Singapore’s PMs growing in stature and power

Sunday 16 Oct there was an article in the Sunday Times by a Chong Zi Liang on 'Spore's foreign policy in a challenging world'. What was written in the two page centre spread was nothing that we do not know. The only thing that gave me a leg up was the quotes of three PMs, one after another, on how Singapore should conduct its foreign policy as a small state. Let me just quote them and show the difference in the thinking and greatness of the 3 PMs and how their views changed over time.

Lee Kuan Yew said:

'Singapore has to take the world as it is. It is too small to change it. But we can try to maximise the space we have to manoeuvre among the big 'trees' in the region.  That has been our approach and we will have to be nimble and resourceful to be able to continue doing so.'

LKY understood that we were a small state and we were price takers of sort. We had to accept the world and to adapt to the world, not to be too swell headed to think we could change the world. We must adapt and try to make the best of the situation by playing along.
Goh Chok Tong said:

'Singapore is a small country, but we do not drift aimlessly. We are not a piece of flotsam.  We have a definite place in the world, and a definite view of life, and of what is right and wrong.

Whether it is 1985 or 1998, I expect that we will be guided by the same basic philosophy that every country, big or small, has a right to be itself. It has a right to live, a right to its own way of life.

From this philosophy springs our foreign policy and our defence policy.  We will be friends with anyone who wishes to be friends with us.  We are not, and will not, be aligned with any bloc, though our ties are closer with the West than with the Communist bloc of countries.'

So you see, Chok Tong is more garang. We would not simply be price takers. We want to be ourself, choose our friends but be friends to everyone who wants to be our friend but not aligned to anyone. But he clarified that we would be a bit closer to the West. Neutrality was still important though a little leaning to the West.
Lee Hsien Loong said:

'Upholding international law and the peaceful settlement of disputes is a vital interest for a small country like Singapore....Nevertheless, Singapore must support and strive for a rules base international order.  We have to depend on words and treaties.  They mean everything to us.  We cannot afford to have international relations work on the basis that might is right. If rules do not matter, then small countries like Singapore have no chance of survival.'

Now can you see the changes? LKY talked about accepting the world as it was and tried to manoeuvre to maximise to our advantage. Chok Tong in a way also accept that fact but would be friends to everyone that is friendly, but slightly aligned to the West. But he still did not dare to think he could change the world to like Singapore.

What is Hsien Loong's position? Upholding international law is a very forceful statement. Singapore now wants to uphold international law, not accepting it as a price taker. Singapore would not accept might is right. Another very powerful statement, meaning Singapore would stand up to it or something like that. Don't push Singapore, we would not allow it.

So, how to fight might is right? Singapore would depend on words and treaties, or military alliances I supposed? Correct me if I did not get this right. The basic position, Singapore would not take things lying down. Singapore will fight for its rights and its principles. You have heard it.

My conclusion, among the 3 PMs, LKY is the weakest. Chok Tong tried to take a firmer middle path. Hsien Loong no doubt is the strongest of the three PMs. He is confident to take on the world, take on any superpowers, to uphold international law and principles. And he would align himself with treaties, no more neutrality or not aligning with any super powers.

Singapore finally has a very strong PM, a strong leader to take on the world, to fight and defend its interests and principles. Singaporeans should be very proud of Hsien Loong, for having the guts to stand up to any country, big or small, on grounds of international laws and principles. His father and Chok Tong both did not have the wherewithal to stand up to big powers. Now you are seeing the real powerful Singapore punching above its weight. Go back and read the news and the comments by our diplomats and you will see how firm and steady they are in defending the interests of small states, defending international laws and principles against unprincipled countries that don't respect international laws.

Singapore has arrived, and Hsien Loong is the One. The strongest of the 3 PMs we have so far. He is now a more powerful statesman than LKY and Chok Tong. Singaporeans got something new to be proud of. Singapore is now an international player that would take a stand, not just a little red dot trying to walk the tight rope. You can expect our diplomats to go around thumping their chests be it China, Russia or regional powers like Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand or the Philippines to uphold international laws, freedom of navigation and to protect Asean unity.


virgo49 said...

