Wednesday, December 15, 2010

WikiLeaks and Negative Views

WikiLeaks reviewed the negative views that were purported to be conveyed by senior Singapore diplomats about some of our neighbors. This has caused Malaysia to lodge a protest and has temporarily soured relations.

The trouble is that the leaks revealed the negative views. It would be quite different if the leaks revealed the positive views that were expressed about some of our neighbors, such as the the positive qualities of their leaders and the  progress that they are making to solve their problems.

Two decades ago, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew said a few positive views about President Suharto's leadership. This was followed by a long period of extremely warm relations between the two countries. Some foreign observers had commented on the negative aspects of the Suharto regime, but it does not really matter. It has its positive aspects as well - which is more important.

Our leaders and Singaporeans in general have to learn how to look at the positive side, and to express positive views of other people. We have to learn to see "what is right" and not focus too much on "what is wrong". If we have to point out what is wrong, it can be done in an objective manner, without attributing any negative qualities to specific people. We do not need to be judgemental.

I hope that future leaks can help to build relations with our neighbors.

Tan Kin Lian


pantone K said...

This is why we do not gossip about people behind their back and keep these kind of statement to ourselves.

Wikileak has many other articles which are also what's really happening around the world. Succession of the Egyptian president, finance industry etc etc . Just that "ours" tend to be quite negative due to some prominent figures who cannot keep to themselves..

Singaporean like you and me would feel that something went wrong there (Maybe a slip of tongue but there's so many "mistakes" which put Singaporean in general in bad light. Not 1 but so many statments. Mr Tan, you too would not like to say bad things behind people back not infront of them, not even when you are gossiping with high profile poeple.. the only time when u do, that might be at the back of your mind when you are at home.

However if wikileak were to be about positive news, It will not be call wikileak. It will be call Wikipedia or Newspaper.

If these prominent figures had not spoke of those things. We would not have ended up in wikileak and would not have met with such negative views from our neighbor.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Some people gossiped to me about the negative aspects of other people, i.e. mutual friends. I told the gossiper to look at the positive aspects of the friends, rather than the negative aspects.

After a while, the gossiper found that I am not a good party to gossip to, as I am not interested to hear the negative aspects - and I do not add fuel to the fire.

I also refuse to convey the negative gossip.

Spur said...

So far the S'pore politicians have mentioned only somewhat positive things about Chinese leadership and their future leaders. LKY was quoted as telling the Americans to open up to the next generation of Chinese leaders, to forge more ties and cultivate more understanding with the younger Chinese elites. Some of the politicians are shrewd enough to know which country/people to criticise and which ones to praise or at least don't say anything bad. It's all about politicking and massaging important partners' egos and trying to gain favours at a certain point in time. Nothing about courtesy or character or diplomacy.

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