7/12/2017

Act big or act small

This debate between Kausikan and Kishore continues with Han Fook Kwang chipping in with his two cents worth in an article in the Sunday Times on 9 Jul. Han Fook Kwang was trying to point to the changing circumstances and the need to apply intelligently on lessons and policies of the past. Not every event is the same and it is important to understand the new forces in play before blindly applying past methodology that may no longer be relevant today.
 

One take away from Han Fook Kwang’s comment is his quoting Kausikan, ‘Small states like Singapore cannot allow their sovereignty and national interests to be dictated by others.’ This is sound and good, just like the same saying, ‘Singapore leaders stood up to major powers in the past when they attempted to intimidate them.’ On first glance, both statements are statements of principles and laudable and should be the guiding principles of small states. As such, small states must act big and talk big.
 

However, take a serious look at the statements and understand them a bit deeper. Both are important statements but must be applied cautiously and discriminately and not recklessly or foolhardy. Do not read the statements superficially.
 

Take the first statement about not allowing our sovereignty and national interests to be dictated by others. By sticking our guns onto this policy, we must also put ourselves on the other side and not to dictate on other people’s sovereignty and national interests. Get the point? We do not want others to dictate to us, and we must not dictate to others as well. Yes, do not trample onto others…
 

Similarly we must stand up when others try to intimidate us. There is a big difference between standing up to intimidation and trying to intimidate others, especially when it has nothing to do with us. When the big powers did not intimidate us, it is foolhardy to intimidate the big powers. When the big powers are not infringing on our sovereignty or national interests, it is silly to infringe on their sovereignty or national interests. In the South China Sea issue we are just an outlier, a peripheral party.
 

I think this is as simple and easy to understand as you can get, no need to explain further. The poking of our nose into the South China Sea dispute is not just being a busy body, not only minding other people’s business, but infringing on the sovereignty and national interests of China and intimidating China. We deserved to be fucked. Period. This is applying past lessons and Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking blindly, foolishly and unintelligently. Don’t fuck around with big powers when they did not fuck around with you.
 

There is a time to stand firm, act big when you are intimidated but act small and don’t try to intimidate the big powers when there is no need to. Small states have the right to chart its own course, but don’t be foolish to want to chart the course of big states.
 

A little knowledge is dangerous.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...


Not act big or act small!

It is Act Humble!

Dont think the whole world will listen to you!

Be humble!

Anonymous said...

Busybody mouse to elephant: "You cannot trample on me, but I can trample on you!"

Anonymous said...

Intimidation is the principle of the PAP in the years of dealing with the opposition.

How to get rid of this habit?

In any case, Red Dot has a big, strong and friendly mountain behind it, coaxing it to act like it is wearing big shoes.

The problem is, will that mountain still be behind when it is needed? Just look at the big mountain now shouting 'Americunt first' and 'we will pull out of any deal that is not favourable to us'. Any deal can be favourable at one time but not all the time. What is there to ensure they will not do the same to us?

Speedwing said...

Hello Redbean, Speed here. Hope things are good with you.

The South China Sea episode was an unfortunate incident for Singapore. However, it could possibly be that Singapore was " forced or coerced " into taking sides by others. The government of Singapore has in the past always acted very sensibly and it was quite a surprise to many that in this instant there appeared to be a deviation from the norm. Maybe there were more at play than meets the eye. Just my 2 cents worth.

Anonymous said...

This statement says it all:

“The hard work done by our founding fathers has been squandered." - Kishore Mahbubani, TODAYonline.com July 3 2017

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Speedwing made a good point. While the khongcum kept bragging that they should not be intimidated by anyone, it seemed that they were coerced by some big powers to do their bidding to poke at China.

See how silly were the khongcums. They did not know that they were intimidated or willingly be intimidated to poke at China.

We will do more for you Mr President!

Anonymous said...

"it is important to understand the new forces in play before blindly applying past methodology that may no longer be relevant today"

That's why the young Turks throw away the values that LKY set such as prioritizing Singaporeans' interests, and bring in the foreigners to take over the jobs from Sinkies as they try to transform Singapore into a big global city to build a name for themselves.

