This is a blog about Singapore and our social and business connectivity with the world. It is about what's happening in Singapore and outside Singapore and how we can thrive and survive in an increasingly flatter world.
George Yeo Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. Guest Columnist of BeyondSG. He is on Facebook. Readers are welcome to join his Facebook network at http://www.facebook.com/georgeyeopage
Harold Fock Entrepreneur (Chief Editor of BeyondSG).
Deputy CEO/CFO of a listed technology company in Asia and CEO of Foundation Capital Pte Ltd, a hedge fund based in Singapore.
On the morning of 19 June 2010, in a simple but moving ceremony, West Australian Premier Colin Barnett, Foreign Minister Stephen Smith and I laid wreaths at the State War Memorial at Kings Park which has a commanding view of Perth and the Swan River.Veterans assembled with their medals; a bugler played the last post.Most moving was the recitation of the fourth stanza of Laurence Binyon's "For the Fallen".In Canberra, in every state, in every community, at sites all over the world like Singapore and Gallipoli, they remember those who gave their lives in war.
LEST WE FORGET
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them.
Near Wellington, New Zealand, is a wind farm set in the hills which produces some 150 MW, enough for the power requirement of the city.There are 62 wind turbines, windmills really, mounted on 100m high towers, each with three blades, 30 m in length.They are scattered over 55 sq km of farmland.Beneath them are cows and sheep grazing happily.The farmers get paid and find the extra income attractive.Some environmentalists object arguing that the turbines make noiseandare a visual blight on the landscape.I did not find them unattractive and had to concentrate to hear the low drone in the wind.The landscape was spectacular.I was reminded of my visit to the Netherlands as an undergrad many years ago when I made a special train journey to see a series of Dutch windmills in the pretty countryside.
I had the pleasure of hosting Indian Road Transport Minister Kamal Nath to my constituency at Bedok Reservoir. We are old friends. We first met when he was Environment Minister when he generously donated to our zoo two Indian rhinos. Later we worked together when he was Commerce Minister. I attended his son's wedding in Delhi a few years ago, wearing my Nehru suit. At the last Indian GE when Congress achieved great success, he was the campaign manager. As Road Transport Minister, he is well on his way to building 20 km of highways a day!
When he arrived, I showed him Bedok Reservoir. We then adjourned to a nearby coffeeshop for dinner which consisted of chicken rice, Indian rojak, fried carrot cake, fruits and other local dishes. He brought along the Indian High Commissioner and two Indian entrepreneurs, Mr Raju of GMR which owns one of our power stations and Mr Malvinder Singh of Fortis. After dinner, I took them on a visit to two HDB apartments where we were warmly hosted first by a Malay family, then by a Chinese family. We then walked across to my MPS at Blk 713.
Singapore is a small country where an MP can be easily accessible to residents. Minister Nath's constituency in Madhya Pradesh is twenty times the size of Singapore with 1.5 million voters many of whom earn less than US$1 a day.