Singapore Cable & Thai Press Self Censorship
Even this Cable did not originate from the US Embassy in
Bangkok we decided to include a blog post about it.
From “The Age”, Australia, 12/10/2010
Top Singapore officials trash the neighbours
Philip Dorling and Nick McKenzie
December 12, 2010
MALAYSIA’S ”dangerous” decline is fuelled by incompetent politicians, Thailand is dogged by corruption
So say some of Singapore’s highest-ranking officials, according to leaked US State Department cables
that are likely to spark intense political controversy in the region.
The cables, leaked exclusively to The Sunday Age by WikiLeaks, detail the content of separate meetings
between senior US officials and Singapore’s foreign affairs chiefs Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan and
Tommy Koh. The trio, who at the time of the 2008 and 2009 cables occupied some of the most senior
positions in Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Ministry, all give US officials damning assessments of Malaysia.
In his September 2008 meeting with Mr Sedney, Mr Kausikan savages Thailand’s political elite,
labelling Thaksin Shinawatra as ”corrupt” along with ”everyone else, including the opposition”.
Mr Kausikan is also critical of Thaksin’s relationship with the Thai crown prince, stating that Thaksin ”
made a mistake in pursuing a relationship with the crown prince by paying off the crown prince’s gambling
”Kausikan said the crown prince was ‘very erratic, and easily subject to influence’,” the cable states, while
also saying that Mr Kausikan warned of continued instability in Thailand.
The same article was also mirrored in the “The Sydney Morning Herald”, 12/10/2010
http://goo.gl/HQ7a5 and the “Singapore Straits Times”, 12/10/2010
The Nation reports about Singapore Cable but cuts out
Source: The Nation http://goo.gl/Vjmds 12/12/2010
The gossiping Singaporeans : Wikileaks
Thaksin Shinawatra was “corrupt” along with “everyone
else, including the opposition.: former Singaporean permanent
WikiLeaks has released latest US State Department cables exclusively to Australia’s Fairfax
Media group that allegedly carry controversial comments by senior Singapore foreign
affairs officials on Malaysia, Thailand and other countries in the region.
Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age carried the content of the cables in their
Sunday editions, Asiaone online reported Sunday.
The cables reportedly detail separate meetings in 2008 and last year between senior
US officials and their Singapore Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) counterparts Peter Ho,
Bilahari Kausikan and Tommy Koh.
Ho and Kausikan were both permanent secretaries at the MFA at the time, and the latter
still holds that position. Koh is the ministry’s ambassador-at-large.
Another cable dated November 2008, reporting the conversations of US diplomats with
their Australian counterparts, mentions former Malaysian deputy prime minister Anwar
Ibrahim’s sodomy case.
The cable reportedly says: “The Australians said that Singapore’s intelligence services and
Lee Kuan Yew have told Australia’s Office of National Assessments (ONA) in their exchanges
that opposition leader Anwar ‘did indeed commit the acts for which he is currently indicted’.”
The report adds that unnamed “Singaporeans” made the assessment on the basis of
“technical intelligence”, which is likely to relate to intercepted communications.
The Australian ONA is also recorded as saying its Singapore counterparts concurred with
its assessment that Mr Anwar’s sodomy charge “was a set-up job and he probably knew that,
but walked into it anyway”.
Koh allegedly described Japan as “the big fat loser” in the context of improving ties between
China and Asean.
He attributed the relative decline of Japan’s stature in the region to Japan’s “stupidity, bad
leadership, and lack of vision.”
He also allegedly did not spare India and was equally merciless towards them, describing
his “stupid Indian friends” as “half in, half out of Asean.”
Ho alleged assessment of Malaysia according to WikiLeaks as reported by the Australian
press stated that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has been “throwing stones”
at his replacement, Abdullah Badawi.
“As for… Najib Razak, he is an opportunist. Although he has not been critical of Singapore,
he will not hesitate to go in that direction if it is expedient for him to do so.” the report
quoted him as saying.
Meanwhile Kausikan was also allegedly critical in his assessment of Singapore’s other
neighbour, Thailand reported the Australian press.
He had supposedly said that Thaksin Shinawatra was “corrupt” along with “everyone
else, including the opposition”.
