We may be Tiny Red Dot but we are the world’s hottest Chilli Padi!


As neighbors living in close proximity, we do have our differences once in a while. It’s akin to the ups and downs in an exhilarating roller coaster ride as we turn the wheel of life together. Just take a deep look at the pages of history. Even as close neighbors trade with each other for economic gains and interact for mutual benefits; differences arise from time to time leading to squabbles and disputes. If they got out of hand, may even lead to border skirmishes escalating to a full blown military confrontation. They happened throughout history and we are not immune to such imponderables. The on-going bitter Kashmir territorial dispute between Pakistan and India, the un-resolved PRC & ROC status quo and the North and South Koreans stalemate are some notable ones happening right in front of our eyes in recent times.

The recent diplomatic spat between us – a tiny red dot and that huge giant land mass of Indonesia is not so bad if we compare it to those examples quoted. As a matter of fact, we are still within the Asean family. Remember the many bitter border issues such as the most recent Thai and Cambodia ancient temple border dispute with military skirmishes which was later resolved when other Asean nations intervened. Indonesia’s decision to name a navy ship after two marines who bombed an Orchard Road building in 1965 which led to civilians being killed during the confrontation period is the latest diplomatic row within the Asean nations.

History is always interpreted differently by different people. It depends on which angle you are looking at. The Indonesians view the 2 dead soldiers as national heroes when they carried out their mission paying with their lives as the ultimate sacrifice. They were merely carrying out orders during that turbulent period. Whereas, we view it differently cuz they targeted civilians. It is universally accepted that professionals do not target civilians at all. Nevertheless, we thought that that episode was over when our leader paid his respects by scattering flower petals on their graves. Why then it re-surfaced again after more than 50 years with the past unpleasant memories back to haunt us when it’s nearly forgotten?

As a responsible government, our leaders did the right thing to register our protest to the Indonesians. If we just keep quiet and let it pass, they would be thinking that we are afraid to raise our meek voice. They may think that we could be bullied easily since we are just a tiny red dot. A measured logical protest to remind them subtly of their past bullying tactics where they simply despatched their soldiers into our country to cause massive damages and harm to our civilians. Is there any difference to cold blooded terrorists? It is a shame on them being the biggest country in this part of the world. Do they want to be another North Korea – a pariah in the international community of nations? We may be small but there are even more smaller nations than us. They look up to us on how we handle such incidents to much bigger countries.

“Let Singapore keep shrieking, like a chicken beaten by a stick.” – said Indonesia.

Despite this unhappy episode in our history, we still play our part as a responsible neighbor whenever disasters struck them. We never hesitated to assist them with aid and other assistance to help victims of natural disasters in their country. Yes, we did send in our troops there. But we did it on humanitarian grounds providing massive relief supplies to their outlaying provinces when we are so near and their central government is so far away. These are kind deeds that they should consider when they did what they did leading to the latest diplomatic row. It seems that they have short memory to have easily forgotten such compassion from us?

Of course, we can’t go beyond mere protests against their unilateral actions. But at least we did voice out our unhappiness even though we may be tiny. It reflects on their commitment and friendliness where our future dealings with them will depend upon. Why risk our generosity and make an enemy out of us when there is so much to gain than lose? Our future PM hopes that the new generation of Indonesian leaders would display “similar wisdom and leadership to put the bilateral ties foremost in all that we do”, like their predecessors. I think that’s a wise statement.

I view this incident as a blessing in disguise. To those calling for the reduction of NS and the reduction on defense spending, I say this is a wake up call. Precisely because we are such a tiny red dot in this part of unfriendly neighborhood that we need to eat less, spend less, enjoy less in other areas and to skrimp or to go hungry if need be so that we could invest heavily in our defense infrastructure. For without a powerful deadly Air Force, we will live forever without any sense of human dignity and self-respect under their huge overbearing intimidating shadows!

We may be a tiny red dot but we are no push over. We can never change our geographical size nor shift away from this part of the neighborhood, but we are the world’s hottest chili padi. Devour at your own perils!



About Gintai_昇泰

I'm a Chinese Singaporean living in the Eastern part of Singapore. I tweet on current affairs & inspirational quotes. I blog on issues or events if they interest me. I write for pleasure. I also write mainly for my family and friends.
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34 Responses to We may be Tiny Red Dot but we are the world’s hottest Chilli Padi!

  1. Nina Beh says:

    The next time Indonesia gets whacked by another natural disaster – and I know there will be many, praise God! – let us just sit back, relax and watch gleefully and see how these ingrates shriek like a chickens beaten by a stick.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please behave with some humanity !! Think about this first:

      I am not siding Indonesia or Singapore, you may forgive but not forget. The same goes to Japanese war brutality in Singapore !!