That's why Lee Hsien Yang and Wei Ling asked: "What happened to LKY's values?"

Why did LKY appointed only his 2 younger children as executors of his will?

Anonymous said...

running dog and very proud to be one.

Anonymous said...

Why didn't they stand up to India and refrain from holding joint naval war exercises with the Indians in the South China Sea to poke at China ?

Anonymous said...


Hahaha....

Very very basic!

If people didn't poke you, why do you poke others?

Is it eat-full-too-free? Don't know what to say,......!

So simple!

Correct or not?

Anonymous said...

They think they are little LKYs. Seow. Go and look at the mirror lah.

Anonymous said...

Why is there is no minimum age for private-hire drivers but minimum age of 30 that the taxi industry has to adhere to? Why the double standards? Why?

Anonymous said...

GIC and Temasek Holdings are both sovereign wealth funds of the same country.

Why is GIC reporting 5-year and 20-year annualised real rate of return for the last financial year ended March 31, while Temasek is reporting one-year total shareholder return for the same period?

Anonymous said...

Most of those foreign intellectuals enjoying high salary working or teaching in Singapore's institutes of higher and international studies write silly articles or comments just to boost their own ego and to justify their high salary that they are doing something though detrimental to Singapore's interest or otherwise. These nincompoots either don't know the history of the South China Sea or they purposely ignore the interest of China as they may be paid by US and Japan to harm China's interest. They are possibly little USAs or American Fifth column running dogs.

These charlatan intellectuals who are purveyors of fake news and insidious propaganda must be exposed and sacked forthwith otherwise it is not fair to Singapore's tax payers who are paying their salaries.

Singaporean patriot

Anonymous said...

Rb, let's face it we already Kena fucked and will continue to be fucked if our leaders do not change course.

Anonymous said...

Basically, Han Fook Kwang is chipping in to support Kausikan,
in just another blowjob for the " KILLER INSTINCTS " establishment.
This is how I read it:


" People who have worked under Mr Lee and UNDERSTOOD his thinking and philosophy can come to very different conclusions on how they apply to today's new situation..........
..............................
A case in point: Mr Lee's USE of defamation suits to silence his political opponents.
................you have to admit he was SKILFUL in doing so.

A lesser politician without the same KILLER INSTINCTS might not be able to pull it off as successfully.............
.................................
Example: Mr Kausikan cited many examples of how Singapore leaders stood up to major powers in the past when they attempted to intimidate them.

It DOESN'T MEAN current leaders should always try to do LIKEWISE.

BUT HIS ANALYSIS IS CORRECT: Small states like Singapore cannot allow their sovereignty and national interests to be dictated by others.
.................
The second area where the past holds UNCHANGING LESSONS FOR THE PRESENT IS in the values that shaped the country's approach to solving its problems: PRAGMATISM, INCORRUPTIBILITY, meritocracy and multi-racialism.

They are as relevant today.
..................
Is the old method of inducting them mainly from the public sector and the military the right one in today's changed circumstances?
.................................
There must be something wrong with the method and the approach when it has failed to find people outside this small circle in a country that has been so successful in many other fields.
...............................
Another prized quality from the past: The courage to think big and depart from the conventional.

Post-LKY Singapore needs a big dollop of this if it wants to continue being exceptional.
.............................. " unquote

link,
Ambassador Bilahari Kausikan today hit... - States Times Review ...
https://www.facebook.com/STReview/posts/1901975953353920

Act big or small? What lessons from the past?, Opinion News & Top ...
www.straitstimes.com/opinion/act-big-or-small-what-lessons-from-the-past

Anonymous said...

//Act big or act small//


Is this a qn without a qn mark?

During ancient time Chinese history of the warring state, sending a wrong signal may mean certain demise ...?

This may not be simple case of yes or no ... but ... a complex dynamic respond game plan not dissimilar to advanced level game theory ...?

