Thursday, May 27, 2010

I Also Respectfully Disagree With MM Lee

We don't expect him to know Lee DeWyze is the Season 9 American Idol winner, or that the iPad was not designed as a large SMS device for senior citizens. But, speaking to an international audience in a foreign country about another foreign country's history, inaccurately, he should have done his homework. Besides, if someone else had made similar disparaging comments about Singapore, he would have been sued to financial bankruptcy.

I thank Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew for his reference to the abolition of the army in Costa Rica in last Friday's report ("MM Lee: US base in Japan boosts stability").
MM Lee was reported to have stated that the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the President of Costa Rica for disbanding the army, but this is not accurate.
The army was dissolved on Dec 1, 1948 by the then President Jose Figueres as "a precaution against the militarism that has undercut or permanently thwarted democracy in Central America".
The move also allowed for the allocation for more resources to education and health, indicators that Costa Rica stands for today on the world stage.
The winner of the Nobel Peace Prize was President Oscar Arias Sanchez, who ruled Costa Rica from 1986 to 1990 and from 2006 to 2010.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1987 for his efforts to achieve peace in Central America, which was then involved in armed conflicts and instability.
On May 8, President Arias relinquished his office to Ms Laura Chinchilla, who is Costa Rica's first woman President.
I also respectfully disagree with MM Lee's remark that our leaders did not have to worry about neighbouring countries attacking Costa Rica because we had no wealth to talk about.
We have great wealth, it is everywhere, and Costa Ricans have been looking after it for the past 40 years. Our wealth is green, represented by 4.5 percent of the biodiversity known to date; all in a territory wihich constitutes only 0.03 percent of the world.

Juan F. Cordero A.
Amabassador of Costa Rica to Singapore

That's the real danger of using a product that is past it's expiry date. It can be deadly, as in the current reported instance where 17 measles-plagued babies were injected with expired medicine in a hospital in Harbin, capital of Northeast China's Heilongjiang province. Fortunately for us, Mr Cordero is the consummate diplomat, setting the record straight with immaculate choice of words, without demanding a hefty paycheck from his country's taxpayers or a weird job title that sounds like a multi-hued sugar coated candy.

1 comment:

  1. Despite not having a army to speak of, Costa Rica topped the Happy Planet Index in 2009.
    If you zoom in the ASEAN region you'll realise countries like Burma are happier and greener than us. Only Cambodia ranks lower than Singapore