Friday, February 16, 2007

A reply to Mr Pavin Limanont in the ST forum

Pavin Limanont spoke that many countries had foreign talents in important positions of Government. He cited Mr Moshe Katsav,Ms Michaelle Jean, Ms Adrienne Clarkson and King Bhumibol Adulyadej. (click on the read more to read on)

1. Mr Moshe Katsav, president of Israel

He grew up in Israel, attended Israel's educations and mixed in the society. Would it be fair to say that he is more Israelite than people who emigrated from Israel since childhood? (Analogy)

2. Ms Michaelle Jean Governor General of Canada

She was not "elected", but rather appointed by Queen Elizabeth II. If you read wikipedia's entry she's not without her controversies over her loyalty.

3. Ms Adrienne Clarkson, Former Governor General of Canada.

She was born in Hong Kong, but moved to Canada when she was 2... the same reasoning applies to her as with Mr Moshe. And like her sucessor, she was appointed by the Queen, not by elections.

4. King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand

This contradicts his own the definition of a foreigner as HM is still a Thai in Nationality, although he was born in America. Plus he was chosen as the sucessor, not elected, and his powers are limited due to Thailand being a Constitutional Monarchy.

All these are appointed positions, save for Mr Moshe; they are not elected democratically. So will the people vote for them if given the chance to do so???
Mr Pavin also said about embracing foreigners into Singapore and cited the sucess of America and the UAE as models to learn from. Okay point taken but we must understand that there are common interests for foreigners when the live in another country.

In the case of the UAE, I would believe that religion does play a part.

Quoted from wikipedia:
Nearly all citizens are Muslims, approximately 85 percent of whom are Sunni and the remaining 15 percent are Shi'a. Although no official figures are available, local observers estimate that approximately 55 percent of the foreign population is Muslim, 25 percent is Hindu, 10 percent is Christian, 5 percent is Buddhist, and 5 percent (most of whom reside in Dubai and Abu Dhabi) belong to other religions, including Parsi, Baha'i, and Sikh.

As for America, I believe foreigners move and live there because of the culture that America has.

Can Singapore achieve these. It will only be known in the future.

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