He was also implicated in the cables for his assessments of Singapore’s neighbours
reported the Australian press.
He was allegedly quoted telling US Deputy Secretary of Defence for East Asia David
Sedney in 2008 that, “the situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous”,
fuelled by a “distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese “flee”
Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore.
He supposedly also said: “A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia,”
Kausikan said, citing the need for Najib Razak – now Malaysia’s Prime Minister – to “prevail
politically in order to avoid prosecution” in connection with a 2006 murder investigation
linked to one of Mr Najib’s aides.
The Australian press also mentioned that Kausikan had raised his worries about other
neighbouring countries and their state of affairs in his 2008 report.
He had supposedly said that Burma’s neighbours, including China and India, are “more
concerned with stability than justice” and they feared the Burmese junta’s demise could
produce “an Asian reprise of the breakup of Yugoslavia”.
Also that he would be “more comfortable with a nuclear-capable North Korea, than a
The report also finally pointed out that he had apparently said that Russia’s economy is
“Third World”, its health system a shambles and its demographic challenges almost
Article in “Bangkok Post” 12/12/2010
Bangkok Post self censoring one sentence in their article
Bangkok Post pulled that article from their website
Only the Bangkok Lite Version still shows their original article
Leaks show Singaporean diplomats’ secret opinions
Singaporean diplomats think the leaders of some close Asian allies are corrupt,
incompetent or stupid, cables from Wikileaks revealed Sunday.
Highrise office buildings are seen in Singapore. Diplomats in the city state think
the leaders of some close Asian allies are corrupt, incompetent or stupid, cables
from Wikileaks have revealed.
Confidential diplomatic notes given by the whistleblower website to Australia’s
Fairfax media group contained unflattering assessments of key figures in Malaysia,
Thailand, India and Japan.
“A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia,” permanent secretary
for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Bilahari Kausikan reportedly told US Deputy
Secretary of Defence for East Asia David Sedney in a cable dated September 2008.
As such, “the situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous,”
fuelled by a “distinct possibility of racial conflict” that could see ethnic Chinese
“flee” Malaysia and “overwhelm” Singapore, Bilahari was quoted as saying.
Another official, Peter Ho, reportedly described Malaysian Prime Minister Najib
Razak as “an opportunist” who “would not hesitate” to be critical of Singapore if
“it is expedient for him to do so.”
He said allegations linking Najib to the murder of a Mongolian woman in 2006,
which the leader has strongly rejected, would continue to “haunt” his political
Bilahari was also critical of the Thai government in 2008, labelling then premier
Thaksin Shinawatra as “corrupt” along with “everyone else, including the opposition.”
He also said the Thai crown prince was “very erratic, and easily subject to influence,”
and warned of continued instability in Thailand.
In another 2009 memo, Singapore’s ambassador at large Tommy Koh — known
for being mild-mannered and eloquent in public — was uncharacteristically blunt
in his assessment of Japan and India.
“Koh described Japan as ‘the big fat loser’ in the context of improving ties between
China and Asean,” a leaked cable detailing a meeting between him and US officials stated.
“He attributed the relative decline of Japan’s stature in the region to Japan’s ‘stupidity,
bad leadership, and lack of vision,'” it added.
“He was equally merciless towards India, describing his ‘stupid Indian friends’ as
‘half in, half out’ of Asean (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.)”
Further WikiLeaks revelations have shown that leaders in Singapore also believe
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had sex with a male aide in a honey
trap set by his enemies.
There was no immediate reaction from the Singapore government to the leaks but
the pro-goverA US state department cable dated November 2008 and given by the
whistleblower to Australia’s Fairfax media group detailed intelligence gathered
by Australian and Singaporean intelligence on the opposition leader’s case.
“The Australians said that Singapore’s intelligence services and (former prime
minister) Lee Kuan Yew have told ONA (Office of National Assessments) in their
exchanges that opposition leader Anwar ‘did indeed commit the acts for which
he is currently indicted’,” the cable read.
It added that Singapore reached its conclusion based on “technical intelligence,”
which a Fairfax report said was likely to involve intercepted communications.