Friday, October 30, 2015

Haze: Names of suspect companies withheld

I think many of us aren't surprised that the Indonesian government will not be releasing the names of the suspects.

Thucydides commented that the strong do what they can, the weak suffer what they must.

Indonesia isn't strong and neither is Singapore weak, but imagine if we do not try to keep tilting the balance in our favor, the future could be very difficult for us. Sure, publicly we wish them well and that they will prosper. Privately, realism dictates that a weak but stable Indonesia is easier for us to live with.

Therefore we must bear in mind the opportunity cost of the haze. That is a consequence of a weak Indonesia. We mustn't tolerate a repeat of this year's haze but neither is it in our long term interest to see this problem completely solved.

Unless the Indonesian mindset is transformed, a weaker rather than stronger Indonesia is better for us. Unless the relationship between them and us is similar to that between France and Monaco, a dominant and able Indonesia will threaten out sovereignty. I don't see that happening for generations if ever.

Indeed Singapore must always be exceptional especially when we are surrounded by unpredictable clowns in our neighborhood. What they understand is not soft but hard power. In other words the SAF.


  1. Well Indonesia was never a single country in the place. Surharto was the right guy at the right time and bought everything under a strong central control together with a client patronage political system. Pity his children was ultimately his downfall, he actually do know how to govern Indonesia. Hence I guess there was a strong mutual admiration between him and lky. Iky was the only to "defended" his legacy. Now the new Indonesia with decentralization will just muddle through I guess. Too many people wants a share of the spoil, although I predict that they will turn even more nationalistic in the future. Just to deflect attention from the domestic politics. Indonesia becoming strong hmmm, don't forget Indonesia policies are always about keeping the outer regions under java control. Unlikely this will change in my life term at least. Whether or not Indonesia has the ability to cross the ocean and attack us hmmm. Amphibious attack required alot of planning and logistical support.

    1. Yep, and Indonesia wants to join the TPP too? I think China will get there before they do. Economic nationalism and free trade pacts are not fellow travelers.

  2. China joining tpp is just as hard if not harder. The rules on Soe is just as tough as for them. I doubt China would want to join America-Japanese centric order. Beside I don't see any advantages for China to be in.