In an anarchic international political system akin to the rule of the jungle, it is not surprising the law of big fish eat ikan kechil, ikan kechil eat plankton rules the day...?

How to dissuade a shark devouring a sealion?

Act big or act small ...?

Anonymous said...


OK to act big!

But, must be humble!

Don't talk too much!

Be kind in your words to others!

This is the only sustainable way for small nations.

Anonymous said...

It would be to the interest of Singapore that these people do not anyhow bark like mad dogs or thinking that they are mad dogs.

Speak up and stand firm when Singapore is being attacked.

It is very difficult to knock some senses to arrogant fools.

Anonymous said...

//Be kind in your words to others!//


Like?

Ah Tump, "yew very tua kee"?

Ah Xi, "yewr lp very pah pah"?

Anonymous said...

//It is very difficult to knock some senses to arrogant fools.//


Not even shafting a raw pineapple with the stem and leaves up their "AHs" ...?

Anonymous said...

This is applying past lessons and Lee Kuan Yew’s thinking blindly, foolishly and unintelligently.
RB

Not so where Sinkies and the Sinkie opposition is concerned.

Because Sinkie opposition is not ready to be govt when LKY was still around, and also still not ready even when LKY was dead for more than 2 years already.

And so Sinkies voted for PAP when LKY was still around, and continue to vote for PAP even after LKY died.

Hence in this instance, Lee Kuan Yew's thinking can still apply even after LKY is dead, as proven by his son Hsien Loong.

Anonymous said...

The political scholar elites said ( or insinuated) we must pay them to become Multi-Millionaires so that they are able to soeak to foreign leaders with DICK-Knee-Tee. After becoming Multi-Millionaires, their DICK-KNEE-TEE grew so high and their EGO grew so huge that they start to assume that their little Dick could go around screwing China's backside without being provoked and that they could get away with it, just because there is a US Naval Base in Changi.

Iust watch and see how China skilfully slowly, slowly catch the little white monkeys and chop off their Dicks (Dignity).

No maater how these arrogant tiny trigger-happy white monkeys' Dicks try to patch up with China, it is too late now.

A detailed, cordinated plan of retaliation has already been set in motion. It will be very difficult for China to pull the break because billions of dollars have already been spent. Unless, of course, the tiny white monkeys' Dicks pay for another Soo Chow Industrial Complex.

A calf must learn early to recognise a tiger as a tiger, and a white shark as a shark. If not, it will come a time the tiny calf is either eaten by the tiger or the white shark. Either way, it is death is certain.

When war breaks out, the kiasi and kiasu subservient obedient scholar-generals will not be able to command the respect of the systematically and widely deprived and depraved Sinkies to fight any aggressor, let alone to defend their wealth and the foreigners who take away their jobs and break their rice bowls.

Once the Malaysian East-West Highway and the two ports are completed, the days of Sinkieland as an Entreport is numbered. Once the Kra Canal is completed, Sinkieland will become Beggars-Land.

b said...

Cheap singland is better than expensive singland. Expensive only benefits the rich not the people. Now, the people have to work nonstop till they drop dead to pay for high costs. Ministers salary should also be cheap. cheap is better. cheap is better.

Anonymous said...

World economy, as reflected in the global stock mkts, is doing very well ...?

Look at Asia, Europe, US ... all the stock mkts so high ...?

How to explain y global mkts so high if world economy in trouble ... ?

The mkts "rigged"?

Or on "drugs"?

Either way, the mkt always got winners and losers ...?

Since mankind started, there will always be winners and losers ...?

Life goes on ...?

Be happy?

Be pappy?

Make babby in songkieland in small places?

Cannot act big or small under such circumstances ...?

If big, is big?

If small, act big still small?

Big is not necessarily good ...?

Small is not necessarily not good ...?

Look at Brazil ... 5th largest in land area and population globally ...

But other than their samba soccer, the only world class tinkie they have are the big gigantic buttocks of many of their women?

Most Asian men tiny wee wee will be flattened when these women sat on them?

