Emphasis in bold, mine. Take particular attention of what he is saying.




“The shocking terrorist attacks in Brussels today remind us yet again of the serious and continuing threat of terrorism.

I have written to the Belgian Prime Minister, Charles Michel, to express our condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims, and to the Belgian people.

Minister K Shanmugam Sc had just spoken last week about tightening up counter-terrorism measures in Singapore. We face a severe threat in Southeast Asia. It is not a matter of if, but when, that an attack will take place here. Indeed, today’s attacks in Brussels happened even though the Belgians were on full alert.

I hear that recently on a double decker bus, the driver stopped the bus, pointed at a bag left near the entrance and asked whose it was. The tension was palpable as he went round the second deck to try to identify the owner (whom he found). He then explained that we have to be vigilant about bags lying around, because of possible terrorist attacks, and the passengers murmured their assent. So the message is getting through to Singaporeans.”

Lee Hsien Loong



Technically speaking, not wrong. But a little care would have been in order.

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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No beating around the bush. No, not in this case. He’s made his stand known plainly and categorically.  Minister Chan Chun Sing is against Ashley Madison (link deliberately not provided) coming to Singapore.  From his Facebook page:

Saw media reports on Ashley Madison, a dating website targeting married spouses, which has plans to launch in Singapore next year.

I do not welcome such a website into Singapore. I’m against any company or website that harms marriage. Promoting infidelity undermines trust and commitment between a husband and wife, which are core to marriage. Our marriage vows make it clear that marriage is a lifelong commitment between a man and a woman. This includes staying faithful to one another.

I’m heartened by the responses of many Singaporeans who also spoke up against such website. This reflects the significance we all place in commitment and fidelity in marriage.

After suffering from a stroke. She was 87. She did well. Rest in Peace, ma’am.

More from the BBC.


Mr Gan Thiam Poh, MP for Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC, tries to explain comments made by Transport Minister Lui Tuck Yew on possible transport fares hike.

Social Media is making the ruling party more accountable. Here we see a need for politicians to make clear statements. Clearly he has not got the ‘formula’ right.

On a serious note, why not make this so-called formula public and allow the bright citizens among us to either say ‘Yeah, that makes sense and fare hike is necessary.’ or ‘Hey, have you thought of this way to pay people fairly while keeping fares down?’.

That would be a more sincere way to have a dialogue.

(Click Image for Full Size – Transcript Below)

Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew,

My condolences. I’m not aware of the details of your day-to-day personal life but one thing was apparent to me, and most likely the rest of the world – the mutual love, respect and devotion you and your wife had for each other.

With the deep affection you had for each other, her passing must be tough.

As you move on with what you must do, I pray to my God for strength, comfort and the peace to accept what is inevitable for all of us. I pray for comfort from your loved ones and friends and your continued vigour and focus on your work.

The relationship your wife and yourself showed us is inspiring and endearing.

Thank you for modelling that for us.