In the When LKY Speaks ... posting on January 8th, 2008, Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) gave a comforting but false hope on the state of the Malaysian economy. This is unusual for LKY and the fact is there is a looming global recession believed to head for a more complicated stagflation situation.
Underlying message hidden at the end of the news report was the comforting words for WPI. With his reverse psychology moves, LKY had indirectly coyed Johor UMNO leaders to support WPI. Now UMNO Johor will have to face the General Election with WPI as a major issue. Usually comfortable in their entrenched "homeground", UMNO Johor is expected to face some resistance from PAS on the issue of WPI. In addition, this issue has been a source of dissatisfaction at the ground within UMNO Johor.
The saving grace for UMNO Johor is that PKR is acting like a spoiler that will result in 3-way fight in some areas. In politics, it is not usually as straight forward as that. It could be deliberately designed to split votes?
Again, is LKY campaigning for Pak Lah? Is he not for PAP's off-spring, DAP? If there is any doubt, news report on LKY emanating from Singapore and foreign press over the weekend somewhat confirms it. Throughout this term, DAP has been noticably avoiding personal criticism on Pak Lah.
Repeating the same warning, when LKY speaks, damn it listen properly for there is some insidious intention. LKY is second fiddling but Pak Lah is asleep, naked in The Emperor's New Clothes - lost in the encore, praises and grandeur of 5th floor - and not realising the looming threat.
Second Fiddling of Malaysia
The news report from Singapore's Channel Newsasia below:
MM Lee says S'pore and Malaysia will benefit from closer connectivity
By May Wong, Channel NewsAsia
1 February 2008
SINGAPORE : Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has said Singapore and Malaysia will benefit from closer connectivity and collaboration.
In fact, he believes Malaysia will stand to gain even more than Singapore in the long run.
Mr Lee made this point while elaborating on a comment he had made at an Institute of Policy Studies conference on Friday morning.
At that conference, Mr Lee was asked whether Singapore needs to have a hinterland, which is Malaysia, in order to grow into a global city.
Later Mr Lee told reporters on the sidelines that he wants Malaysian leaders to know that Singapore is ready to work with them to grow together.
And Malaysia should view Singapore in the spirit of cooperation and acceptance instead of competition and antipathy.
Citing Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's proposal of the Iskandar Development Region, or IDR, as a move in the right direction, Mr Lee said Singapore will do what it can to make the IDR succeed.
In this way, both countries can get maximum value out of the cooperation.
Another win-win possibility is faster rail and air travel between Singapore and Malaysia.
Although a previous proposal for a fast rail system between them has yet to materialise, Mr Lee said Singapore welcomes it. Malaysia too, he said, must believe it would definitely be a win-win situation.
In the immediate phase of closer connectivity, Mr Lee said Singapore will gain a little more because the city state is more connected to the outside world.
But in the long term, Malaysia will make the bigger gain because of its larger capital mass and bigger human resource pool. - CNA/ch
Taking the cue from the last sentence of the report, it is actually saying Malaysia will eventually gain but it is not immediate. That is what differs from Dr Mahathir's development approach.
LKY hit at Dr Mahathir for attempting to make Singapore play a secondary role to Malaysia. There is no response from UMNO to correct the objective of the time, which was "you go your way and we go our way".
If one were to recall, LKY and the Singapore leaders made an issue of Malaysian ports competing with their ports. What cock and bull talk of meritocrasy?! They actually fear competition. Malaysia was building it's own port to keep more of the services and invisible portion of our trade balance for shipping, insurance etc. from sipping out of the country. To be able to compete, it would be a bonus.
All one need to do is observe and be a bit more analytical of LKY's comments. It is becoming more crystal clear that their intention for WPI and Malaysia is to play a secondary role to Singapore.
The four areas of cooperation with Singapore are immigration, environment, tourism, and transportation only serve for Malaysia to play supporting role to Singapore. Immigration helps to assist, not so much Singaporean to work or shop here but to ease Malaysians to work there. The environment serves to keep safeguard their water supply and their eventual tourism interest. The high roller and big spender spend money at the Singapore casinos and high class tourist facility, the family tourism and affordable shopping is in Johor.
For transportation, all roads, rail and air leads to Singapore. Thanks to an impending direct rail project to Singapore, existing spoiler Air Asia and cancellation of double tracking project.
