It’s probably every Asian diplomat’s wet dream for his/her country to land on the front page of New York Times.
Except when the country is on the front page to be ridiculed.
Singapore is featured on New York Times’ front page by this rather snarky article: “Terror Suspect Eludes Posse of 4 Million”.
Two weeks ago, Mas Selamat bin Kastari, an alleged leader of a terrorist group in Singapore, escaped from a high-security prison. He escaped through the bathroom window on a bathroom break.
Since then, Singapore’s security forces have gone all out in ensuring every citizen is aware of the threat and is full alert. Numerous posters have been plastered everywhere in the island and SMSes were sent to all cellphone users to keep a lookout for the escapee.
So unfortunately it’s an embarassing moment for Singapore now.
There has always been a strong sense of schadenfeude when international and regional media report on the woes of Singapore. Neighboring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are always gleeful when something unfortunate happens to this little threat of a country – “so what if you’re the richest country in South East Asia? See! I knew you were not infalliable!”
Sadly we are not infalliable.
And we have never claimed to be so the whole “Singapore has screwed up” party just really annoys me. Why can’t they just treat us like any other Asian country – “oh another screw up? okie lor, like that lor, what to do?*”
*singaporean speak for “oh another screw up? that’s fine. That’s life isn’t it? What can I do about it? Nothing”