Sunday, 12 December 2010

Entente Not So Cordiale

Logo used by Wikileaks"Big fat red faces for Singapore leaders" thundered the Sydney Morning Herald this morning.  Naturally this got my curiousity going.

A too strong laksa perhaps?  No I was mistaken.

It proved to be the frank assessment by Singaporean diplomats of their ASEAN and Asian neighbours as (apparently) revealed in cables leaked to WikiLeaks.

The Straits Time's headline for the same news item was undertandably more subdued - "S'pore diplomats on region".

Which ever way one chooses to deliver it, the cable contents are embarassing and at variance to the public persona displayed, and public announcements made, by the ASEAN membership.

As I wrote in a recent article on the Digital Consultant blog, the WikiLeaks saga has "proved without doubt, the duplicity of diplomacy; what has been said publically is often at complete variance to what is being shared in private."

While privately many Singaporeans may agree with the sentiment that "Malaysia's "dangerous" decline is fuelled by incompetent politicians, Thailand is dogged by corruption and a "very erratic" crown prince, Japan is a "big fat loser" and India is ''stupid''" very few, if any, would say so publically.

What these revelations have done to the "binding spirit" of ASEAN, one can only imagine.

To cap off a week of diplomatic misery comes the news that there is a be a second and competing site, created by former WikiLeaks collaborators who are less than enchanted with Julian Assange.

This one is to be called 'OpenLeaks'.

..... and with Xmas in mind, Santa's cables and WikiLeaks
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