Three factories in two Singapore-run industrial parks have just gone up in flames, thanks to unhappy Vietnamese staging anti-Chinese riots on Tuesday night. The VSIP industrial parks 1 and 2 in Binh Duong are managed by Singapore's Sembcorp Industries. A VSIP spokeswoman said local police have taken over the provision of security at the two parks. The Commissioner of Police must be relieved, since the scale of unrest must be umpteen times that of what happened at Little India. And if any of the VSIP employees are identified by CCTV to be anywhere near the rioting, it would be cheaper and easier to deport them. They are probably not too keen to conduct a COI in Ho Chi Minh City.
Lee Kuan Yew did not have nice things to say about the Vietnamese in his memoirs ("From Third World To First"), claiming that Vietnamese cunningly exploited the fears and desires of the countries of Asia that wanted to befriend them. When their Prime Minister Pham Van Dong visited in 1978, Lee said he found him "arrogant and objectionable". Lee was upset Pham had suggested Singapore should contribute to Vietnam's reconstruction, arguing that Singapore had benefited from the Vietnam War, selling the Americans war material, "hence it was our duty to help them". Lee countered that the materials supplied were POL (petrol, oil and lubricants) from American and British oil companies, and profits to Singapore were marginal (page 350). There was no mention of the bullets from Chartered Industries.
It was Goh Chok Tong who signed the papers for the VSIP development. Whether his friendship has been exploited is something for the history books to judge. But some corporation's assets are being compromised right now, and careless words could easily rubbish money better spent here.