Dr Chee Soon Juan’s grit that made him last decades in the political scene is certainly admirable. But his constant gaps in logic and penchant for cherry-picking of facts to suit his purposes is not quite so.
His recent Facebook post seems like yet another opportunistic pounce on whatever is trending — now, all is fair in love and war, and I’m all for political jostling, but some of the facts laid out seems pretty fudgy……
Salah #1 – Singapore is ‘doomy’ (his word, not mine) because we’re overly pro-US and we should start ingratiating ourselves with China
Eh, dude, we play both sides lah! As a small country, all we can do is use China to check the US and vice versa. There is no happy ending regardless of which superpower dominates the region. So neither please, thank you very much.
He happily listed the example of Singapore being “the leading proponent of Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal that did not include China”…..but wait, what about the fact that we were also actively lobbying countries to join the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank started by China, that strategically excludes the US?
Or that we are the largest foreign investor in China? Or that we are one of the few offshore clearing centres for RMB? Or that we facilitated China’s links with ASEAN through ASEAN +3? Or that we are the only country that has the JCBC set-up with China?
Tsk, tsk, cherry-picking.
Salah #2 Beijing can screw us in these 5 ways and hence we should give up our sovereignty
In his words “even if one of these initiatives partially succeed, our status as the aorta of international trade will be critically jeopardised. Imagine the havoc that this will wreak on our economy”.
Right. Let me get this straight.
You know a country can potentially threaten your economic livelihood, and hence you stop doing whatever they don’t like, even if that jeopardizes your long-term national interest, creating new problems.
Woah, how does that help? Isn’t the smarter way to relook how you might actively take steps to make yourself less susceptible to these threats? To build up stronger mutual dependence, so that there is less incentive to act on these threats? To continue to strengthen bilateral trust such that messages are conveyed through leaders rather than via threats?
Salah #3 Tommy Koh explained unconvincingly that Singapore was not aligned with the US to contain China
Professor Tommy Koh’s exact words were “the bottom line is this: Singapore will never allow its relationship with any major power to harm China”.
Hmmmm. Sounds pretty clear to me.
I’m not sure how much clearer it can be put. Pray tell Dr Chee?
Salah #4 Dr Chee, do not just show us the darkness, bring us the light
He ends by saying “the current set of ministers seem bereft of ideas in how to deal with the fast-changing geopolitical circumstance. This is the only point that I actually agree with in his post.
However, in typical fashion, he launches into blanket bombing without putting forth any solution.
His crowd-pleasing vague rhetorical proposal of “a genuine national debate” as the ultimate panacea is a total cop out.
Dr Chee, don’t just show us the darkness, bring us the light.
Until you actually do that, I really cannot take you seriously.