I remember a Middle East diplomat mentioned about the 'little republic in Southeast Asia is another Israel-in-the-making' during a conference in Casablanca in 2008, not naming the nation but was sharp enough to criticise its leadership as having similarity to that of Tel Aviv.
And when Anwar Ibrahim went against all odds by supporting the rights and security of Israel, linking him and his political allies DAP with Singapore's PAP and Bank of Israel, the askance toward our south neighbor grew thicker.
And here, Jim Sleeper, a lecturer in political science, Yale University, produced a lengthy-logical analysis about Singapore-Israel strong bond, sharing similar capitalist character and a diplomatic approach which can be described as 'arrogant inteloper'.
Lee Kuan Yew has set the pace, and his successors just follow the chartered path.
In 1965, when Singapore declared its independence, its first prime-minister (and, for many years, its virtual dictator) Lee Kuan Yew asked Israel to design, set up, and supervise its military machine. Israel did precisely that. How successfully? Just this month, the Bonn International Center for Conversion published a world-wide survey ranking Israel the world's most militarized nation -- and Singapore the second-most.But we in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia, are aware of it. As long as nothing across the Causeway harms or provokes us, we are fine with it, right?
Malaysia puts diplomacy above all, and so are the Muslim Indonesia. However, as regional and international diplomatic and social landscape take a new turn, we can expect something 'torrid' to our relations in the years to come, particularly if Pakatan Rakyat wins the upcoming general election.
The similarities of these two little engines that could (and did) become models of state capitalism with high per capita incomes and growth rates haven't often been noted. Both have been governed and stamped by the British. Both have populations of 5 or 6 million, including 2 or 3 million second-class citizens and non-citizens, some of them migrants, some of them openly despised.I guess many would like to read this interesting part:
The Israelis militarized Singaporean society, even with Israeli military songs, to which Lee's soldiers marched in one of Singapore's first real Independence Day parades. Less symbolically, they showed Singapore how to establish military conscription in a hitherto un-militaristic populace that, according to at least one survey, ranked the profession of soldier far below that of thief, while placing artists, teachers and merchants on top.Read Jim Sleeper's Blame the Latest Israel-Arab War on...Singapore?
So determined was Lee to adjust this that when Israel won the Six-Day War in 1967, vindicating his decision to work with it and boosting Singaporeans' confidence in their Jewish military mentors, Singapore's UN delegation surprised other Third World nations by abstaining on a resolution condemning Israel.