The pragmatic and professional leaders
In Malaysia, we have seen a new approach towards inter state relations and a pragmatic approach towards economic development under the leadership of Abdullah Badawi. He has single handedly changed the whole mindset of his cabinet, from one of bickering, politiking to one of getting work done in a rational and professional manner. In Indonesia, under the leadership of Yudyoyono and the likes of its Defence Minister Juwono Sudarsono, the picture is very similar. The professional men are in charge and wanted to do so much for their countries. Unfortunately both are facing the same problems of tribal chiefs at the peripheral doing their best to undermine their authority at the central. What the central govt tries to do, the local chieftains will try to destroy. The arrest of Singaporean barges and Singaporeans in the Karimun case was nothing but piracy. And the tone and acrimony against the Extradition Treaty and DCA were just polemics with little substance. And in Malaysia, the opposition to the IDR were in the same vein. They would be lucky if Singapore participates and make the IDR a success. For the IDR can be the most competitive region vis a vis Singapore and can take away a lot of businessess from us. Once it has established itself as a reliable and credible economic zone, it will simply be irresistible for investors not to be there. It has so many comparative advantages if the tribal chiefs could be gagged and prevented from spilling or over turning the pot. The two countries are being held at ransom by the retards of their countries, the 'chiat liow bee' politicians.