October 08, 2006
The Nation said:
The statement was conspicuous, and its timing even more so. Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Friday described Thailand's military coup as "a setback" for the Kingdom and its democracy. This was a rare bold remark from an Asean leader on a country in the region. It came one day after Singapore's investment arm, Temasek Holdings, sank deeper into the Thai political quagmire following the Supreme Administrative Court's decision to accept a case against its controversial takeover of Thaksin Shinawatra's Shin Corporation. The court's move and Lee's strong comment have come at a time when bilateral relations are facing perhaps the most difficult time in modern history. ... The deal brought Thailand to this tough point - a "setback" if you will. One thing Lee should acknowledge is that this "setback" was the result of Thai people clamouring for clean, transparent and accountable politics. The deal has also brought Thai-Singapore relations to this very delicate crossroads. Perhaps some soul-searching is needed. The intertwining of business, political and diplomatic interests is understandable. But investment is not the only way to show goodwill.
Understanding business risks is no exact science. Truly understanding your neighbour is much more complicated. We have found it difficult to understand Singapore's "democracy", but we have tried. Perhaps it's time Singapore returned the favour, starting with Lee.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "View from Thailand. "