By: Chua Chin Leng
Many commentators have responded angrily that China reacted and seized the Terrex APVs. Many simply pointed the fingers at China as a bully, a super power bullying the peesai of the world. Just think carefully at the two words, ‘reacted’ and ‘peesai’. Peesai is quite easy to understand, an insignificantly little piece of shit in the nose, too small to mean anything.
‘Reacted’ tells a story by itself, just like the word, ‘returned’ to honest politics. ‘Reacted’ means it is a reaction to something, to some action or many actions, and these caused a reaction. A bully does not react. A bully acts at his whims and fancy. A bully always makes the first move, to bully someone he thinks he can bully and get a way with it. This could be a definition of bully in the context of the Terrex Incident.
Before China reacted, what happened? What did Singapore do for China to react? And would China have reacted, seized the APVs if Singapore had done nothing against China? Think slowly and carefully. Don’t over react impulsively. The ferrying of the APVs and training in Taiwan have been going on for many decades and China closed one eye, pretending not to see. Now, does the word ‘react’ becomes clearer, that everything could have gone on as per normal if there was nothing for China to react?
China was our good friend, so said Vivian, but no one else. No one else dares to say or is saying China was our good friend. What did China do to harm this relationship? Zilch, absolutely zero. Ok there was this Suzhou Industrial Park thing that Singapore and Singaporeans are unhappy about. But there are many levels of relationship going on, both sides benefitting from them and wanting more. There were many delegations visiting both sides and trade numbers were going up year by year.
Ask this simple question, what had Singapore been doing all these years towards this good relationship that China was prepared to look the other way over the One China Policy and Starlight? Think carefully and slowly to recall the things that Singapore had done that were not very friendly to a good friend and our top trading partner.
Think of the derogatory jokes in Washington. Think of the very serious comments about asking the Americans to bring their military forces here to balance China. Think about the persistent calls for China to follow the rule of law in the SCS. Think of the accusation that China was applying the divide and rule to divide Asean. Think of the insistence for China to accept the kangaroo court rulings in The Hague.
Think of the principled calls on freedom of navigation in the SCS as if only Singapore is concerned about it and no one else. And if Singapore did not tell China so, they would be no freedom of navigation. Think of the frequency of negative articles about China in the media, almost daily bashing. Think of the walkout by our FM at the Asean Summit in Laos.
Think of the pushing for the SCS issue to be included in the Non Aligned Movement statement in Venezuela and the theatrics of the Singapore Ambassador in Beijing. Think of what Singapore had been doing to poke at China, like a peesai poking at the eyes of a dragon and thinking it could get away with it. These were only a few of the things better not said. There were others like TPP, no Middle Kingdom, Americans operating from Changi to harass China in SCS etc etc.
When all these things were happening, the arrogance of it all was that the little peesai thought it was punching above its weight and nothing would happen. The big ‘bully’ could not do anything while being bullied and poked by a little peesai over and over again. And the height of arrogance was that the little peesai thought that things would be normal, Starlight could continue going on and on, the big ‘bully’ would continue to be bullied and would continue to look the other way, afraid to show that it was angry, fearful of the little peesai punching above its weight and using the big ‘bully’ as the punching bag.
Now the big ‘bully’ said enough is enough, and reacted. The big ‘bully’ reacted! And the little peesai screamed, bully, bully, bully!
Who is the real bully? Who is bullying who? Who has been bullying who? No, never poke leh! I am an angel. Honest, trust me, I swear I never poke at China.