      • David Moyes must go says:

        Behave with humanity? To people who just slapped you twice across the cheek? There are many other heroes throughout the history of Indonesia, and yet, they still deliberately chose two whose names will live in infamy here. Get some perspective, ffs! If there is any karma, these people have it coming.

        • Anonymous says:

          If that’s the take away you get from this article then you are certainly missing the point. Let other people act emotionally. We need to rise above that not just for the sake of grace and humanity but simply to survive ourselves. We pick the right battles. Let the universe give out karma. We just get to watch it happen in the future.

  2. Nina Beh says:

    Too bad Gus Dur has died otherwise we should send that blinking fool to meet him. Between two blinking morons I’m sure they can work out something between all those facial twitches and hi-fives! Langgar!

  3. patriot says:

    Singapore is indeed a chilli padi.
    Petite, sexy and hot.


  4. agongkia says:

    The world’s hottest chilli padi?

    Tolong lah.Every time when I hear Sinkies says that I really scared.Please do not get Sinkies like me into trouble and stop thinking too highly of ourselves.Dun Erm Chai See.
    I cannot afford to offend anyone so I will not touch on whether i should bother on how one wish to name his child.
    The best way to maintain peace with our neighbor is to treat them well and avoid any unnecessary conflicts.I have been playing my part as a citizen and working hard to foster good relationship when I visit those cities.
    Many like me visit our friendly neighbor often and the entry and exit has always been smooth .

    Do not any how talk and strain our relationship with them.You may not like to visit there but please spare a thought for people like me.I have not hug enough mei meis and please dun spoil my plan to do so.

    Always remember to be humble .This little red dot dun belong to you alone.You may get others into trouble.

    • The problem is the more quiet you are, the more kia si or meek you are, the more ppl want to makan you! Let’s be realistic lah. Doesn’t mean you keep quiet others will not makan you. You will die 1,000 times even before you wake up! Hey si agongkia, you still hugging your mei mei sleeping ah? Better wake up fast before you kena makan. Langgar!

      • agongkia says:

        My principle in life is rather to be let down by others than to let others down.I can be flame,bully or makan and will still keep quiet.It had happen to me in this Sinkie land before and I foresee more suffering on the way if I do not know how to keep quiet.

        So doesn’t mean keeping quiet is no good.People are more forgiving so long as you dun overdo things.
        I do not rule out the possibility that others may be waiting for a chance for me to boast I am good ,or want to challenge them,to justify their intention to finish me off.

        Being quiet does not mean kiasi or meek and those Tai Kor will not bother me much if I pose no threat .They do not want to be seen as a bully but will not hesitate if I try to gookia erm part hor.
        I recommend you a Taiwanese song ,which I love to sing…我是中国人,in it ,it says
        Please be humble.I want a peaceful life.

    • R W T Chen says:

      Why do you refer to your fellow Singaporeans as “Sinkies?” Have you no pride? Do you know it’s such a derogatory term?

      • agongkia says:

        Nothing unusual in net for one to be call a sinkies.Derogatory?I am a sinkies and nothing wrong with that.Please call me Sinkies.I am proud to be call sinkies.Short form for singaporean.less alphabet .7 instead of 11 alphabets.Be productive.Use short form.Call me agong instead of agongkia I oso feel ok.

        • Lai Chan says:

          You are very clearly mentally deficient, emotionally disturbed and a prime candidate for a Eugenics program such as the one unleashed by the Nazis on the Jews. What a waste of precious space you are!

          • agongkia says:

            Lai Chan.You refer to Gintai or me.Very chim leh.I lowly educated nia.Just call me idiot will do.At least I contribute view that is relevant to the topic instead of those coming here just to chase Gintai’s reader away.Whats your agenda

  5. Pingback: Some interesting perspectives from blogger Gintai | Developed

  6. teo says:

    In an interview with the Financial Times Jusuf Kalla also lashed out at Singapore for refusing to sign an extradition treaty with Indonesia, accusing the island state of trying to keep billions of dollars in allegedly corrupt money siphoned out of Indonesia by fleeing tycoons in the 1997-98 financial crisis.

    “Singapore often says there’s so much corruption in Indonesia. But when we want to work together on combating corruption, they don’t want to,” Mr Kalla said.

    Singapore has said that Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Indonesian president, and Lee Hsien Loong, the Singaporean prime minister, agreed in 2005 that any extradition treaty could only be signed together with a defence co-operation agreement. But Mr Kalla dismissed that claim.

