Former Singaporean diplomat Bilahari Kausikan, who is not shy about airing his views on social media, took to Facebook earlier today to weigh in on how China can learn from Singapore.
Mr Bilahari shared an article published on the South China Morning Post titled, ‘Even after 40 years, China can still learn from Singapore’. One point the article touched on was how China has a majority ethnic population, just like Singapore.
Hi post was ‘liked’ and ‘shared’ by Ho Ching, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Temasek Holdings.
In his post, Mr Bilahari pointed out that, “One issue — not mentioned in this article — that China can learn is how Singapore has managed its Muslim community.as compared to what is happening in Xinjiang and elsewhere”.
He added, “Indeed, if you did not know Singapore, you could read this article without learning that Singapore is multiracial. And yet the author has lived and worked in Singapore for many years and the management of multiracialism is the foundation of everything else. This blind-spot is shared by many Chinese”.
The wife of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mdm Ho Ching, however, chose to touch on a different aspect of Singapore.
She, who is rather active on Facebook, yet rarely adds commentary to her posts, said, “One of SG’s strengths is the openness to new ideas, and to be open minded, and learn and adapt from all over the world. One of SG’s weaknesses is a lack of self confidence to be bolder in welcoming the new”.
She continued, “It’s like the fine balance between genius and madness – the tension is always there – but we should be mindful that as we live longer, that we don’t over tilt towards old thinking versus freshness of youth and the young”.
Many netizens weighed in on the issue as well, some agreeing, others saying that the comparison between the two countries was not entirely a fair one.