Thu, 30 Nov 2000

Gus Dur's sting

I was speaking with my Singaporean friends after President Abdurrahman Wahid's criticism of that island-state.

Most of them were very, very offended and said to me: "Who does your President think he is, trying to threaten us by persuading Malaysia to join forces and cut off the water supply to Singapore."

They all believed Malaysia would not go for the idea, but even if it did they said Singapore was a rich enough country that their government would be capable of making things happen, i.e. finding another water resource, even treating seawater, no matter the cost.

I could say nothing to counter their comments. All I could do was whisper to myself, "What a shame."