Tuesday, 15 June 2021

 From a newsletter:

4. Pope Francis, above, warned conservative U.S. bishops to back down from their push to deny communion to politicians supportive of abortion rights.

That includes President Biden, the first Roman Catholic to occupy the Oval Office in 60 years.

Despite the Vatican’s remarkably public stop sign, the bishops will most likely force a debate this week. The effort could shatter their facade of unity with Rome and set what church historians consider a dangerous precedent for bishops’ conferences across the globe.

Monday, 14 June 2021

Would China Invade Taiwan?

With all the posturing, and aggressive actions by China, all the war-mongering rhetoric and threats, the world has been wondering: are we on the brink of war? Is China preparing to take Taiwan by force? And if so, would the US come to Taiwan's defence?

Active and actual war with China (PRC) is unlikely. (Tho PLA could continue to up the irritation level with incursions into sea and air space.) For several reasons.

Monday, 7 June 2021

What if... Malaysia and Singapore goes to war?

There is this speculative video on YouTube:

The video assumes that for whatever reason, and in whatever scenario, diplomacy has broken down, and war has been declared. This is an attempt to argue against the assumptions.

1) Singapore is not worth conquering. 

Most invasions/occupations are for tangible benefits - land, oil, natural resources, etc. Singapore has limited land. Malaysia has LOTS of land (compared to SG). They don't need SG's land. SG has NO NATURAL RESOURCES. No gold. No oil. We even have to import SAND! But, you might say, SG is richer than MY! So wouldn't MY want to take those riches? 

But... the source of SG's wealth CANNOT be taken. It is intangible. 

Thursday, 3 June 2021

On the Importance of Taiwan

At about 12:36 in the video below, Taiwan is described as "the most important country in the world".

(Yes, 'country'. But I'm not John Cena - see below - and I don't have a movie to promote in China, so I'm not apologising.) 

Anyway, the earlier part of the video covers China's efforts to become a chip superpower.

It failed.

Thursday, 27 May 2021

Singapore's Success - 50 Shades of Great?

I saw a book, "Fifty Secrets of Singapore's Success" which is a collection of 50 essays by prominent Singaporeans (I guess), and edited by Tommy Koh.

The book was an idea by Tommy Koh. He was asked what was the secret of Singapore's success by some undergrads in the US and Mexico. And (not having an easy answer then) he said that there was not one single secret, but he will think about it (and ask other smarter people) and maybe write a book (or edit one).

A diplomat, tactful, and can think on his feet. I really admire Tommy Koh. 

Then, recently, I saw this video: "15 Incredibly Smart Things Singapore Got Right":

Friday, 23 April 2021

Heng Swee Keat passes on the PMship

 So April 8 2021 was a day of shock for Singapore.

The presumptive PM-apparent/PM in waiting/PM designate Mr Heng Swee Keat announced that he would not be taking up the PMship after all, and would rather another younger person be the PM-designate. His reason, or his publicly stated reason was that he was 60 years old this year, and by the time the Covid-19 crisis was settled he would be close to his mid-60s. He would have limited time to provide leadership and stability for Singapore.

In other words, he had already been selected as the next PM of Singapore. If he had just coasted along, taking things one day at a time, and just making sure that he doesn't screw up big time, he would be Singapore's 4th PM.

Wednesday, 3 February 2021

There was a survey on the political stance of Singaporeans:

"While almost half of Singaporeans were somewhat undecided on their political position, nearly a third leaned towards the left, outnumbering the one-fifth who preferred right-wing politics, a survey has found."

The approach of LKY and the other founders has (historically) been pragmatic. LKY actually started out more left-wing. It was in a sense practical, pragmatic, and a response to a colonial government. However over time, and when the PAP became the ruling party, the tactics of the opposition became irrelevant, and the PAP had to learn how to govern and to use the tactics of the ruling party. And divested itself of the sackcloth of the opposition.

And as the ruling party, the PAP had to adopt policies that WORKED for Singapore, and to abandon frivolous and impractical ideologies. And the touchstone of the PAP government has been to ask, "does it work?" and "would this work better?"