    “They’re thinking on the business side. If this treaty is signed then the corrupt Indonesians won’t want to live in Singapore any more. That’s all it is. It strengthens Singapore’s economy.So we have to be fair in our comments

  7. Anonymous says:

    Hi gt, I respectfully disagree with you. Maintaining ns of two years will not help the issue either. Neither will extending ns to 5 years help. ns beyond a certain length is simply cheap labour for our govt. I wasted two years in ns and i do not wish my son to do the same. Especially when the former minister for defence at his watch, allowed his son to be a defence scientist. He could not claim he did not know, for godsake, he was the defence minister then. And if anything, he should be watchful of such blatent discrimination. But If ns is reduced to one year, the govt will always welcome your son extending it by one year. Maybe you are out of touch with the foreign dominated corporate environment for those sg guys in their late 20s,30s and early 40s. Maybe you were not aware of how unfair the burden is stacked against sg males whom have to serve ns, since your friends and you belong to those in the early 50s and the work environment is still dominated by locals.

    I also do not share your view about tan kin lian. He spoke up for what he thinks it is right instead of hiding behind a blog and criticizing govt policy. He is doing this now not to win another presidential election.

    Lastly, what makes you so sure that this is just a simple incident. If you understand indonesian politics, life is cheap, who will want to bring up two cheap lives lost 40 years ago unless to purposely pick a proxy fight with singapore over something. This is not some crazy remark from some indonesia politician in a frenzy election but it comes direct from the military which shares a special relationship with the indonesian president. It could well be a repeat of 1997 Indonesia request (or threat) of 10b loan/fund from sg, but maybe this time sg govt refused. Singapore response must be measured, we (and the current leadership of lhl) cannot afford or know how to put out a fire. You can speak back but you can’t bite back. Having two year ns and one year ns makes no difference.

    Sorry I have to disagree with u. I have agreed w u with most issues in your blog. but for this article, No offense. I just find u were being unfair to tkl even if you personally dislike him and your reading of this bilateral relationship simplistic.

    • KS Ee says:

      Who specifically are you accusing of “hiding behind a blog and criticizing govt policy”? Pray tell. Tan Kim Lian blogs too, Gintai blogs too. So who are you referring to? Shall I name those lurkers who visit blogs written by government “critics” only to post comments anonymously?

      • Anonymous says:

        Cool it man. 🙂 I’m not accusing of anyone. It will help if you reread my paragraph. Maybe rephrasing it will help: i said that tkl instead of just simply proposing the ns length reduction idea online in a blog and then let then idea disappear in thin air, he took it further by putting the idea in a Facebook petition to generate robust discussion and more signatures. Is this not a society we all want? Do we want a no action, talk only society? Just because he came in last in the PE doesn’t mean he does not have a role to play or his idea worthless. In fact with such contributions, whether u agree with it or not, i believe he is genuine in wanting to serve sg and he is not doing this because he wants to run for PE again.

      • Anonymous says:

        Me again. I finally understood why KS Ee was upset with me. He probably thought I was criticizing gt because I wrote “hiding behind a blog”. Let me explain myself so gt wont take offence and misunderstood me too. I have been following tkl blog on insurance/financial news since 2007 before my son was borned. Since then, tkl becomes more daring and critical abt govt policy as the years progress, up to the presidential election. In fact, I only follow gt blog much later and I believe gt started writing his blog much later than tkl. That’s why I thought that it would be obvious for everyone to know tkl as a blogger first than a PE candidate. I was wrong, it seems that the majority of the ppl knew tkl as a presidential candidate and gt as a blogger. Hence when I wrote abt “hiding behind a blog”, KS probably thought that I was referring to gt.

        (I will encourage ppl to go visit tkl blog, especially young families. I bought my term insurance when my son is borned. Because of tkl, I practise buy no frills term insurance and invest the difference after I realise that a big chunk of those comprehensive savings based life insurance premium are used to fund insurance agents commission. I also learn why it is not useful to buy term insurance for my retired parents because you only buy term insurance for asset generating person whom dependents depend on your income. I also learn why it is imprudent to buy those expensive savings based life insurance because with today economy where ppl can get retrench anytime, nobody can afford to pay 2k monthly premium when you are jobless. However, if you are someone whom is a spender and can’t save, buy a saving plan life insurance. But i will rather pay 1k yearly to get covered for 300k and then invest 11k in the stock market myself THAN to spend 24k a year to be covered for 300k, letting the insurance firm invest on my behalf, even though i wont get the 1k back. Frequently, the projection used by the insurance agent are too optimistic and only after 20 years of buying the plan, you realise you got tricked! About 13-19 monthly premium of those complex saving based life insurance end up in the insurance agent pocket as commission. That’s why after 24 months, when you ask the agent how well your plan is doing, they will tell you it is negative or not making money, because a big chunk went into their pocket. To make it worse, when agent jump ship to another insurance company, they will ask their clients to drop the current plan and encourage you to buy a new plan and another 13 months of the monthly premium ended up in his pocket again.)