Regardless they act big or small ...?

Are there any correlation between Brazilian soccer skills and the size of their women buttocks ...?

Some pple say living in a brazilian home is having a gym at your door step?

What does it mean?

Any oldie or matilah or ahgongkia knows?

Anonymous said...

Rb //Don’t fuck around with big powers when they did not fuck around with you.//


But some pple are just curious mah and forbidden fruits taste the sweetest ...?

Anonymous said...

Rb //There is a time to stand firm, act big when you are intimidated but act small and don’t try to intimidate the big powers when there is no need to. //



Rb, arent u stating the obvious, when it stands, obviously it is firm and not placid ...?

When big is big and small is small?

Din know when intimidated, can change small to big ...?

Guess songkies next time before go to tiny places should get themselves intimidated by some muscle men ...?

Then go into tiny places big big liao ...?

The cha bor pappy liao lo ...?

Anonymous said...

Singapore is not small, it is not even the smallest. Actually, it is a tiny country, many times smaller than Qatar. Singapore is not in this category to considered big versus small. No matter how much we shout, we can't make it. Just like a cockroach, we sneak around without getting notice, that the way we can survive. Topics discussed by our self claim titans are out of points.

Anonymous said...

//Topics discussed by our self claim titans are out of points.//


Whether it is "titans" or "minnows" may not matter ...?

When Lewd the Tiger is "acting BIG" (albeit with his bro) ...?

"Mountain Bra-ni" can be "painfully hot" when one is not into "spicy food" ...?

Anonymous said...

Btw, "Hung Fok Fok" may want to act "BIG" too when his "mountain" has been burned to ashes ...?

Is it wiser for him to act "small" than "BIG" ...?

Will it not be a matter of time before he will have to act "BIG" smelling roses for all the time he has ...?

Anonymous said...

"Mountain Bra-ni" may be a name without any "mountain" ...?

His time has passed and probably like a lau kokok lion king, he is making his last roars before it exits from the African plain with a certain lonely or violent death ...?

At least the real lion king on the African Plain makes his presence felt and feared while at his prime by acting BIG and terrorising all other male lions into exile or death from his territory of control...?

Anonymous said...

EvLEEboLEE knows the difference between the roars of a lion king at his prime and those of a sick lau kokok lion shadow managing a whimper barely audible roar and inviting a quicker and much more painful demise from other male lions at their prime ...?

Act big or act small?

Yew decide ...?

Anonymous said...

see what had happen to these small nation

4 big arab nations bully Qatar

How India bully Bhutan in the latest Sikkim standoff with China.

Anonymous said...

//We deserved to be fucked.//


And a good one too?

Until the cuntry orgas countless time ...?

That is what a good potent lion king should be ... to satisfy the hore-ny and act as BIG as he can?

Anonymous said...

Peesai can act "BIG" lah when she has 2 relatively "weak" neighbours ...

Just like Israil is pushed around by noboLEE in the M E?

Peesai, like Israil, is lucky to have relatively weak neighbours lah ...?

Anonymous said...

AnonymousJuly 12, 2017 10:39 am
//Rb, let's face it we already Kena fucked and will continue to be fucked if our leaders do not change course.//


Whats wrong with a whore being kena fxxked when thats her job ... and her livelihood?

Songkies love it too ...?

The "harder" (& "more painful") the merrier ...?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 12, 2017 10:37 am
//Most of those foreign intellectuals enjoying high salary working or teaching in Singapore's institutes of higher and international studies write silly articles or comments just to boost their own ego and to justify their high salary that they are doing something though detrimental to Singapore's interest or otherwise. //


When come to a crunch, songkies will know who were swimming naked and made suckers out of songkies ...?

Many of the so called foreign thinkers/ scholars are nothing but "bookworms" masquerading as "strategic thinkers" leeches and parasites milking exorbitant remunerations at taxpayer$$ expense ...

When it matters, many so called foreign thinkers earning super size fat cat pay cheques contribute zilch and absolutely nothing to peesai interests ...?

