Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Reflectoporn | Singapore and Qatar

I have learnt a new word today: Reflectoporn.

This is reflectoporn:


This is also reflectoporn. (Hint: look at the mirror)


Both were taken off Ebay auctions. For further explanation, see Snopes, created by the wonderful Barbara Mikkelson whom I workship for her l33t research skills.

Random comment: Singapore's forged a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Qatar. (CNA report)

I can't say that I'm surprised, but then again, I don't think anyone was surprised by this. Southeast Asia has traditionally been seen as the pivot and punching bag between the twin forces of China and India. We're the original middleman of Asia, due to geographical location and demographics.

Singapore's been playing nice with China for some time - well, about 30 years? I'm glad that we can actually step away from this racist mindset that Singapore = Chinese, and realise that we have historical and demographic links with darker skinned people to the west as well, and that it's in our best interests to forge links there as well.

Of course, the fact that Malaysia's been forging links with the Middle East just a bit longer than we have is not a factor at all ... as the saying goes, kalau Malaysia boleh, Singapura juga boleh.

I really don't know anything about the Middle East though - for some reason, they just don't teach it at NUS, a situation that I suspect is going to be remedied pretty soon if recent hires are any indication. However, if Qatar looks set to be another Dubai - and it does - I wonder what that means for Singapore's relationship with Dubai. Dubai's been projecting itself as a port city, (which it is), and is pushing its way into the port administration business thingy. IIRC, our PSA has had dealings with them, maybe even taught them. Then PSA found out that we'd maybe taught them a bit too well, since they beat us out for a lucrative contract involving the management of American shipyards.

Hmm. So now we're in Qatar, a little country set to modernise that's been pissing off the rather more conservative countries around it with its Al-Jazeera network. Annoying Muslim neighbours - yes, Qatar's come to the right little city-state for lessons.

In the meantime, I think I'm signing up for Arabic classes.

(Reads entry again: You know, I don't even know why I bothered to write all that down. The net is full of noise - it feels almost irresponsible to add to it)


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