he only relented to allow Mandarin as an important optional language for Singaporeans to pick up when he saw the tremendous progress in the mainland Chinese society since the late 80s. Then he suddenly became the spokesperson for the Chinese government whenever he traveled to various parts of the world because he could speak English fluently. I have seen many Western educated graduates who have adopted a Western lifestyle but they remain very Chinese in their heart. I am clear on this point that I cannot speak for this white-haired grandfather who seem to have an inert fear of being a Chinese.

The action and his past behavior demonstrated that he still treat Chinese as outsiders and he personally fear a resurgent China which will reduce whatever left of Singapore’s political influence in the region.

One netizen commented that Lee is a “political animal”, saying that while Singapore depended more and more on China to develop his country’s economy, he is ushering wolves here to deal with China”.

In short, he is labeled a traitor to the Chinese and who is willing to speak out for the West and to protect their interest, indirectly also safeguarding Singapore’s assets and influence.

A third posting said: “Just because he has achieved some success in Singapore, he dares to play the guiding light that shows US the way. If he has the stuff, he should go to Africa and offer tips on how to shake off poverty and achieve wealth.”

I just do not understand why the Chinese government still regards the senior Statesman as an old “friend” to China when he is actually inviting other military forces to limit China’s influence in the region.
As a comparison, the Malaysian government has never made any comments of this nature even in the presence of the US politicians, businessmen or investors. In fact, the Malaysian government has been very supportive of the Chinese government active role in South East Asia.

Perhaps, the main reason I could deduce from the Chinese government non comment from the many angry comments by its netizens is that it has always been the Chinese reaction to be diplomatic and to manipulate Singapore in other ways possible to channel and to disseminate its mission and vision, both positive and negative to the West.

Singapore is a small country and the question of whether the West’s political and military advisors will listen to his comment is another thing. The reality is that a country needs to be big and powerful before it is heard. A leader’s speech by a big and influential country is normally reported in the media of many countries. For smaller countries, the leader speech normally is not broadcasted widely but only in the home country.

With the current batch of Singaporean leaders who are pro-US, I am not at all surprise that the media in the republic are also pro-US namely Channel News Asia and Singapore’s New Straits Times.

I would like to call the Chinese government to carefully review its relations with Singapore though it may not wish to make a fuss of the elder statesman call to the US to increase its influence in the region. I would place Singapore as next only to Japan in this part of the Asia Pacific as a strong US ally when we compared the nation support to the “white-run” Australia down under.

In times of an outbreak of hostility between China and US over Taiwan in the future, China must not forget that only two countries would come to the US assistance and that is Japan and very likely Singapore. Yes, it is Singapore and not Australia who will provide the necessary supplies bases needed to keep the US armed for its military offence in this part of the world.

1 comment:

drgn86 said...

Malaysian politicians deceive you la, I'm from there and the words they say, they make me puke. Mr. Lee Kuan Yew may not speak Chinese fluetly but he is no less Chinese by any means. Singaporeans on the other hand are mostly spoilt, judging by the government is laying out all the foundations for their country to prosper.