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Identification politics, US-China tensions, leadership ‘iron’: 5 highlights of Lawrence Wong’s Economist interview

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Politics tamfitronics Identification politics, US-China tensions, leadership 'iron': 5 highlights of Lawrence Wong's Economist interview

Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong all the contrivance via an interview with The Economist on Also can just 6, 2024. — Image by Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information via TODAY

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Friday, 10 Also can just 2024 10:26 AM MYT

SINGAPORE, Also can just 10 — Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong has given a broad-ranging interview to The Economist as he prepares to become top minister, overlaying themes equivalent to his leadership fashion as neatly as world and regional geopolitics.

Wong, who will be taking over subsequent Wednesday (Also can just 15), spoke to a representative of the weekly data newsletter on Monday (Also can just 6). The transcript used to be printed in fleshy on The Economist’s net region on Wednesday.

The interview came about three weeks after Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam publicly rebutted an editorial by The Economist that he said “sneered” at Singapore’s political succession.

Right here are five highlights of the interview, that touched on themes equivalent to world and regional geopolitics, immigration, the Chinese language, Malay, Indian and Others (CMIO) racial mix, identity politics and the leadership fashion of the fourth know-how (4G) crew:


1.‘Knowledgeable-Singapore’ stance in ‘messy’ world thunder

On the world geopolitical scene, Wong said that the disaster could well perhaps remain “messy for quite loads of years” because the arena transits correct into a multi-polar one after the ending of the “uni-polar 2d for The United States”.

And while efforts gain been made to stabilise the connection between China and the USA, “mutual suspicion and distrust” stays between the two worldwide locations.


If things deteriorate sharply, it “could well perhaps be costly for both (China and US) and for the leisure of the arena”.

Requested about his fresh observation that Singapore is neither decent-China nor decent-US amid the rivalry between the two superpowers, he reiterated: ”We are decent-Singapore.”

On how Singapore intends to take care of a capability worsening in technological and financial bifurcation between the two, Wong warned that the arena must quiet be careful about using financial instruments for geopolitical functions.

“If we’re no longer careful, this would possibly perhaps gain profound implications to the world economy but worse quiet, for world stability,” he said.

2. On identity politics and geopolitical influence

Singapore, with its very numerous population, is “always influenced by pressures” from at some level of the arena, said Wong per how geopolitical tensions globally play out in Singapore.

While Singapore “values (the) linkages” that the ethnic groups right here gain with assorted parts of the world neighborhood, “when we attain things, it must be on the premise of our nationwide hobby”, said Wong.

This applies to all world crises, be it the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the continued onslaught in Gaza.

In accordance to a count on on the rise in identity politics in the West, Wong said: “We attain deem some of it (identity politics) right here in Singapore.”

But Singapore, he said, has always maintained a “very assorted” means that has worked neatly: Growing traditional ground, and compromising when there are variations.

“And compromise can no longer be a sinful word, compromise can no longer be a wretchedness of dishonour to my tribe or to my identity. Attributable to if that is dishonour, then it is all-out war,” he said.

“No longer each neighborhood could well additionally just bag everything that they need. But by working together, by bright, by no longer accentuating our variations but discovering traditional ground, it is an means that has worked better for all of us.”

3. Immigration and worship to be ‘bustle blind’ Singapore

Wong said Singapore will always remain an open economy, welcoming of foreign places inputs and professionals that could well complement the Singapore core, add to the economy and society and generate a “rep plus for all of us in Singapore”.

Requested if he could well perhaps factor in a disaster where voters become a minority, Wong spoke back: “No, below no circumstances.”

The Economist requested why Singapore maintains a “tacit target” of the population mix via migration, as adverse to changing correct into a “put up-racial” society.

Wong said that while Singapore would opt to conform correct into a society that is “bustle blind”, the nation is additionally “very sensible about these items”.

“These instincts of bustle are very primal, they are very emotive, and it would additionally just additionally be stirred up at any level in time,” he said, citing examples of how the bustle or faith card used to be performed up in fresh years.

4. Having the ‘iron’ to manipulate Singapore

On how the governing fashion of 4G leaders would vary from their predecessors, Wong said that Singapore politics in Singapore has developed from the days of a dominant Of us’s Motion Celebration (PAP) below the gradual Lee Kuan Yew.

He said the days when the PAP used to be dominant “are over and we can not bound back to that period”.

Singapore has a “extremely trained, very sophisticated, very discerning” voters, whose majority would opt to gaze the PAP remain in power but additionally need more opposition voices in Parliament.

“Right here is the brand new actuality of our political panorama, which contrivance that as a bag together, for me now, at closing as Prime Minister, at closing leading the bag together into elections, we can must attain our most efficient to engage Singaporeans, we can must attain our most efficient to involve them in selections that they care deeply about, and in shaping our future.”

Requested if he has the “iron” in him to manipulate Singapore — a reference to a quote by the gradual Lee Kuan Yew on governing right here — Wong said that once the time comes to contrivance shut hard selections, he would attain so, “as long because the choice is in the hobby of Singapore and Singaporeans”.

Elaborating on his leadership fashion, Wong said he would bag the insights and views from these around him, ahead of “all in favour of what makes for the ideal selections and outcomes for Singapore”, even though these selections are no longer “basically the most traditional”.

5. On preserving Lee Hsien Loong in cabinet

Wong said it has been a “long-standing… very treasured” Singapore custom to gain some of its more experienced ministers at any time when a leadership transition occurs.

“It has by no contrivance been a wretchedness with combating the brand new top minister from setting the tone of leadership and making his gain selections,” said Wong, when requested if having Lee Hsien Loong in the following Cupboard would hinder the 4G leaders from “exerting authority”.

Wong said tapping Lee’s ride and worldwide network is phase and parcel of how he, as a amble-setter, would harness the “collective energies” of every crew member and each Singaporean to give the nation the ideal chances to “shine ever more brightly in a unlucky and terrorized world”.

Wong said that as with the previous political handovers, there will be a transition for the brand new top minister to contrivance shut over as secretary-general of the PAP.

Capping off the interview, Wong said that what has came about in the closing 60 years for Singapore “has been nothing making an try a miracle”.

“And my mission is to gain this miracle going for thus long as I’m in a position to. And to designate determined that our puny red dot shines brightly for thus long as capability.” — TODAY


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