Professor Tommy Koh is a well known personality in the Singapore political scene. He is an international lawyer, and also an Ambassador-At-Large and currently serves as a Special Adviser at the Singapore Institute of Policy Studies, Chairman of the National Heritage Board, Chairman of the Governing Board of the NUS Centre for International Law, and Rector of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore. That is quite a portfolio, and thus, he is quite a respected voice in Singapore.
In a recent Facebook post, Prof Koh wrote that he had read an interesting book on Singapore, which was written by a Brit who had lived in Singapore and worked for the Economist Intelligence Unit. The book is titled “Singapore Singapura – From Miracle to Complacency” and is written by Nicholas Walton.
Prof Koh wrote that the the format of the book is based on Walton’s observations as he walked on foot from Tuas in the north to the south of Singapore. Walton admires Singapore’s achievements but thinks that we are suffering from complacency. Prof Koh then went on to say that Walton’s previous book was on the Italian city of Genoa. Genoa was a great city state for several centuries before it began a period of decline.
Walton, on his Singapore book, wrote that he wondered whether Singapore’s success will endure or will It suffer the fate of Genoa. Prof Koh did not write his feelings on the book, but by posting this, one wonders if he was inferring that Singapore is heading in the same direction.