Usman Harun – What was the drumming all about?

Out of the blue Singapore was caught in a verbal spat with Indonesia over the naming of a frigate after two terrorists that exploded a bomb in the heart of the city in the 1963. Were there any signs that something is brewing that the public do not know? Was the cancelling of the contract to buy natural gas a precursor to this spat? There was also an announcement by Indonesia not selling granite to us after the gas contract was terminated. Subsequent to the blow up of the frigate naming it was reported that the Indonesians were planning to erect statues in honour of the two terrorists they regarded as heroes in Batam, literally right at our door step. What else did the public were not privy to that drew the ministers to make their firm objections to the frigate naming? Did they know something more sinister than the public?

The sequence of events with publicity in the media, in the TV networks, revealed that a lot of work and resources had been involved in putting up the media reports and TV programmes on the issue. To the public it seemed to come out of the blue but to the govt it was a coordinated event to make a very strong point to the Indonesians with the risk of heightening tension between the two states. And if not managed carefully, if both sides were less restrained, we would have a crisis at hand.

Fortunately the event has now quiet down and relations are at even heel, I hope, after the ‘storm in the tea cup’. This prompted some to comment that it was an exercise to drum up the spirit of nationalism among the Sinkies that has ebbed. The people seem to be taking the relative peace and security for granted and a dose of nationalism with an external factor could be good for the soul of the nation.

Assuming that this is a possible reason, it makes sense for the leaders to come out one by one to talk tough and for the media to keep splashing spreads of articles on the subject daily. There was a hype to arouse the sense of belonging, a national identity and a need to stand up for the country.

If this is the objective of the exercise, the response from the people was muted. Not many took heed of the call to rise to the occasion. There was an absence of a public outcry to support the leaders’ call. There was not much anger or excitement towards a possible external aggressive intent. It was a non event.

Why didn’t the people answer the call of the leaders to speak as one voice against an external event? Is it another case of complacency, that the people did not see anything unto it, that the naming of the frigate was uncalled for but so what? Or was it that the leaders were not forceful enough to rally the people behind them? If the intent was to gel the people as one with the leaders, it did not happen. The people were not aroused, or was it a case of the leaders not inspiring the people to rise to the occasion, to take the cue and follow them? Was it a test of leadership? Or was it a gauge on how apathetic the daft Sinkies are?

There was no spontaneous outcry like what happened to Anton Casey. It was just like a rehash of a past event, a lesson in history. Period. The people did not feel the spurs on their hide to feel anything.

What do you think?


Anonymous said...

I think it's similar to not displaying the flag during national day. There is a disconnect between government and people

Anonymous said...

For Sinkies, this ship naming is not a bread and butter issue lah, tio bo?

Whereas for Anton Casey case, Sinkies perceived him as a FT allowed in by PAP to take away Sinkie jobs. And Sinkies got very angry lah.

That's why the reaction is different lah.

But as long as by chance or by design, if 60% Sinkies have no bread and butter issues, PAP should be OK lah, whatever the other issues.

Anonymous said...

If the outrage of the powers that be is genuine then why don't they name our warships after our heroes from the 1st Regiment SIR who were mown down at Kota Tinggi whilst looking for the Indonesian infiltrators? There is not even a monument to them.In fact the Macdonald House bombing did not even merit a mention in LKY's The Singapore Story whilst he recalled the bombing and killing of innocent civilians at Sennett Estate without any expression of outrage. You are right that the whole incident looks suspiciously stage-managed with a view to political advantage.

Anonymous said...

"...if 60% Sinkies have no bread and butter issues, PAP should be OK lah..."
Anon 9:12 am

Tiok. Especially those new Sinkies (citizens). Because they have a job and also have money, so no bread and butter issues lah, tio bo? Maybe unlike Sinkies, some can survive on cheaper and lesser bread and butter? Hahahahahaha.

Anonymous said...

Sinkies are meek, good natured, kiasi, and bochap. They don't even bother to go to Hong Lim Park to protest on matters that affect them like 6.9m population, fares hikes, etc. You think they bother about the naming of the frigate? In time of crisis do the people want to stand with Gov.? I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Is this another fascist-like attempt to "rally" Singaporeans to make more sacrifices for PAP (I mean "Singapore")?

This is how Hitler inspires the German people to do more "national service" and sacrifices for Nazi Germany.

But what about PAP Singapore?
How should Singaporeans be encouraged to do more "National Service"?

