Vivian Balakrishnan gets downgraded to postman

Posted on 21 June 2013

Travels to Jakarta to deliver PM Lee’s letter and conduct small talk. Nothing gets done.

Alright, we knew Vivian was messed up. What we didn’t realise was how self-congratulatory he could get after making a huge song and dance about fixing the haze, and not actually fixing it.

Patting himself on the back in a Facebook note on Friday evening for going to Jakarta to “personally deliver PM Lee’s letter to President SBY” (by hardcopy I would assume, because Indonesian email doesn’t work?), Vivian then proceeded to boss his Indonesian counterpart, Balthasar Kambuaya around.

Vivian gives himself a thumbs up at 845pm on Friday

Vivian gives himself a thumbs up at 845pm on Friday

Seriously, we did not make up his name.

 

This was what happened, in summary:

1) Vivian complains to Indonesia about the haze

2) Balthasar agreed that the situation sucked and they were going to use water bombs.

3) Vivian learnt that Indonesia had identified 8 offending plantation companies, and urged Balthasar to investigate and prosecute the companies.

4) Vivian told Balthasar to sign the 11 year-old ASEAN haze agreement which had been sitting in parliament because no one gives a shit.

5) Vivian offers to help Balthasar put out the fire and work on sustainable agriculture management projects.

 

Here’s what’s missing:

1) Actual action from Singapore to fix the haze

2) Taking some fucking responsibility for the situation since the 8 suspected companies are likely to be listed in Singapore, instead of passing on the blame

3) Promises to prosecute the suspected companies should investigations prove to identify the culprits, instead of leaving it up to the weak enforcement institutions in Indonesia (hey, they know it too)

 

Vivian says “All in all, it was a good meeting, but we need to see results on the ground”.

Yeah, show some results please.

In the meantime, Indonesian firefighters battle forest fires in Sumatra island while Singapore firefighters wait to get deployed. (AFP PHOTO / HAFIZ ALFARISSI)

In the meantime, Indonesian firefighters battle forest fires in Sumatra island while Singapore firefighters wait to get deployed. (AFP PHOTO / HAFIZ ALFARISSI)

This post was written by:

- who has written 268 posts on New Nation.

Joey is an intern at New Nation. He hopes to be as funny as Belmont one day and get laid at least twice a month.

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  • BrownHorn

    Did anyone ask on TalkingPoint last night: Openly, are we on standby mode?

    Did the two Ministers talk or ask about it?

    Are
    our guys on standby with equipment at the airbase ready to fly out at
    short notice, within an hour, to help put out some of the fires, if
    Indonesia President Yudhoyono were to give the go ahead to allow
    Singapore to provide assistance and help?

    Remember we did render help after the Aceh tsunami and that was not a walk in the park for our guys.

    Why
    not render help too now that the fire is spreading and destroying many
    things and killing many precious living things and choking many in the
    region with the poisonous haze?

  • WeedingOutFarmDucks

    …”for going to Jakarta to ‘personally deliver PM Lee’s letter to President SBY'”… ” (by hardcopy I would assume, because Indonesian email doesn’t work?), ”

    LOL, ya sure, im sure new nation would have “nothing” to say if all Balakrishnan did was draft an email and click send. Grow up la, and go figure out how diplomacy works in the real world. Such immature comments…

    • Joey

      Wah you so adult that you know for sure how diplomacy works in the real world. Now pray tell what have you learnt during your summer internship at MFA that I don’t know about?
      The point, btw, is that delivering PM Lee’s message by hand has no bearing on actual discussions about the haze.

  • sghope

    typical sg gov, say a lot, write nicely, don’t do anything. And they all have herd mentality and not think independently so we see the ideas get copied over and over again. The truth is they are a big team who keep selling the people ideas. They can do this forever because they are scholars who can come up with theory easily. But they are not doing any thoughts to solve problem creatively. They are bunch of scholars who come up with theories and talk about it again and again!!

  • Realignment

    The writer of this article is stupid because he/she uses baseless assumptions (eg. about the 8 companies) and unable to recognize that for Singapore to take action in Indonesia, we need indonesia to accept our offer of assistance.

    • Joey

      And you are so clever because you know for sure that we didn’t do anything for Indonesia to turn down our help.
      give you 10 slow claps clever boy.

  • KaviG

    I think all those who complain non stop and keep pointing fingers are the actual ones who are all talk and no action. I don’t see them doing or saying anything constructive , it’s all just noise and more noise. What’s worse is the irrationality in what they say. Totally brainless at times.

    • Joey

      Ya lor I also say.

      • Me

        Heh. Joey. You know KaviG is probably criticising you, right?

        • Joey

          Ya lor I also say.

  • Baey Ta Han

    Seriously, do something, bring firemen, helicopters whatever to put out all the fire spots, what’s the point of meeting and meeting to waste time talking!!!!! Get to work immediately, talk and talk and even say need to see results is like passing ball to someone else which u already known to be less efficient and failing to handle the situation for 11 years already, see ground results, Vivian? Go get it done and u will see results!

  • Me

    Allow me to ask you a question you cannot answer realistically: What other practical measures (apart from those already taken) would you expect the Singapore government to take to “show some results” in eliminating the Indonesian haze and preventing further recurrence?

    I wasn’t expecting New nation to achieve such a bathetic quality of writing. The only saving grace was that your summary of the minister’s post was quite good. My Sec 3 English teacher would have been proud of you.