Ex-Foreign Minister George Yeo put on this spin during the launch of a book bearing the same sobriquet, "When President Habibie dismissed us as a little red dot, he was expressing his frustration at our refusal to do his bidding."
|Face mask for politicians|
who just won't shut up
When Indonesian Coordinating Minister for People's Welfare Agung Laksono bristled with contempt, "Singapore shouldn't be like children, (behaving) in such a tizzy" ("Singapura jangan seperti anak-anak, dalam kegelisahan seperti ini."), PM Lee's said it would not be "fruitful" to respond, choosing instead to "work towards solving the problem rather than exchanging harsh words." It sounded like an emasculated echo of Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa's own tough words on the issue, “The approach must be one of collaboration and partnership, not one of apportioning blame here and there. Let’s focus on putting the fires out.”
After the fires have died down and the haze dissipated, historians will try to trace the origins of the exchange of "harsh words". One plausible source of the combustibles has to be traceable to this Facebook post:
"This is now the worst haze that Singapore has ever faced. And no country or corporation has the right to pollute the air at the expense of Singaporeans' health and wellbeing."