Quotulatiousness

January 18, 2011

Singapore diplomats caught speaking very undiplomatically

Filed under: Asia, China, India, Japan — Tags: , , , , — Nicholas @ 08:15

Sometimes, the information in the various WikiLeaks releases shocks and surprises. Other times, it merely confirms common beliefs:

Singaporean officials are putting up a brave face after highly embarrassing Wikileaks’ disclosures. They have rubbished the leaked cables as “cocktail talk” and accused the media of blowing the casual remarks out of context. Singapore-specific cables have shown that diplomats and officials of this tiny but prosperous city state have scant regard for leaders of neighboring countries and have insulted their neighbors with disparaging remarks.

[. . .]

Tommy Koh, a senior diplomat of Singapore, took pot shots at Japan and said that Japan was “the big fat loser” in the larger strategic matrix as China’s relations with ASEAN nations continued to improve. This is not insulting had Koh stopped at that only. However, the Singaporean diplomat blabbed on and blamed Japan’s “stupidity, bad leadership, and lack of vision.” Koh dragged in the Indians as well and called India “stupid” for being “half-in, half-out” of ASEAN.

Another leaked cable quotes Peter Ho, Singapore’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs and Permanent Secretary, telling a U.S. official in March 2008 that Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was an “opportunist”. Another Singapore diplomat remarked senior colleague in Singapore’s foreign ministry, Bilahari Kausikan, told US Deputy Secretary of Defence for South that ousted Thailand leader Thaksin Shinawatra was ‘corrupt’, along with “everyone else, including the opposition.”

The art of diplomacy is saying in public what your government wants everyone to believe, while saying to your government what is really happening.

1 Comment

  1. hey have rubbished the leaked cables as “cocktail talk” and accused the media of blowing the casual remarks out of context. Singapore-specific cables have shown that diplomats and officials of this tiny but prosperous city state have scant regard for leaders of neighboring countries and have insulted their neighbors with disparaging remarks.

    Comment by Lake Norman Pontoons      — January 19, 2011 @ 04:19

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