Singapore had arrived to let the trashes screw its Arse.
This Loony Loong now am ready Lau want Tien or wan suing just at 60 plus.

Cancer spread to his brains.

Anonymous said...






大家保重! 大家保重!


Anonymous said...

Tat ah dou "不知死" or " not scared of death" , the whole country would be in a mess if he stand on wat he said.

Hermit said...

LHL is just continuing what his dad did. Lapping up America.

patriot said...

There is an apparent
contradiction in Sin PM Lee
Hsien Loongs' Argument.
lf he believes might is not
SIN with the US and remains
neutral liked the Earlier Two

Think Lee Hsien Loong is losing
much respect from the Other Asean
Leaders as well as those of other
nations. None in the Sin Cabinet is able to have just a little clout of the Late Horrible Old Man. This makes the Current Sin
Regime quite jittery and undeed
it should.

Like a parasite, Sin has to suck up to a superpower and it just happens that Lee Hsien Loong chooses the Waning US of A.

Sin should and remain neutral,
but a muddleheaded aristocrat has
chosen to do otherwise.


patriot said...

Sin should and MUST remain neutral.

'must' missing in my
Above Comment.

My apology.


Anonymous said...

Excellent Article mr Rb, you did it again.
I wish that our 154th would take you as a regular contributer to their forum letters or induct you somewhere as an visiting professor writer. That could improve circulation.
By the way, since Lee Hsien Loong is the strongest among Lee Kuan Yew, GohChokTong and himself, it is entirely justified to pay him a salary six times Mr Barrack Obama. Lets make it ten times.

virgo49 said...

Already sighted PRC.

Donald Trump elected PRESIDENT,
Sin gonna be put on Cold Storey.

Oops Cold Storage.

Even Clint Eastwood of the Philippine smarter than this loony tune.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Hsien Loong is now his own man and charting his own destiny as an international statesman. He could be more influential than LKY if he is successful in upholding international law, protecting freedom of navigation and protecting the interest of Asean and small states.

He has stepped out of the shadow of his father and will do things his own way.

Anonymous said...

Singapore has arrived, and Hsien Loong is the One. The strongest of the 3 PMs we have so far.

Tiok. Hsien Loong is strongest only because the opposition is very weak, and even the strongest among the very weak is not even ready to be govt.

So like that how can Hsien Loong not be strong, u tell me lah?

In the kingdom of the blind, the one eye jack will become king, tio bo?

Anonymous said...

He has stepped out of the shadow of his father and will do things his own way.
RB 10:29 am

Tiok. And as long as the opposition is not ready to replace him.

So if RB were Hsien Loong, RB will also do things his own way. And very strong also.

Anonymous said...

i remain confused. The article is so subtle and perfectly phrased I cannot distinguish whether it is a satire or it is an expression of immense appreciation and national pride. (of course I have to assume I know nothing of the author's historical political affinity, and I have to read the article without unfair bias).

Some of the comments are also very interesting. I cannot determine if it is satire or real. What a great site.

Anonymous said...

So if RB were Hsien Loong, RB will also do things his own way. And very strong also.
Anon 10:32 am

Tiok. And not just RB. If I were Hsien Loong, I will also be very strong.

And thank God, I am not Chee Soon Juan.

Anonymous said...

"Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth"
- Mike Tyson


Anonymous said...

no mistake no mistake......

lhl is the man.......

if not him, who else......

look at his face......

look at his body language.......

yes.....he is the man.....no mistakee......

now you know why the 70% said YES/OK..........


Anonymous said...

If u want to play tough then you must get the SAF ready to fire Tio bo? Many of our kids will perish when war started. Who will be in the front line?

Anonymous said...

Mr Chua wants to sit on PM chair or trying to get hire as consultant ?

Anonymous said...

PAP's grand plan -- Singaporean national servicemen (our children) would be lined up in front battle lines to fight Great China, while foreigners (increasingly from the Indian sub-continent as the Singapore cabinet, with Vivian Balakrishnan at the helm of the foreign ministry, pivots strongly towards India) would be lined up to cannibalize the jobs in Singapore . . .

Anonymous said...

