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    Minister of Foreign Affairs, Singapore. Guest Columnist of BeyondSG. He is on Facebook. Readers are welcome to join his Facebook network at
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    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.
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September 06, 2006


That's right. We help others in need because it is in our power to do so. Whether these friends of ours will help us in return in our time of need, that's altogether another story.

I loved this blog. It's just full of interesting things to read, and I myself am starting to develop some kind of different perspective of "globalization." I'm a Brazilian born in Singapore, dual-citizenship (to deal with once I'm 21...) and I'm soon going to have to deal with college decisions. Brazil? US? Singapore? Business Adm? Publicity? Marketing? Reading some of this has helped a bit, but there's still more to come. :)

that does remind me Tiffany, also because of globalisation, (though I'm more for alter-globalisation which doesn't have the lack of corporate ethics) Singaporeans are becoming a diverse group.

I feel we have to move beyond the C/M/I/O classification scheme eventually, as its scope is too narrow for true multiculturalism.

I took a walk from SRC to the Esplanade via the underground linkway one early morning to check out the video libary at the Esplanade. The sight of many homeless ones sleeping on the floors shocked me. Some of them were obviously foreigners, but there was at least one young Malay couple who was Singaporean. Why bother with the folks in Malang (where's that?) when the destitutes in our own homeland are left without social assistance?

I think I ought to respond to the Minister's comments; to alieviate the angst of my relatives and the amusement of my friends!

The Minister's comments were accurate except in one small regard: In fact I am not American - but British.

As the subject is the Singapore International Foundation (SIF) and internationalism I might continue that perhaps the mistaken identity is a consequence of my own 'step too far' in my personal journey of 'internationalism'.

Having lived and worked in the US, as well as Hong Kong, Italy and France - I like to think that I have a fond attachment to each country and to each people; and that I have learnt and absorbed 'something' from my time in each place (topped off, of course, by the past 6 years in Singapore)- However, perhaps I have absorbed too much from my time in America - and hence the confusing accent!

It is because of my belief in the benefits (both personal and national) of an international perspective and international experiences that I am supporting SIF in its current review of how to further enhance its impact.

I see the SIF as a facilitator of internationalism and international connectivity for Singaporeans; particularly in two ways

1. helping a wide cross-section of Singaporeans to experience, at a personal and meaningful level, what it means to be 'International' (and at the same time what it means to be Singaporean)- SIF achieves this through the provision of opportunities for individuals and groups to carry their values, culture and skills into neighbouring countries and humanitarian projects.

2. In helping the alumni (of study or work in Singapore) and the 'diaspora' of Singapore to remain connected to Singapore when they leave this country. SIF helps to maintain the international community of 'friends of Singapore' - to keep them interacting together and connected to Singapore. In this way the value of this community asset should not diminish with time or distance. The value of this community to Singapore is economic, social, cultural, humanitarian and even political- as it is an asset of 'goodwill'; a result of the positive experience that we foreigners have when we are here in Singapore.

If in the future I do have to move on from Singapore then I too will become an alum - I will carry in my heart also a connection to this country......although I will try to avoid picking up the accent!

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