*Managing The Foreign Affairs of Malaysia – The Flawed mindset

THe Manner the Singapore Malaysia relationship has been managed by Wisma Putra exposed some serious flaws in the thought process of the Minister of Foreign Affairs. He carries with him the Kampong way of managing neighbour relations.

Before some confidence-deficit kampongites start wielding the krisses, let me make one point clear: there is nothing wrong in having a kampong mindset. With all the plusses and virtues of the kampong mind set and way of life, we must admit that the practices could be flawed or its application misplaced at the very least.

In managing affairs between countries, often do we hear the virtues of the spirit of neighborliness and the need to practice it, just like the kampong way of life. Grow up Pleaseeeeeeeee!!The advocates of such policies do seem to forget that the King of Siam was sovereign up to Kemaman and Bagan Serai. The Javanese Majapahit was controlling the peninsular. Vietnam was occupying Laos. The world wars started between neighbors.

Neighbors are the greatest threat to your sovereignity.

At best when applying the kampong mindset, the relationship should be between two sundry shops. You compete, outsmart, or cooperate while still wary of the possible tricks of the competition. You cannot expect the relationship to be between two farmers. How could you be the kampong farmer not realizing that your neighbor already owns a retail shop with the burning ambition to be the monopoly of all kampong trade.

The kampongites have to learn that it is now a global village. Although the preachers of globalization have been telling us it is borderless, in reality borders and man in uniforms and with guns are still the order of the day. The principle is still what could I get for free from you and your country.

Tribes, races, nations are still trying to outsmart and dominate one another at any opportunity. At the very least you are expected to protect and defend your interest. It is reasonable to expect those responsible for foreign affairs to extend the sphere of influence.

In order to be a serious member of this global village, you have to have a trader’s mindset. Wasn’t diplomacy invented by traders? Or was it Francis Drake who invented gunboat diplomacy? Another name for piracy? That is how ruthless it could be.

Let us keep our Kampong way of doing things when we are dealing amongst ourselves in a kampong setting. Watch out for pirates and watch out for opportunities to outsmart them when we are dealing with neighbouring countries. I think you have been outsmarted of your water and now what?


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