Monday, November 19, 2012

No We Are NOT!

Now Yale University is a world famous institution and the Singapore government has been touting the establishment of a Yale campus in Singapore for quite some time. The campus along Dover Road is a collaboration with the local National University of Singapore (NUS) and it is not without its detractors.

One of the detractors is Jim Sleeper, a political science lecturer at Yale University.
He is against the joint Yale/NUS campus and you have to give this guy some credit; he’s imaginative with his criticism.

Part of Sleeper’s criticism of Singapore is that we are the “Israel of Southeast Asia”!

Ouch, that is painful! Painful because Israel is the one country in the world no one want to be compared to. Although it is true that Singapore and Israel has long-standing relations, most Singaporeans want to ignore it. More importantly, we do not want to advertise it!

So in line with that thinking, here’s some ways we are different from Israel;

- Unlike Israel, Singapore has pretty good relations with our neighbors
- Singapore don’t have wars with our neighbors once every few years
- Singaporeans don’t pretend that this land is ours
- Singaporeans are not as insufferably self-righteous about our country as most Israelis I know (I admit; I don’t know that many).

So people of the world; do not listen to Jim Sleeper. Singapore is really NOT at all alike to Israel. We are NOT going to attack any of our neighbors. We are NOT one of the world’s most militarized nations (ok, this last one is debatable).

PS: in case you are wondering; Yes. Israel’s reputation really is that bad in this region. 

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