Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Little Red Dot that we call Singapore ( The Tunku Aziz take on the little red dot )


  1. I have been a friend of Singapore over many years and have a very good friends there who I met when I was working for Sime Darby Singapore from 1988-1991. I take pride in the fact that I know a little bit about how they operate.
    Yes, they are not a bunch of sentimentalists; if they were, they would not be what they are today. They are very competent, thorough and realistic: they stand up Singapore and get their job done very well. You have to take them seriously and prepare yourself thoroughly before you meet them at the negotiating table.
    They will play golf with you, they will party with you but don’t misunderstand their gestures. At the end of the day when they will get what is best for Singapore. This means that they know their bottom line and will work hard to get it, giving away as little as possible. They have no personal agendas.
    I respect them for their thoroughness and meticulous attention to detail, but their perceived arrogance is something else. When I lived and worked among them, I learned to accept that despite our common historical roots, they are different from us as they are students of the Lee Kuan Yew School of realpolitik and ardent practitioners of LKY’s realist diplomacy. –Din Merican
  2. Excellent YM Tunku,excellent. Finally we need to say it like it is. Better we M’sians finally understand that we need to treat some countries as clinically as they see us.
    I echo YM Tunku’s sentiment, Yes, “pray tell us what exactly is the context?” This is a sliver lining. We now know how we need to deal with neighbours of such “calibre”. It is akin to those who live next door to us in our own street and have a view that they are more superior than us, then we treat them accordingly , with civility and nothing else.
    For,”It has become apparent that it is simply not worth the effort to cultivate this uncultivable bad mouthing neighbour of ours. You cannot ever be right with it because it is never wrong.”
    Well said, Tunku, well said.Even though our leaders have no clue we the people have.

  3. Ancient history aside and no matter how Singapore or the whole world may perceived it , everything there is of the ‘ little red dot ‘ evolve around LKY . Lee is Singapore’s demi- god who had figuratively speaking descended from the heavens taking human form and unlike the Messiah , have since remain with his people to this very day which according to human assessment of a mortals life span is a feat in itself.
    Now , whenever Lee and Singapore comes in mind , the phrase “No man is an island” definitely deserves reconsideration.
    How Singaporeans behave in their endeavors to me is secondary but the fundamental fact of their progress is paramount and should serve as a lesson to all!!



danildaud, better relations still possible post Mahathir and LKY then and Tunku Aziz is unduly pessimistic,I think. It is learning from the past and then building partnership based on mutual respect and interest. Go win-win.–Din Merican
Well danil, Harry’s favourite contemplative yogic chant is “maranatha” which means “O Lord Come!”. This is a reflection of his ability to come hither and tither.., whether anyone likes it or not.
The Ugly Singaporean is very real and lacks emotionalism and compassion. It is not just the Kiasu and Kiasi-ness that is so much in their psyche – it is the brash arrogance that will be their unmaking.
In China (PRC) they are considered a nuisance and in certain countries within Asean, they are regarded as slave masters – even in religious instituions. They know it all, and they are masters of their own red-dot universe.
I do not see anything ‘empowering’ about them and respect they have none – except to their worldly authority. They have no redeeming graces.
Having said this, i must admit, my relatives ‘down’ there are also in this mould. They cannot partake of sambal petai or cincalok because it is considered food of the aborigines or ‘sakai’ as they call it. And this is only in gastronomic terms, whatmore diplomacy.


The Singaporeans Technocrats do their “homework” and due diligence before each encounter and when meet with our Malaysian’s counterpart…of course the Malysians get “hammered” because
01.our politicians come not to negotiate for Malaysia but also for themselves.
02.their “confidential” files on these “politician” will have exposed them as “flawed & tainted” and therefore “easy meat”…feed their cravings & greed as long as Singapore reach their “goals”.
Isn’t their “assessment” correct…just heard in BBC that the “madmen” of North Korea is going to spew Nuclear…don’t be Wimps…take in on the Chin and move on…because that’s similar to how Meritocracy works…the fittest survive and that’s why Malaysia is wallowing in Mediocrcrity with our half
is wallowing in Mediocrity with our half baked Politicians.
By the way…the phrase..”No Man is an Island”…I prefer…” We are all Islands but in a Common Ocean.”










