During the days of the Cold War, we have often heard of stories of diplomats being accused as spies and deported. These happened on both sides of the camps. When both sides were on the fringe of war, it was actually understandable. It was a case of spy versus spy.
Even in those days, diplomats posted to friendly countries, although not exactly spies, did have a duty to observe and report back whatever happenings on the host countires. It was part and parcel of their jobs. Diplomatic immunity did make all these much easier.
Now that Cold War is over, we don’t hear about spying so often as before.
But diplomats posted to a friendly country still have an inherent duty to observe the happenings in the host countries and report back to their home coutries , so that analysis can be carried out, and see how these happenings will have any potential effects on their own country. This is especially so on countries that are physically close by or economically linked. What happens in one such country will have an effect on the others in these days of globalisation.
Malaysian diplomats do that when posted overseas. So do other diplomats posted from one country to another.
This is actually the norm.
Any diplomat that is posted to another country and then stay in his or her ivory tower without coming out to mix with people of the host country and gather information would be failing in his or her duties. They cannot depend on news report alone, but need first hand observation.
So why are the Singaporean diplomats being singled out for being present in Bersih 3.0 gatherings? I am sure diplomats of many other countries are there too.
We have to go back history, perhaps.
Whenever there was a need to play up nationalism, none was as convenient as the ‘Small red dot’ down south to be made the bogey man and thus galvanised the support of rural masses under the pretext of nationalism. On other occasions, this bogeyman has proven to be handy to divert attention, once sentiments were worked up.
This was proven effective in the past. So, it was not surpising that the bogeyman tactic is back again, and who but the outsourced racist “NGO” is demonstrating outside Singapore High Commissiom. This time, howevr, they manage to get only a couple of hundred people.
This old tactic may no longer work, if only these archaic minded people spend more time reading the internet and keeping up with the time. To think that by playing up this sentiments, they are going to get more votes for the Big Brother is wishful thinking.
I see them more as a pack of jokers.