Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Thinking Strategically

The Tanjong Pagar railway station.Yesterday the Singaporean PM and his Malaysian counterpart signed an important agreement.
Since the separation from Malaysia more than forty years ago that country has retained a sovereign presence in the heart of Singapore.  They own the Railway station and track that snakes its way through Singapore.  It is still gazetted as the Johor Bahru station in Malaysia

When Mathatir was in power his jaundiced view of Singapore and the world meant that this was never going to be resolved.  I am anticipating he will snipe away from the sidelines about this agreement and try to stir up trouble.

What was demonstrated yesterday was political maturity and  willingness to compromise for the benefit of all parties.

There will be a new railway terminus at Woodlands and the equally good news is that the rather charming (if somewhat dilapidated) railway station at Tanjong Pagar will be retained and conserved as a heritage building.  A new rapid transit system will link Singapore and Johor Bahru by 2018.

The Singapore-Johor causeway, spanning across ...On the same day it was announced by Lee Hsien Loong that the water treatment station at Sungei in JB will be returned to the Malaysians when its lease runs out next year.

In the 1960's Singapore lived under constant threats of having their water supply cut off but latter developments such as the Marina Bay barrage and technologies such as NeWater treatment have largely negated this threat of such political blackmail.  The reliance on Sungei is not what it once was.

Singapore plans strategically for its longevity as a nation.  Having no natural resources of its own, other than people, it is reliant on others for the basics of life such as food and water.  Having largely addressed the water issue it also looks to broaden the supply chain for its food supply.

It has plans to invest heavily in a large faming and food processing food zone in North East China and if this comes to pass much of its meat and vegetables will come from this source in the future.

This development is only in the study phase but if it comes to pass fifteen years from now Singapore will no longer be beholden to volatile countries such as Indonesia for its meat supply.
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