Malaysia-Singapore Relations: Singapore redefines braggadocio

by Tunku A. Aziz
“To view them (Singapore) through rose-tinted spectacles as is our wont would distort even further a relationship that has never been known for its convergence of views on even the most pedestrian of issues. Rather, it has always had all the makings and attributes of a potentially protracted and acrimonious future”.–Tunku A. Aziz

How about the KTM Land Issue?
Four years ago, on October 18, 2006, I wrote an opinion piece from my 30th-floor office in the UN Secretariat, New York, for the New Sunday Times.
The title, “Singapore is simply a neighbour too far”, I thought fairly described my assessment of the state of our relations with neighbouring Singapore.
It upset a great many Singaporeans; it also made many realise that “what’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.”
A Singaporean behaves too much like an insecure lover, forever seeking assurance that she is the fairest of them all and that she is much admired and loved. The insatiable craving for praise and adoration would, in normal circumstances, point to a serious flaw in the national character.
This much I remember from the child psychology lectures I attended in college all those long years ago. How else can you explain their supercilious behaviour towards us, the Japanese and Indians, all falling into the category of “stupid?”
Singapore is not an unknown quantity to us in Malaysia. In a sense it is of us, but not part of us. Forget the so-called historical ties that are supposed to underpin our relations because they amount to nothing in practice.
To view them through rose-tinted spectacles as is our wont would distort even further a relationship that has never been known for its convergence of views on even the most pedestrian of issues. Rather, it has always had all the makings and attributes of a potentially protracted and acrimonious future.
Singapore has no time for sentiments; emotion is anathema to its national make-up. So, do not use that tack because it simply will not wash with it. Singapore is brutally clinical and rarely takes prisoners in any engagement with it.
Being small is not always easy, especially when you are trying to flex your muscles and punch above your weight. To be constantly reminded that you are nothing more than a little red dot on the face of the earth as President B.J. Habibie of Indonesia once did, somewhat insensitively, must touch some raw nerves, especially for a country that can justifiably claim a string of successes on so many fronts.
Now, even the Minister Mentor has doubts if his creation is really a country. For a “country” that has yet to establish an identity, Singapore is overbearingly obnoxious.
In our dealings with Singapore, we must never take it at face value. Let us disabuse ourselves quickly of the notion that sentiments and goodwill will cut any ice with it. We have to adopt an equally cold, clinical and legalistic approach, as it always does.
Think how often we have ended up drawing the proverbial short straw in our negotiations

Remember MSA Break-up
with Singapore? The most celebrated was undoubtedly the MSA (Malaysia-Singapore Airline) divorce from which we came away with barely the shirt on the back. Singapore has always made it clear that it has no time for the sort of sentimental nonsense we wallow in, and operates simply on the basis of exacting maximum advantage, the pound of flesh, it can wangle out of any deal, no matter what.
Based on past experience with it, and in order to avoid unnecessary unpleasantness, such as being accused of bullying a small neighbour and of other unfair and malevolent behaviour, we should, as far as possible, leave Singapore to revel alone in its glorious splendour. In short, it is a neighbour too far, with apologies to “A Bridge Too Far”.
It has become apparent that it is simply not worth the effort to cultivate this uncultivable bad mouthing neighbour of ours. You cannot ever be right with it because it is never wrong. Winning some and losing some is not a thing that sits well with it. Winners take all, much like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is a strategy that appears to be well entrenched and suited to its national psyche.
Our relations with a neighbour such as Singapore, with its propensity for, and unseemly preoccupation with, scoring a debating point or two at every turn, must be circumscribed by the most formal and correct behaviour on our part.
While it is clear that we cannot avoid Singapore altogether as it is a neighbour after all, we should lead separate lives, taking nothing from it that is not ours, and, in turn, give it nothing such as the KTM land that is not its due.
With a neighbour that has developed bad mouthing into a fine art form, its foreign minister has the temerity to tell us not to take their condemnation of all things Malaysian out of context. Pray, what exactly is the context, Mr Yeo?
Now that Najib the peddler of durian diplomacy knows what his admirers across the narrow sluggish waterway really think of him, a view no doubt shared by many in his own backyard, I wonder what other great plans he has in mind to develop with Singapore. They have even implied that he is connected with a deed most foul. And what is more, he is dim witted in their estimation. I do not necessarily disagree with them on this score. Who says there is no freedom of speech in Singapore?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Strolling down memory lane "Hse. No. 89 South Road Jesselton"

The Big house was haunted by some most unruly but rascal ghosts With no respect for bedtime hours, especially of their hosts Just as they get tucked in at night they hear a ghostly breath Which demands a glass of water or they’ll scare em half to death And sometimes when they were fast asleep a foot will knock their heads And they would wake up and see thirteen ghosts all jumping on their beds Grand-mama asked them to desist and stop and many times enjoined them But with ghosts it’s quite impossible to beat them ’til you’ve joined them

This post is dedicated to "Short Man" Big House most revered and resident ghost

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