Charming JR8... but thanks for your consideration. I read through the summaries. There are some obvious and subtle points, if you'd like to hear me out.
1. The 'filtered information' in the China report - sorry, the phrase's the gist as I'd just scanned for the info. An illustration of this happened, way back into the 80s when the Duke of Edinburgh made his usual gaffe to a British student "living like the slant eyes?" (He might be trying out a metaphor in schaisse taste). Most British reacted and called him a duff but strangely enough, the Chinese either missed out on that - he said it privately to a student - or chose to write him out. We were expecting the whole of China ina furore and wondered if he might get chucked out or sued. Which ever, the British press was agog with POVs till they came to the conclusion that the Chinese Govt censored.
I'd thought over that issue - to me there was no proof. I don't even think there's a phrase for that in Chinese but the Western assumption was that the Duke made a racist remark, They know his backside - anyway, some papers revealed that he was actually talking to his , err, his "illegitimate son." who had chosen to live in China. Rumours? Insults? It's all papparazi culture but I believe one needn't have to live this hype. Truth, respect and honour are taken seriously by the top echelons in Chinese society, unless they're liberals. Some of you might want to compare that to the state some liberal govts have done to their countries these days, ahem.
2. The what's his name - Linle (?)- professor at SG university and his 'implications' about suppressed freedom. Well, that's an odd case.
If he didn't make it explicit, there's no evidence that he's refering to SG. He might be refering to Malayisa, Thailand, Philippines or Indonesia etc. Unless SG , as an ASEAN member state is defending its honour. Anyway, what's the context of the libel - the summaries do not provide details.
3. The spying case - reminds me of the Russian spies in the UK and USA recentlty. They just deported them and exchanged their national spies who'd been sentenced. Human Bartering?
I will feel insulted if any old reporter's calling my country names etc and I will use the law in my country to fight it if it's easily accessible to me. Linle, in my opinion, shouldn't have run away. He should have stayed to make his stand if he's innocent. Afterall, he was not explicit but racism takes implications seriously, as you know of UK anti-racist laws. The point is, SG only wants PRs who love SG and agree with it.
You might think that's conditional, but look at the unconditional we have in the UK - do people come because they love the UK - the Queen, it's democracy, culture, lifestyle, language etc. ? I've worked with colleagues who had no respect for all these . They're only here for the money and a better life - and it's a mystery how freely they come to live here without feeling anything for the country or culture. These days - I 've been thinking, I hear more English spoken on the streets in SG than I would here in England.
Reading in between the lines, there is a self perpetuating myth about Asian negatives - tinpot dictators, corruption, repression , suppression and the whole lot that run gamut in Western tabloid press, as well as certain others. They act as a destabilising force, apart from the downright insults and SG is well aware of the kind of power the media try to garner. I mean, look at what's going round us - do we want to destroy what we've built up by abusing freedom without responsiility?
I used to think that the govt -run newsholdings in SG was a form of control but in this discussion here, it occurs to me that some countries, like SG, have a range of choice and do not have to follow established models. Now it's clear to me that everyone working in SG is a stakeholder of the SG Times. Never thought about this before, but it's the kind of brilliance we get from the SG govt team.
If you're complaining about that kind of enterprise, come and live in the UK and be taxed, Vated, CGTed and bleed. The country has unpayable debts of billions and the citizens pay; but any Tom, Dick or Harry and their large family can just enter the country, get social housing, welfare and NHS without having worked here or made any NI contributions. What price freedom? It 'd be great, and we'd take pride in the kindness of it all, but do we want a runaway economy, or wars or being taken for a ride, apart from the govt's Titanic hand into your pocket?
The concept of freedom is a thorny issue. Whist I feel reasonably free as a British citizen, I can appreciate the Chinese tradition I was brought up with. One can speak and discuss but it's always with deference to the superiority of those older than oneself. It simply boils down to respect for the older. If you listen to S'porean talk, you'll find that they don't use the accusatives unless they're uncouth.
Face is a sensitive issue in Asian culture, esp with the Chinese. I can understand why someone of LKY's position will not be name called and stereotyped. You might want to read a post in this thread where someone heard a rude S'porean and decided all S'poreans are rude. But that's about us - when one's a statesman, the domain has high stakes. Been there ; LKY, in my intuitive understanding of the issues you're objecting to is that the SPM acted not just for himself, but for SG. The money S'poreans make is reinvested with Temasek, Singapore Holdings etc and it's paid back to the people - e,g, bonuses, handouts when the economy's down etc. What corruption? Everone's a stakeholder. You do get your bonuese too, don't you, if you're working for the SG govt?
I'm glad that whatever SG does, it's transparent. It's the sly, unseen hand that manipulates with all smiles and does the opposite that's sick. I say this for I've worked with such people - there's nothing much one can do because the evidence is inconclusive. I'm not implying Linle in this example. But I end up shrugging and say, "Karma."
Much said. You know, I wish the world's a much nicer place.
Are you Knight gallant or Knight errant JR8?