Some people don't know when to shaddup when approbation was what they craved. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

Even Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said, "There is no sense fighting over a body of water. We want to talk about friendship, we want to talk about cooperation, and most of all, we want to talk about business." Meanwhile the PM of Singapore, a nation which has no claim in the South China Sea, is foolishly quarreling with China over the SCS issue . . .

Anonymous said...

I support PAPig
PAP-India Grouping

Anonymous said...




Anonymous said...

If ah long able to tell the Russians Leader (Poothin) to follow International laws & The Russians obey it, then we must salute to Ah Long the Greatest even greater than Ganghis Can't.

virgo49 said...

Russian FM: If Hillary Clinton is elected, that means WAR

Why Ah Loong as International Statesman don't tell Russia not to bomb Syria and also the Americunts not to conduct counter operations.
If both cease-fire, then he be truly international statesman.

Now only stage sai.

Pee sai some more wants to how Lian.

Wayang wayang counter terrorism.

Got punch in face then know.

Anonymous said...

CK Building fire at Tampines
Industrial Estate and fire at
Jurong Market. Both were razed
to ground zero, what hope is there if there is terror attack.
Remember how armed officers ran
to hide and take cover???

Many will die in the bomb shelters of their own homes
if they seek safety in them.
There aint much hope left
for Sinkies.

Anonymous said...

Addendum to above post.

Remember how armed officers ran to hide
and take cover at the Little India Riot ???

Anonymous said...

Putin warned US "if you want a war, you will get one Everywhere". Russia has drilled 40 millions civilians and Putin had asked them to identify their own shelter.
Read if following Mosul war, would know US wanted to open a corridor for the trapped IsIs fighters to run into Syria. Iraq refused. What happened?
Iraqi airforce bombed the IsIs convoy at Syria border.
Obama s plan or the plan started by Hillary to support "moderate" terrorists went habis. Watch the Mosul war. Obama is ragging his lost face by saying US are advisors to Mosul war for Iraqi.

US was warned by Russia, if US bombs Syria troops, Russia will respond. Will US want to get into war with Russia? S400 are ready for the US missiles and jets at Syria. Its war with US.

China said in Huanqiu, the old man taught US to surround China. Singapore is famous in China Chinese now. The son s picture often flashed on HK media for discussion of Scs as Duterte is visiting Chin tomorrow.

When US Obama has the gut to pull the trigger on Russia, he must also pull the trigger on China which has live firing war game at East Sea now. China will have to support Russia when US hit Russia. So Singapore must help US to shoot missiles at China ships. Where are the missiles? Obama forgot to give SAF?
War can be next week or next month. SAF will show the world it is the top of the top force in firing power. No one can beat SAF when it beat PLA. The leeder will be the top leader, besides the top in salary.

Anonymous said...

Come! Come! Come! Get close together!

Let us all shout together........

1 2 3 3 2 1 LHL is number 1!

1 2 3 3 2 1 LHL is number 1!

1 2 3 3 2 1 LHL is number 1!

Thank you Thank you.........


Anonymous said...

@ October 18, 2016 12:05 pm

Dont worry , everybody dies.

A swift death is better than facing nuclear holocaust aftermath

Anonymous said...

LHL would become the strongest PM and a hero for future generation of Singaporean

when he liberated Bintan, Batam, Karimum or Natuna away from Indonesia control.
Those islands is much closer to Singapore than Jakarta. Based on UNCLOS, it must belongs to Singapore.

Singaporean people would finally acknowledge that he had surpass the achievement of his father.

Anonymous said...

As said before "Kiang jui hor, mai keh kiang".

b said...

Pride brings destruction. Lee should be more tactful like his father and not acting like a spoiled brat.

b said...

An ''international law'' drawn up mainly for the sole interests of protecting usa elites interest is not international but very subjective, very prejudice, very malicious kind of law. Hope he gets the light.

Anonymous said...

@ As said before "Kiang jui hor, mai keh kiang".

Yeah right. Just like the chinese in the movie 《危城》. Initially all agree when Sean Lau 刘青云 wants to carry out execution by hanging Louis Khoo 古天乐 for the killings he committed. Later on find out Louis is the only son of a warlord who loves killing, immediately ...

我们不想死 ...
我们不想陪葬 ...
请你给我们X家一条生路 ...
请你给我们X家留后 ...

