Kishore Mahbubani, the embattled dean of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, has stood by his views on Singapore taking a more low key approach to its foreign policy as opposed to one that would inevitably set it in conflict with major powers.
In his own words, Kishore wrote: "I wrote this article as I believe that some of our senior officials have been imprudent in their public statements. As a result, there have been some serious mishaps in our external relations,” Professor Mahbubani said in a note to media editors on Monday.
“The hard work done by our founding fathers has been squandered. Our geopolitical space has shrunk,” he added, without elaborating. “My criticisms have hit home. In response, some of these senior officials are floating a canard that this article is an attack on PM because it appeared on the weekend before the parliamentary debate today.”
Professor Mahbubani also wrote that he did not intend his piece criticizing the way Singapore has conducted its foreign policy as an attack on the Prime Minister. His criticisms had been published in the Straits Times the weekend before the 3 July Parliamentary Debate on the 38 Oxley Road dispute. He cited certain senior officials (who were not named) as contributing to this problem.
“Hence, it is obviously not an attack on PM. By floating this canard, the officials are distracting attention from their own contributions to our problems,” wrote the professor.
However, in a dramatic U-turn posted yesterday following the publication of the article on TODAYonline, the dean has since claimed that mainstream media had published his email without his permission.