[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Friday, November 17, 2006

[APEC Meeting in Hanoi]
1. It has been almost two years since I was last at Hanoi. This must be my tenth visit since the early 90's. Each time I come, the city looks better. It is a charming city dotted with lakes and old French colonial buildings. The Vietnamese are making steady progress and has been growing faster than any other country in ASEAN, right through the Asian financial crisis till now. In 15-20 years time, Vietnam will be a major force in ASEAN. They are an intelligent, hardworking and determined people. Many young Vietnamese will head off to atttend night classes after work. Thousands of them study in Singapore.

2. Singapore has excellent links with Vietnam. We are one of their major investors and trading partners. There is now a sizeable Singapore community in Ho Chi Minh City number over 2000. Tiger Beer is big here.

3. In a methodical way, Vietnam has been upgrading its capability, step by step, to hold conferences from the ASEAN Summit to the Asia-Europe Summit to, now, the APEC Summit. The new conference centre is spacious and well-equipped with an attractive architectural design. It has a huge forecourt of fountains. 25 Leaders from around the Pacific will descend on this city with a history of a thousand years from tomorrow, among them President Bush, President Hu Jintao, President Putin and PM Abe. We have just completed the ministerial meeting which the Vietnamese Foreign and Commerce Ministers co-chaired with great skill and diplomacy.

4. In 1975, the North took over the South. In 1978, Vietnamese Army divisions crossed the Mekong to vanquish the Khmer Rouge, threatening Thailand and the rest of us in Southeast Asia. In 1989, they pulled out and, not long afterwards, Vietnam joined ASEAN. With the Cold War far behind us, we are entering a new phase of peace and cooperation in the Asia-Pacific. The North Korean nuclear problem is still a headache but the prospects on the whole are bright. APEC is now a premier organisation and, for the first time, the Leaders will be talking about a Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific encompassing over half the world's economy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Minister,

The Singapore govt is always trying to recruit foreign "talents" to work here, does that mean that Singapore has no local talents? When these foreigners come to our country, especially the mainland Chinese, they create havoc wherever they go, and in some organizations, these mainland Chinese take control over the company and make us Singaporeans look and feel like second class citizens. And if anything were to go wrong, off they go to "greener" pastures. Is this really what the local govt wants? To let foreigners come and take control over our very own darling country? To put us poor Singaporeans down and laugh at us and call us "stupid"? If that's really the case, please don't blame scholarship holders and local talents who're studying overseas for not wanting to come home. Since they're not being appreciated by their own govt and country, they might as well stay elsewhere where they are being appreciated.

Sunday, November 19, 2006 9:54:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every computer need extra megabytes (In LKY's own words). Even the most successful economies in the world need tht extra let alone us. If PAP founding geneartion of leaders r to eclude those born outside S'pore we would not hv come tht far. Dr Toh & Dr Goh both from malaya. Late S Rajaratnam from Ceylon later Malaya. Ong Pang Boon from Malaya too. LKY admitted he's the only one born and raised in S'pore.

Monday, November 20, 2006 10:51:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who feel thye r not appreciated r those from countries which practise the quota system. Ask Irene ng why she packed her bags at aged 17 to come to S'pore. Ask her why being a chinese and despite better academic results she was not awarded the scolarship. Why was the scolarship went to Malay students with mediocre results. Was she in any way less of a Malaysian because she's a chinese? What letter she wrote to Hussein Onn and did he reply? U mean to say she's not on M"sia radar asking her to return? Too late she has taken up S'pore citizenship. Why is Badawi working so hard asking the M'sian doctors wing in Europe to come back? Despite all the perks offeredto them, I belieev few took it up. If I'm noy wrong, many r chn.

Monday, November 20, 2006 11:03:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr yeo,

May I ask if u lost too much in ur youth wouldnt it be wise to recover it when u hv the opportunity? Vietnamese hv lost too much to the war its only right they recover as much as possible. Tht sense of hunger/thirst is unimaginale!!! Same applied to China.

Monday, November 20, 2006 11:10:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hunger and thirst is different from greed. If foreigners come here with the intention of making Singapore their home AND helping to make it a better place to live in, such people are always welcome!

BUT when they come here with the selfish intention of
1. turning this country into a China outside China,
2. using underhand means to snatch jobs from our locals and getting paid atrocious amounts when they don't even deserve it,
3. making life for themselves easy and comfortable at the expense of our own local citizens,
4. fleeing when the slightest sign of trouble surfaces,

then such people are best left OUT of this country.

As the saying goes, whenever there's a Chinese national around, there're bound to be politics and dirty underhand tricks involved. In addition, they're also well-known to always take the short-cut.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 2:01:00 am

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As the saying goes, whenever there's a Chinese national around, there're bound to be politics and dirty underhand tricks involved. In addition, they're also well-known to always take the short-cut.

The above words r urs. Does tht imply to spore chn as well?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 8:03:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh no, those words are not mine, I quoted them from people who know the mainland Chinese well enough to say that. And when I say Chinese national, I mean people who come from the People's Republic of China. Our local Singaporeans aren't up to that standard yet.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006 7:07:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come in ur previous posting u did not say u quoted from them? Now suddenly when I questioned u then u say tht. It seems like.......

If I am to question u further would it not......

Thursday, November 23, 2006 7:20:00 pm

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It seems like you have never heard of, and don't understand the meaning of "as the saying goes". I rest my case.

Friday, November 24, 2006 12:56:00 am


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