Barry Desker yesterday in the ST. I thought that was a shrewder way to talk about our closest neighbors. In this instance it was Indonesia. Bilahari Kausikan ought to have done something similar with Malaysia. It was foolish to live down their stereo type of us. It only served to lend credibility to their prejudice when in reality that sort of personalities are declining in our system.
Mr. Desker choice of story was brilliant. Not only telling the truth but also displaying our knowledge and intimacy with our neighbors. Permit me to quote him especially when ST might void that link to the article eventually.
I had the experience of meeting a friend from my posting in Jakarta at the Nadaman restaurant in Singapore. He owed his creditors US$500 million and was a fugitive but had left Indonesia legally and was carrying a valid Indonesian passport. He left the restaurant after paying my bill with his diamond credit card! I was hosting some of my former colleagues and was surprised when I wanted to pay at the end of our meal, so I asked the manager to see the bill. As the credit card was from one of his creditor banks, I concluded that we had all enjoyed the hospitality of his bankers!