Today in Pravda:
Why they hate Singapore
Singapore is small enough to be a suburb of Beijing, but it has something in common with the mammoth People’s Republic. The little red dot and Red China are both countries the West loves to hate.
There are those who wish bad things to happen to the Beijing Olympics. Likewise, there are those who have had it in for the Lion City for years.
As far as I can tell, the author is conflating the Islamic terror threats against the Beijing Olympics with… with what, exactly? Gopalan Nair’s needling of Singapore’s first family? The Far Eastern Economic Review’s ill-considered allegations of judicial corruption (thanks, Internet Archive)?
Mr Kampfner [in this excellent article from the Guardian] seems in a genuine intellectual funk. He cannot quite understand why otherwise normal, intelligent Singaporeans would trade certain freedoms for economic progress […]
I wasn’t aware there was a tradeoff involved. The USA, anyone? Canada? Ireland? Germany? Australia? New Zealand?
One observer draws an analogy with Pavlovian behavioural conditioning.
So conditioned have Westerners become to associating cosmopolitan progress with certain political parameters, they do not know how to react when they encounter a creature – Singapore – that has one but not the other.
So they chide and berate us, as if we have betrayed a sacred covenant.
Adding to the iniquity is the fact that countries – rich and powerful ones too, like Russia and the Gulf States – are looking to the Singaporean way of doing things to pick up a tip or two.
Russia is a kleptocracy of the first order, and the Gulf States tend to be authoritarian, nepotistic oligarchies. These are not good countries for Singapore to associate itself with.
And this piece was written by the Straits Times’s political editor. Now you know why I never read it.