Former senior minister's book discusses Singapore's bilateral ties

Updated On: Jun 10, 2011
Former senior minister S Jayakumar released a book Thursday detailing his experiences as a foreign diplomat and his reflections on Singapore’s bilateral relations.

The book, titled Diplomacy – A Singapore Experience, describes his tenure as Minister of Foreign Affairs, and chronicles his thoughts on Singapore’s ties with neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia and China.

Report: Jayakumar’s book launched [ChannelNewsAsia, 10 June 2011]

Jayakumar especially stressed the importance of trust and cooperation in diplomacy.

He revealed that he had a good relationship with former Malaysian Foreign Minister Abdullah Badawi and his successor, but that diplomacy was hampered by the behaviour of former Malaysia Prime Minister Dr Mahathir, who adopted a “negative tone to bilateral relations.”

On Indonesia, Jayakumar said that the dynamics of the country’s politics and decision-making processes had changed. “On Indonesia’s part, some of their politicians will need to abandon their ‘little red dot’ mentality,” he said.

Jayakumar attributed much of Singapore’s diplomatic success to a strong international reputation, strong political talent and cohesive governance. “The moment we fail to [sustain these factors], we will be marginalised in the international arena,” he said.

Report: S’pore ‘must keep diplomatic edge or be marginalised’ [Straits Times, 10 June 2011]

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