Teach not thy parent’s mother to extract
The embryo juices of the bird by suction.
The good old lady can that feat enact,
Quite irrespective of your kind instruction.
There he was, the Singapore Foreign Minister K Shamugan telling the United Nations how to eradicate poverty and ensure sustainable development. He must presume that the august gathering never heard of our Gini coefficient of 0.478 (highest income inequality compared to the OECD countries), or the title of the Population White Paper justifying a 6.9 million squeeze into 710 square kilometers, "A Sustainable Population for a Dynamic Singapore".
It was Ed Meese who once said an expert is somebody who is more than 50 miles from home, has no responsibility for implementing the advice he gives, and shows slides. Shanmugam was not the first to teach the U.N. how to suck eggs. Kishore Mahbubani, former Permanent Representative to the U.N. and dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, also said earlier, "There are no homeless, destitute or starving people (in Singapore). Poverty has been eradicated."
And there was this boast that Singapore has trained over 80,000 government officials from 170 countries in areas including sustainable urban development. In the light of our world famous flash floods and mass rapid transportation system mishaps, those students had better take a second look at the lesson notes. Or walk into any public toilet of the city who tabled a resolution to designate November 19 as World Toilet Day, at the risk of puking at the level of sanitation that can be found.
As for the pompous advice to the world body to "rethink, retool our economies and societies," someone should repeat that while looking into a mirror. Better still, reflect on what Aung San Suu Kyi said during her recent visit here, "I want to learn a lot from the standards that Singapore has been able to achieve, but I wonder whether we don't want something more for our country."