        Sorry gt I digressed but this financial info is useful info for family with young children.

  8. Fake Doctor says:

    Indonesia always like that one

  9. CT says:

    Just get the Navy to name a ship after one of their corrupt billionaires they can’t extradite.

  10. Pingback: Daily SG: 10 Feb 2014 | The Singapore Daily

  11. Anonymous says:

    Gintai, I think your response should be a little more measured and not using such a breast beating title. We definitely need our good relations more with Indonesia than vice versa.
    Certainly Indonesia, being such a big nation with hugh population can do a lot of harm if they chose to.

    • Fake Doctor says:

      We need their stuffs but they need our money. The government may be not clever but the Indonesians still need to do business with us, correct?

    • Anonymous says:

      That response actually sounds a heck of a lot more measured and restrained that the vast majority of Singapore Netizen responses. In general he’s just saying voice out our protests clearly and strongly but make sure we maintain good neighbourly relations and realise that all neighbours have ups and downs. And do not take the current peacetime for granted as relations can always sour to the point where we must be prepared to defend ourselves.

      The points are rather apt.

  12. David Moyes must go says:

    We can do sh*t to the Indonesians because we have nothing to leverage against them! We need them (investment, tourism, property, maids etc) more than they need us! All we can do is to suck it up, and move on.

    (or wait for the next natural disaster to strike them, then we’ll make them remember what they did)

  13. JG says:

    We THINK we’re the world’s hottest chilli padi. Because our Govt had told us so. Because on paper, our plans look great.

    During WW2, Singapore was the bastion of British military strength, and nicknamed “Gibraltar of the East”. It was the inpregnable fortress. Japan took all of 7 days to conque Singapore – with British forces pointing south, while the Japanese came in from the North. Winston Churchill called the ignomius fall of Singapore the “worst disaster” and “largest capitulation” in British military history.

    Sometimes, we need to go beyond our own propaganda. With just under 60% of Singaporeans being “true, local, Singaporeans” (and that % going down 1 million “PRs” / work permit holders / “new citizens” pull out, at the whiff of a disaster? On paper, we’ve strong defense plans — gentle reminder, everyone also though that Singapore had on paper, strong anti-riot plans until the Little India incident showed the futility of good-in-name paper plans. Does most Singaporean males have the will to fight and give of their lives to the country when most of them are have-nots?

  14. Lone Guy says:

    The definition of who is a hero or criminal is a political issue always manipulated by despots. Many would deem a “traitor” and “betrayer” any Chinese who worked for the Japanese during their period of massacre of the Chinese .Some might honour him with fancy titles and even call him their father. All depends on the political narrative

  15. Sukarno’s Konfrontasi officially ended in 1966 when Suharto came to power. Why was Singapore attacked in 1968? Ousted Sukarno was under house arrest then, but his allies could have planned the attack on Singapore. After the two marines were caught and sentenced to death, there was an uproar in Indonesia. I imagine Sukarno could have made a comeback if Suharto did not manage the public protests in Indonesia properly. Thus, Suharto named the two marines as national heroes. I believe it’s all political as Suharto had nothing against Singapore.

    I think leaders on both sides handled it very well back in 1968. It would have been a lose-lose situation for Suharto and Singapore if Konfrontasi broke out again. Today, very few Indonesians would remember the two marines. Naming the two warships after them would have very little consequence if it wasn’t played up by the media. However, quite a number of Singaporeans will remember the attack. They will feel disappointed or even angry, but being Singaporeans, not many will be spoiling for a “fight”. Nevertheless, Suharto and Sukarno are long dead and no Indonesian leader is going to lose his seat if relations with Singapore sour. Indonesians can do a lot of damage – simply by letting their forests burn.

  16. David Moyes must go says:

    To whoever out there who thinks we need to “behave with humanity” towards them, have a read at the responses from this blog :


    Behave with humanity indeed!!

  17. agongkia says:

    Please learn to be magnanimous.Stop behaving like a small boy and know our position. Can play with your toy machine gun or toy plane but please be sensitive and do not get everyone in trouble by talking rubbish or foolish behavior.This case is closed and I never even pay attention to it till it was mentioned again.We cannot afford to offend anyone.Use our brain.

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