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]