Anonymous said...

Many of these foreigners esp professori are brought here, paid by taxpayers to do fuck all. Many are finding all kinds of silly projects to work on that have little relevants to the island. They are just finding something to do to look useful at our expense.

Stupidity has no cure.

Anonymous said...

Great article!
The main point is, of course, ACT. WAYANG.

The Dragon Fly said...

I was "Googling" for the 4 Pillars For Singapore's Survivals, and I came across a document written by Koh Teck Hin titled "Corruption Control In Singapore". In its Introductory Statements, this has been stated:


"On the whole, the overall strategic approach to fighting corruption applies across the board, with no distinction made on whether it is petty corruption or high level corruption. No exception is made for anyone and there are no ‘black areas’ where the law cannot deal with. In our experience, the same commitment to action is necessary in order to be successful in curbing corruption at all levels.

The question, in view of the recent allegations made against PM Lee Hsien Loong by his own brother and sister about abuse of power, misuse of organs of state, dishonourable conduct, etc, the question, I repeat, automatically comes to mind, is:

Why CPIB did nothing, if 'NO EXCEPTION IS MADE FOR ANYONE'?

MUST IT WAIT FOR SOMEONE TO MAKE A REPORT, THEN ACT?

IF the ELEPHANT is so huge roaming around in the Singapore Parliament, the highest law-making organ of state, and trumpeting all over the news media, both old and new medias, does CPIB still need someone to make a report before acting?

If that is so, then something is seriously wrong with the people, especially the top people, in the CPIB - either they are all deaf, blind and senseless, or they must be so busy or too lazy that they operate on the excuse that, if nobody reports, then don't need to investigate. This sounds absurd, isn't it?

Another glaring problem is putting CPIB and every other organs of state directly under the command and control of the PM. Such arrangement, without having to be told, smacks on the intent of a person bent on concentrating all the powers in his own hands - a Dictator!

Looking from the broader perspective, taking into consideration that all the organs of state are in the hands of the PM, we will be bluffing ourselves to think and carry on thinking that Singapore is anywhere a semblance of a Parliamentary Democracy. It is not. It is a through and through Dictatorship, of which some would like to add the word "benevolent". Whether benevolent or ruthless or evil, Dictatorship is Dictatorship. This System has been living and running in Singapore all the last 58 years!

When is it going to change? Will Singapore ever embrace Democracy at all? This will be a future topic I will write about in my new blog, of which I am still thinking of a name for it - shall it be 'MY SINGAPORE'S FAKE NEWS'?

.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous July 12, 2017 10:45 am - expanding on PRAGMATISM.
//where the past holds UNCHANGING LESSONS FOR THE PRESENT IS in the values that shaped the country's approach to solving its problems: PRAGMATISM, INCORRUPTIBILITY, meritocracy and multi-racialism.//


" Pragmatism is poison

While I do believe that pragmatism was once a useful maxim to combat analysis paralysis and over-engineering, I also believe that the usefulness has expired. Pragmatism no longer represents a healthy attitude, in my mind it’s not even a word anymore. It has degenerated into a thought-terminating cliché, which is used to stifle discussion, keep inquiries at bay and to justify not thinking things through.

These are, of course, pretty harsh words. I’ll try to make my case though.

Let’s start by having a look at what it means to be pragmatic. The definition Google gave me is as follows:

Dealing with things sensibly and realistically in a way that is based on practical rather than theoretical considerations.

[A small caveat: this isn’t necessarily the only or “correct” definition of what it means to be pragmatic. But I suppose it’s a sensible and realistic approximation?]

Anyways: this is good by definition! How can it possibly be bad?

Well, for a whole bunch of reasons really. We can divide the problems in two parts: 1) that pragmatism lends itself to abuse because it’s ambiguous and subjective, and 2) all the forms that abuse can take.

