President Barack Obama will meet our Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew on Thursday Oct 29 at the White House, according to Mr Obama’s deputy spokesman Bill Burton.
I hope Mr Obama will give Singapore a nice gift when he meets MM Lee — as after all who best believes and supports the US than Singapore? And I don’t mean just thru our sovereign wealth funds, Temasek Holdings (remember Chung King? ) and Government Investment Corporation of Singapore.
I also mean how unequivocally, openly and repeatedly MM Lee affirms that the US will continue to be great for another 50 years, whatever its critics and sceptics may claim. He did so as recently as a few days ago in the Charlie Rose TV show on the PBS network in the US.
So OK, what would the best gift be for Singapore at this moment? Not money. Not titles. Not accolades. Just plain old support for our upcoming Youth Olympic Games in 2010.
Is it within the mandate of President Obama to reverse his country’s decision not to send its swimmers, shooters and cyclists to our YOG for the rather insulting reason that it’s “not a high-level event”?
I won’t know but where there’s a will, there’s a way for US politicians.
In any case, our YOG ain’t a two-bit event but “is about serious top-level sports competition”, said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Community Development, Youth and Sports, Teo Ser Luck.
So come on Mr Obama, when a highly respected octogenarian comes calling at the White House, do give him and the pro-US country he’s led for longer than you have lived some face. You won’t regret it.
But if you let this friend go away with just polite sweet nothings, then you’ll show the world that old buddies, in need and in deed, don’t matter and with the US as a friend, one really doesn’t need any enemies!