International diplomacy. That’s why I would love to write for the foreign or diplomatic services. Every word has to be carefully calibrated and nuanced. Fascinating.

Face saving statements here for both sides. Not sure if the truth prevailed but the point of diplomacy is to advance (hopefully) mutual interests. If the intent was truly to rile, the statement, I believe would have been more terse.

But these guys are not dumb. They know exactly what they are doing. Hence, its so fascinating to study the unfolding of events the choice of words on both sides.

Update (12 Feb 2014):

This is not about the naming of the warship but about the possibility of “fresh” haze coming to Singapore from Indonesia. The statement made by our Minister of the Environment and Water Resources is strong for “friendly neighbours.” (Emphasis mine).

Again. Hot spots increasing dramatically in Sumatra, with 458 visible today. Haze may worsen when the winds weaken next week. Some rain expected, but not enough to douse the fires.

We will try to encourage them to take action – but we all know the welfare of close neighbours is not their priority.

Hard truths of regional politics.

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