WikiLeaks reveals Singaporean diplomats dissing the neighbors

Officials in Singapore are sweating the release Sunday of a fresh batch of cables that show top leaders of the tiny island nation being a little too candid about the neighbors. The cables themselves don’t seem to be out yet, but Australia’s The Age newspaper reports that they make for pretty good reading. The new ...

NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images
NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images
NARINDER NANU/AFP/Getty Images

Officials in Singapore are sweating the release Sunday of a fresh batch of cables that show top leaders of the tiny island nation being a little too candid about the neighbors.

The cables themselves don't seem to be out yet, but Australia's The Age newspaper reports that they make for pretty good reading.

The new cables are summaries of meetings between U.S. diplomats and three top Singaporean officials: Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan, and Tommy Koh (shown above in Amritsar, India).

Officials in Singapore are sweating the release Sunday of a fresh batch of cables that show top leaders of the tiny island nation being a little too candid about the neighbors.

The cables themselves don’t seem to be out yet, but Australia’s The Age newspaper reports that they make for pretty good reading.

The new cables are summaries of meetings between U.S. diplomats and three top Singaporean officials: Peter Ho, Bilahari Kausikan, and Tommy Koh (shown above in Amritsar, India).

In one cable, Koh is quoted describing Japan as "the big fat loser" in ASEAN, the Southeast Asian regional body, and attributing Japan’s shrinking status in the region to "stupidity, bad leadership, and lack of vision."

"He was equally merciless towards India, describing his ‘stupid Indian friends’ as ‘half in, half out’ of ASEAN,” the cable reportedly says.

Koh has warm words for Beijing, however: "I don’t fear China. I don’t fear being assimilated by China,” the cable quotes him saying, pointing to how the Chinese go about their business in Africa ”without lecturing them about human rights and democracy as the West does."

Kausikan, meanwhile, rips neighboring Malaysia’s "lack of competent leadership" and connects current Prime Minister Najib Razik to a 2006 murder scandal.

Kausikan also has some colorful things to say about Thailand, dismissing former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra as ”corrupt,” just like ”everyone else, including the opposition." He claims that Thaksin paid off the gambling debts of the Thai crown prince, whom he describes as "very erratic, and easily subject to influence."

Another recent story, in the Sydney Morning Herald, cites a leaked State Department cable relaying that Singaporean officials told their Australian counterparts that Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim committed sodomy as he has long been accused of doing but that it was a "set up job," according to Australian intelligence. Ibrahim denies it, and his party is demanding an explanation from the Singaporeans.

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