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Bertha HarianBertha Harian

Chin Chai Lah

On the democracy summit

The United States invited more than half the countries around the world for President Joe Biden’s Summit for Democracy, but in a glaring omission, excluded Singapore from its guest list. Why weren’t we invited?

Chin: Sigh. So many countries at that democracy summit, but not Singapore. Why the US so like that leh?

Chai: Hah! Who cares? Don’t get invited, done lah. Then we wouldn’t have to think about whether we should reject it, or whether China will like it, or what to say when we’re there…

Chin: But we’re a democracy. We have the vote. We have the Constitution. We have rule of law. I mean, how are we even like Congo or Angola? You mean they believe those Freedom House or Civicus reports that we’re a “repressed’’ country?

Chai: Aiyah. If the US don’t think we’re democratic, so what? Look at what American-style democracy has done to it. Even its own people think democracy is failing or has failed.

Chin: Hmm…but the system was strong enough to throw Trump out. Not like it let him stay president for life.

Chai: So you want us to be like Malaysia….roll the democracy dice and see who becomes next prime minister next month? Never mind lah. It’s because the US thinks we’re China’s friend…so a bit pissed off.

Chin: But we are also friends with the US. Special friend! Now we’re no longer friends or what?

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Chai: Aiyah. They just want countries to group together under its umbrella to show China it’s powerful. What democracy summit? Everybody is going to say they’re democratic and therefore somehow morally good.

Chin: Hmm. I suppose the US doesn’t have the technology to accommodate so many countries virtually…so they have to pick and choose who to invite. They said it wasn’t a “judgement’’ on those not invited…

Chai: And you believe that?

Chin: Maybe we should just stay calm and carry on. There’s still Omicron to deal with after all. For all you know, China might call its own version of a democracy summit…

Chai: And we should hope not to get invited as well!

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An ex-journalist who can't get enough of the news after being in the business for 26 years

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