Nabay, what Xue Fei , ... see already also tu lan ...

Anonymous said...

/// ... Singapore must support and strive for a rules base international order.
We have to depend on words and treaties.
They mean everything to us. ////

Really ah?
Can we have our CPF money back at 55 years old as originally promised?

Anonymous said...

Since he likes to travel overseas so much, he should concurrently hold the post of Foreign Minister and make the latter portfolio redundant. The million dollars saved should be channeled to a fund to help the hopeless 10% of struggling senior citizens. Tiok-bo!!!

Virgo1949 said...

Talk of travels. MFA issued warnings to Singaporeans to behave themselves when overseas.

Singaporeans misbehaved overseas??

For Forty odd years, Singaporeans been praised as been one of the most disciplined tourists by most countries and win hands down by most tourists agencies and guides.

Now they are alleged to be misbehaving??

Are these the third world colured trashes and so called first world white trashes who tarnished the true blue local born Singaporeans???

Just like the gian png Portuguese bitch with her chaip cheng vietnamese husband who refused to pay taxi fares and bite the poor cab brother.

Open door immigration that brings ill repute to our honoured reputation.

If only there is a guy like Donald Trump who openly criticised all these globalisation shits.

Cheers to Donald Trump as the next US president.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

The two real men and leaders emerging from the heap of shit are Donald Trump and Rodrigo Duterte. Philippines now has a real leader that would pull the country out of the rut just like Jokowi of Indonesia.

Virgo49 said...

Mr RB, Good Morning, in just 15 mins time, we have the Final Great Debate on Fox channels of DT and HC.

All the supporters of HC including our Great LHL are just too afraid that this outspoken DT will bash the daylights out of them when he is elected as the President.

These people are just too afraid that he will expose all their ILLs and hypocrisies.

Hope DT will win and sinking land will be in Cold Storage by DT and Xi.

More news of more than 50% of sinkies were be in the streets, whilst the foreign trashes will be gainfully employed courtesy by our enlightened government.

Anonymous said...

Very lame to start harping on LHL stance on the SES. Singapore's cooperation with China goes way beyond the Pinoy's. Our comment that we hope international law is upheld is as neutral as it gets, and it shows we don't want to openly say China is wrong, but neither do we want to totally side with the US.

The biggest sign of our neutrality is that we have seldom, even never, sent any military participation to the US to "patrol" the SES.

This whole issue is a storm in the teacup. Soon, there will be losers here KPKB that we cooperate "too much" with China, bringing in FTs and having our MRT trains made by them.

And oh,


Donald Trump a real leader? Good. Because he will label your beloved motherland a currency manipulator once elected. Hope you enjoy the show then. Lol.

Virgo1949 said...

Aiya, at least he won't be stirring shits like Democrats administration and bring disasters like DT used to harp to this Region.

Anonymous said...

To me if you all are pro-China, the status quo works just fine.

Yes, the SES issue is a shit stirring. But something tells me its a small problem. Not something to start a conventional war over to be honest. As long as China grow 7% every year and the US only 1%, you think Xi will care? There is a reason why China don't get involved in wars. It values economic prosperity first and foremost.

So much of US national debt is owed to China. Trump is going to default on that. He's going to impose tariffs. He's going to make sure US jobs do not go to China. Good luck with that.

patriot said...

Donald Trump declared that he
will go after the Drug Lords.
There is similarity in Duterte
of the Philippines, Thaksin Sinawatra(Ex Thai PM) and now
Donald Trump, aspiring US Presidential Candidate for the
Coming Election in November 2016.

Do wish Donald Trump triumphs and
joins the List of Drug Fighters.


patriot said...

Donald Trump declared that he
will go after the Drug Lords.
There is similarity in Duterte
of the Philippines, Thaksin Sinawatra(Ex Thai PM) and now
Donald Trump, aspiring US Presidential Candidate for the
Coming Election in November 2016.

Do wish Donald Trump triumphs and
joins the List of Drug Fighters.


Anonymous said...

Lol. Comparing Trump's stance on drugs to Durtete? Very far off.

No need call yourself patriot or whatever lah. Putting a nice name there don't mean what you talk is right.