mrbrown: The WikiLeaks-Singapore saga, part 2

mrbrown: The WikiLeaks-Singapore saga, part 2

Singapore's straight talking Minister Mentor set tongues wagging this week but what Singapore should really concern itself with are its own homegrown scandals

Like a gift that keeps giving, WikiLeaks has released yet another leaked U.S. cable that involves Singapore.

This time, the cable shows our straight-talking Minister Mentor describing the Myanmar (or Burma) leaders as "stupid" and "dense." He was even quoted as saying that dealing with the regime is like "talking to dead people."

That immediately conjures up mental images of zombie generals for me. Which is probably a reminder for me to cut down on those "Left For Dead 2" (L4D2) gaming sessions. Perhaps in "Left For Dead 3: Burma" you can play as Harry, the tough old guy who clears a room of zombies with just his rapier wit and barbed tongue.

Who needs a shotgun or a chainsaw when you have weapons of mass elocution like that?

I am not sure how it will affect Singapore and Burma ties. We do appreciate the Burmese leaders spending their money shopping here and seeking medical treatment at our fine hospitals. Hopefully they take "stupid" and "dense" in the right spirit and not out of context. 

It's all about context

Our Foreign Minister, BG George Yeo, seems a little miffed that people are reading too much into the cables. Some of the earlier cables apparently also quoted a diplomat calling Japan "big fat losers" and another diplomat calling India "my stupid Indian friends" who were “half in, half out” of the Asean grouping.

Foreign Minister Yeo went on to say that we should not "over-interpret" the leaked U.S. cables as they may just be "cocktail talk."

Maybe he's just upset the cables haven't mentioned him yet. If he is, I wouldn't worry. There are 887 leaked cables pertaining to Singapore and so far we've only seen three. 

I am not even sure how one over-interprets a phrase like "stupid Indian friends." Maybe the diplomat was saying "Oh, forgive me, I spilled coffee. It was my stupid, Indian friends!"

This is all very amusing to us Singaporeans because we are rarely privy to such behind-the-scenes action.
Our news here tends to be somewhat more sanitized.

Of scandals and omissions

Even news of a pervert who was caught taking up-skirt videos of women with his pen camera did not mention the chap's illustrious grassroots career as a member of the ruling party's Youth Wing and his turn as chairman of Punggol Park Community Centre Management Committee.

The 36-year-old skirt cinematographer got nine months in jail for his antics. Oh, did I also mention that he was given a PBM, Public Service Medal, just this year on National Day?

Perhaps it was for his cultural contributions to film.

The odd thing was that he was arrested in July 2009 and awarded the PBM this year. Guess no one informed the award committee.

Other prominent perverts in the news include a Ministry of Education scholar (now ex-scholar) who was caught for child porn in the United Kingdom. This was a fellow who was studying in the University of York and would return to teach in our schools.

The MOE claimed that his earlier record of being a peeping tom as a student did not show up in his records because the school felt he had turned over a new leaf and so left it out of official records so as not to jeopardize his future. I guess he still needed help.

The MOE very quickly revoked his scholarship and vowed to tighten scholarship procedures. Maybe future candidates will be subject to questions like:

The pervert test

1. Have you ever been a sexual deviant? If yes, please describe in less than 300 words, using drawings if necessary.

2. Have you ever surfed porn on the Internet? Please provide examples of the sites you frequent.

3. Have you ever been publicly caned for being a peeping tom in school but subsequently the school did not inform the Ministry because they felt that professional counseling had cured you of your errant ways? If so, how many strokes of the cane did you get?

I am sure my suggestions will help weed out the unsuitable candidates.

The most intriguing case in recent months was the fellow who spiked the water of two female colleagues with his semen and recorded them drinking it with his mobile phone.

You will agree with me when I say that this piece of news warrants a collective "Ewwwwwwww."

The news reports took pains to describe him as a "civilian officer" or " employee" of the Singapore Police Force. You don't want people to think Mr Protein Shake here was an actual uniformed police officer because that would undermine public trust in our police, you see.

I hope WikiLeaks releases more cables soon. Juicy diplomatic gossip is way more fun than news about public sector sex offenders.

We may even get a leaked cable of some other country telling the U.S. State Department that their intelligence services have discovered that a Singapore leader is particularly fond of goats.