Anonymous said...

I was in Jakarta twice during the drumming session and met quite a lot of people. Except for 3 or 4 who had dealings with Singapore, nobody knew about the naming of the frigates and about the terrorist attack on MacDonald House or about Singapore's protest. People there were concerned only about their day to day cares. It certainly wasn't even a storm in a tea cup. The tea wasn't even stirred. The only person in Jakarta I met who had an opinion on it said, "This issue is for those big leaders (on both sides) with big heads and big egos and a lot of free time in their hands to 'worry' about. We have more pressing problems at home. It is nothing to us."

Anonymous said...

Singaporeans have survival to care.
Bread and butter is less pressing than rice, cooking oil and sugar.
And for mothers to be, milk powder as well as their jobs.
Who cares about war when they want peace.
Furthermore, they are now very aware that there are Singaporeans who had worked for the Japanese Army, who butchered Chinese everywhere they were.

Anonymous said...

Think the use of traitor and betrayor lately have led to doubt about the integrities of Sin Leaders.
Some Singaporeans may even feel that the two s called terrorists more respectable than traitor and betrayor.

Anonymous said...

The two Indonesia "soldier-terrorists" sacrificed their lives fighting for Indonesia.

What about our PAP leaders?
They also "sacrificed" their lives fighting for PAP's Singapore.
Really poor things you know.

EXAMPLE - Tan Chuan Jin:
“I am pained by the knowledge that I will miss the many moments when my children are growing up and time with family. My parents are not getting any younger. Those moments missed do not return. Ever. In time, I will look back, and there will be gaps. But that’s life.

I’m not sure how one considers it a privilege to miss these precious moments. It trivializes all of us who do cherish these.”

Anonymous said...

Grace Fu - Another PAP Minister making the "ultimate sacrifice" for PAP's Singapore:

“When I made the decision to join politics in 2006, pay was not a key factor. Loss of privacy, public scrutiny on myself and my family and loss of personal time were. The disruption to my career was also an important consideration. I had some ground to believe that my family would not suffer a drastic change in the standard of living even though I experienced a drop in my income. So it is with this recent pay cut. If the balance is tilted further in the future, it will make it harder for any one [sic] considering political office.”

Anonymous said...

You bloody ungrateful Singaporeans.
Especially the ones doing National Service now.
What is your peanut salary compared to the PAP Ministers' million dollar salary?
What is your sacrifice compared to the PAP Ministers' great sacrifices?

Virgo49 said...

Hi Anon@10.39

Think this clown (TCJ) is the only one “I am pained by the knowledge that I will miss the many moments when my children are growing up and time with family. My parents are not getting any younger. Those moments missed do not return. Ever. In time, I will look back, and there will be gaps. But that’s life.

All of us spent three quarters of our life also working for our children and parents.

Some of us took even two jobs just to make ends meet with time just for a few hours sleep.

No time for a quickie also. Too tired also.

He should thank his lucky stars that he is so well paid. Same goes to that bloody FU. (Grace)CK

Some more, asked citizens, what do you think, what is the solution??

Anonymous said...

Let me put it in simple language for our PAP Ministers:

Your million dollar salaries trivializes all the sacrifices of the Pioneer Generation and our National Servicemen.

Your million dollar salary is an obscene perversion to the Singaporean sense of serving our country with pride, honour, distinction and self-sacrifice.

Anonymous said...

@ February 26, 2014 11:04 am

Yes. Their million dollar salaries and Pro Alien Policies have cheapened every sacrifice Singaporeans have made to build up our Singapore.
OUR Singapore.
Not PAP Singapore.

I will not allow myself to be found in the same room with these people.

Anonymous said...

The issue of "ceiling not clean" by APETHC is more important and critical than the naming of warship. Yes, it is very important to have the cleanliness of market under opp party but not PAP. PAP's market can be as dirty and still give A rating especially to those fall under Old fart and his clown prince.

Redbean, have a sense of proportion of what is important. Ceiling of the opp party must be clean, clean and clean ... never mind if it is already clean.

Anonymous said...

opps must clean ceiling. they clean their bottoms.

b said...

Most sinkies are more concerned about whether they can get their hands on the latest iphone, hello kitty, lv bags, travel packages or newest gadgets than things that affects the future generation, national pride, public policy. I think few will react if pap changed the constitution to suit their needs.

Perplexed said...

The slaves felt indifferent when the slave-drivers quarreled with the slave traders.