The top eleven secrets you may not have known about
Wikileaks is a journalistic organisation that publishes classified information and news leaks on its website. Although the more attention-grabbing documents are about the US’, MustShareNews managed to find some pretty interesting bits about Singapore too.
1. We support the use of nuclear energy
23 December 2008:
However, we currently lack land space and technological expertise on the matter, although it is a viable future alternative. Singapore will consider using Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to develop relevant infrastructure, with the aim of exporting or building our own nuclear facilities in 20 to 30 years time.
2 June 2011:
PM Lee Hsien Loong commented that Singapore had not yet made a decision on nuclear power, but it is an option. Even if Singapore ultimately does not do nuclear energy, our neighbours might; and we hence need to understand and study the implications of that on us.
2. Our government is “autocratic”
Simi sai autocratic? According to Google, autocratic relates to a ruler who has absolute power. Sort of like a Kim Jong Un.
These are screenshots of one of Stratfor’s leaked write-ups about Singapore. Stratfor is a global intelligence firm.
“A complex geopolitical game”. It is highly necessary for us as a small country to keep relations with these big players friendly. Can you imagine if China puts a trade embargo on us?
3. Presence of negative Chinese sentiment
But come on, let’s be better than this leaked 2008 file and treat these Chinese workers decently. No need to shoot them dirty glares if they’re just having lunch at a coffee shop right?
4. We “poach” talent
The leaked file specifically mentioned Philip Yeo, former Chairman of A*STAR and the Economic Development Board (EDB) as being “famous” for poaching scientists from the United States.
“Local talent still has to catch up.”
5. Singapore had san fen zhong re du too
San fen zhong re du means temporary, fiery passion for something, where after some time, this passion fades.
22 November 2004:
India must have been thinking: “She loves me, she loves me not?”
6. Chinese immigration is high
7 April 2009:
The birth rate of Singaporean Chinese is one of the lowest amongst all races, at a range of 1.07 to 1.6 for the last twenty years. However, a “disproportionate share” of Chinese immigrants has allowed us to maintain the 75% Chinese population despite the incredibly low replacement rate.
7. The Lee family consolidates control
24 July 2009:
Changi Airport was corporatised on 1 July 2009. The airport used to be governed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) but came under the Changi Airport Group (CAG) thereafter.
Lee Hsien Yang is the Chairman of CAAS. Ho Ching, wife of PM Lee, is the CEO of Temasek Holdings, which owns a 56.26% majority stake in Singapore Airlines. However, it is unclear as to whether Temasek Holdings owns the CAG or not.
Bloggers wrote that these movements were simply a “reshuffling of assets between the Lee family and Temasek”.
8. Singapore was unsuitable to join the Human Rights Council
8 September 2009:
We have a dismal human rights record, especially with regards to freedoms of speech, assembly (only allowed at Hong Lim Park + must need permit) and political participation, but also in other areas such as indefinite detention (This was prominent during the LKY days, when opposition politicians were detained for years under the Internal Security Act.)
Why they like that?
9. On relations with North Korea
10 November 1975:
Singapore and North Korea relations became “ambassadorial” level.
23 December 2009:
Did you know that North Korea actually has an embassy in Singapore? I didn’t.
Not as swanky of some of the other embassies, but hey, it’s North Korea!
10. Singapore planes “encroached” on Malaysia’s air space
22 June 2011:
Malaysia’s former defence minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi warned Singapore that even though we were a small country, that was “no excuse” to encroach on his country’s air space. According to him, there were a total of 2,508 air space encroachments by Singapore’s planes since 2008 but they had “tolerated” us in the spirit of neighbourliness.
Terima Kasih, Malaysia!
11. On the Government Investment Corporation (GIC)
29 September 2009:
The GIC is Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund set up in 1981 to manage our foreign reserves. They are known for being notoriously silent on the amount of funds that it controls.
This leaked file stated that GIC lost 20% of its value in the last financial year ending in March (not sure what this portion means)
The mysterious Chan Ah Lee
This was a random leaked file that we stumbled across on Wikileaks. A quick Google search on ‘Chan Ah Lee Singapore’ yielded no interesting leads whatsoever.
Featured Image via The Inquirer
All information taken from Wikileaks website