So the underlying problem is that the definition relies heavily on subjective judgment. (Consider the task of devising a test that would determine whether or not someone was being pragmatic – the very idea is absurd!) One thing is that what qualifies as “realistic” and “sensible” is clearly subjective. For any group of people, you will find varying degrees of agreement and disagreement depending on who they are and the experiences they’ve had. But the distinction between “practical” and “theoretical” considerations is problematic as well.
.............................
Another problem with pragmatism is that it can be – and is – used as an excuse for sloppy thinking, or no thinking at all. Pragmatism encourages partial “solutions” that work not by reflecting a conceptual solution to a problem, but rather by mimicking correct behavior for various inputs. That way, we can short-circuit the need for design and collaboration. ..........
..........................
Finally, pragmatism is sometimes used to create outright logical contradictions. Pragmatism is about compromise, but some compromises cannot be made without compromising the concept itself! For instance, some architectural properties have principles that cannot be violated while still maintaining the properties – they are simply no longer present due to the violation. (A vegetarian cannot eat meat in the weekends and still be a vegetarian, if you will.) Not even pragmatism can fix this, but that doesn’t stop people from trying!
........................
This concludes my attack on pragmatism, at least for now! To reiterate: pragmatism is easily abused because it’s hard to tell if someone is genuinely pragmatic or just claiming to be so. The abuse takes various forms: false dilemma, self-defense bluff, smoke bomb, justification for sloppy thinking and undermining of the meaning of words.

A call for action? Please stop using pragmatism as an excuse for doing sloppy work! And if you find you do need to use the word, please have it be the beginning of a discussion rather than the end of one. " unquote.


Link,
Pragmatism is poison - ample code - WordPress.com
https://einarwh.wordpress.com/2016/03/10/pragmatism-is-poison/

Machiavelli’s Tiger: Lee Kuan Yew and … – Singapore Window
http://www.singapore-window.org/sw00/000614ug.htm

Anonymous said...

Another glaring problem is putting CPIB and every other organs of state directly under the command and control of the PM. Such arrangement, without having to be told, smacks on the intent of a person bent on concentrating all the powers in his own hands - a Dictator!
The Dragon Fly 9:08 pm

Hello Dragon Fly,

But don't u know power lies in the hands of majority voters in an election?

If majority voters vote PAP out of govt, then PM Lee where got power, let alone being a dictator?

patriot said...


The Amount of cynicism at the Current Regime is just too overwhelming.
ln fact, it is a surprise to me that it is still standing.
Maybe, the Voters are pragmatic. after all they are used to the Pappies for over 50 years.
But,
why the Cynicism?
May l say the Cynicisms come from the Idealistic Lot that refuse to compromise with lousy practical, read pragmatic, solutions that the Pappies had resorted to in the Last 25 years or so, for lack of better solutions.

Personally, l do see that most of the Pappies are super smart. AND THEY ARE SUPER GREEDY AND SELF SERVING.
All and Whatever Plans and Policies they made ARE TO SERVE DAMNSELVES
FIRST AND FOREMOST. ALL SCHEMES ARE IMPLEMENTED TO ENSURE THEIR HOLDS ONTO THE POWER
AND
USING THE POWER TO ENRICH THEMSELVES.
WELFARE OF THE PEOPLE IS GLARINGLY SECONDARY WITH ALL THE HIGH COSTS OF BASIC NECESSITIES IN FOOD, HEALTHCARE, UTILITIES AND TRANSPORTATION ETC.

What will be the Consequences of the System that is being practice?

My Answer is that the Rulers shall be powerful and rich, so rich that most of them, if not all, are multi-millionares and millionairesses.
BUT,
l like to tell them, the
Wealth they got are sinful.


patriot


patriot said...


I am beginning to aprreciate the Two Younger Lady MPs who spoke with their hearts, mind and CONSCIENCE.

Tyrant and Despot can only be exposed or ridded by the Brave, Gallant and more importantly the Upright Folks. The People who dare to bring about JUSTICE at all cost are the Most Respectable.

Of course, there are many such people in the Activists and also Bloggers of which Sir Chua Chin Leng, Owner of this Blogsite, is one.

Kudos Folks and my Salutes.


patriot