To convince further of LKY's second fiddling of Malaysia, read this news article from Reuters of the same function:
Singapore should not be as crowded as Hong Kong: Lee
Reuters Fri Feb 1, 2008
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore's drive to increase its population should not leave the city-state as crowded as Hong Kong, Lee Kuan Yew, the country's former prime minister, was quoted as saying in local media on Saturday. The Singapore government said last year it wants to add another two million people to expand the island's population to 6.5 million over the next 40 to 50 years -- mostly through immigration -- to drive economic growth in the city-state, where there is a low birth rate and a graying population.
"I have not quite been sold on the idea that we should have 6.5 million," Lee, the first prime minister of modern Singapore, was quoted as saying in the Straits Times.
He said Singapore should not become as crowded as Hong Kong where it has "just solid buildings, one blocking the sunlight of the other".
"There's an optimum size for the land that we have, to preserve the open spaces and the sense of comfort," Lee said.
Singapore, which competes with Hong Kong to be the Asian headquarters for financial services firms, is seen to have an edge over the former British colony's proximity to China by being less crowded and polluted.
Singapore has a population of 4.7 million people and according to a 2003 U.N. study, was the world's third most densely populated area after Hong Kong and Macau.
Frankly, it is not for 40-50 years but much sooner than that. Singapore is expanding it's population by inviting migration from certain countries.
With a property boom and prices at exorbitant level, does Singapore have the space and economics to expand it's population at such a fast rate? This is not really a question but a self answered question.
Is it for this reason that this blogger has endlessly been calling WPI as purely a property play development? The TV campaigning on RTM highlighted WPI as Metropolis twice the size of Singapore? Is this for real or mere hype?
In his speech, LKY spoke of Singapore turning into an Asian Global City. Does it make sense to have a Metropolis and a Global City within a stone throw? It only leads to the realistic evenutality of an integrated city with WPI as the suburb or retreat for Singapore.
Other than property and the usual claim for bio-tech & agriculture, IT, education, logistic related petroleum, the much talked about economic sector promoted is creative sector. What is creative sector? It's media, communication, film making, and related activities? How much of a multiplier effect can it boost the local ecoomy compared to industrialisation?
In all those economic sectors mentioned, except petroleum logistics, whats the blueprint to develop the sector?
Tun Musa Hitam spoke of avoiding the manufacturing sector due to foreign labour issues. However, Singapore is remain focus towards it despite their more developed status. They invested in Pulau Batam and Pulau Bintan as labour intensive manufacturing centre. Singapore's Economic Development Board (EDB) pursue manufacturing FDI to attract EMS, Intel, Opid, and Epitary Wafer.
The Malaysian political leadership and IRDA planners of WPI are happy playing second fiddle and dreaming a big city.
Messed Up Foreign and Defense Policy
On the foreign policy front, Singapore has silently taken "leadership" of Asean, a regional grouping initiated by our Tun Abdul Razak and the recently died, General Suharto. Asean had maintained a ZOPFAN policy and hands off policy on it's members domestic affairs.
With Singapore exerting more influence on behalf of Uncle Sam, Malaysia went along to apply pressure on Myanmar's domestic issue.
Increasingly, this seige mentality state is taking more millitary leadership in Asean. With full awareness that Singapore main paranoia is Malaysia, we went along.
Strong S’pore-Malaysia ties help advance peace in region: Minister TeoAs BigDog point out, did our Defense Ministers, Dato’ Seri Mohd. Najib Tun Razak (1990-1995), (1999-2003) and Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Al Bar (1995-1999), ever received invitation from the Prime Ministers of Singapore?
By Julia Ng, Channel NewsAsia
30 January 2008
KUALA LUMPUR : Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean has said Southeast Asian countries need to respond to the changing strategic environment.
He added that bilateral defence cooperation between Singapore and Malaysia can contribute to peace and stability in the region.
Mr Teo was speaking at the Malaysian Armed Forces Defence College on Wednesday.
The Minister also shared Singapore’s perspectives on the security challenges facing the region.
He also discussed how Singapore is promoting multilateral security cooperation such as the development of an open and inclusive ASEAN defence track.
Mr Teo also called on Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi on Wednesday afternoon.
During their meeting, they discussed bilateral ties as well as regional issues. - CNA/ms
Pak Lah is not only sleeping up there but naked in The Emperor's New Clothes (TENC) and lost in the perception of grandeur and greatness.