APORE (Agencies) - Singaporean diplomats think the leaders of some close Asian allies including neighbouring Malaysia are corrupt, incompetent or stupid, cables from WikiLeaks revealed Sunday.
A top Singaporean diplomat described India as stupid, saying the country was half in, half out of the ASEAN grouping, according to leaked US cables, reports Indian Express.
Confidential diplomatic notes given by the whistle-blower website to Australias Fairfax media group contained unflattering assessments of key figures in Malaysia, Thailand, India and Japan. A lack of competent leadership is a real problem for Malaysia, permanent secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bilahari Kausikan, reportedly told US Deputy Secretary of Defence for East Asia David Sedney.
As a result, the situation in neighbouring Malaysia is confused and dangerous and there is a distinct possibility of racial conflict, according to the cable dated September 2008.
Such conflict would see ethnic Chinese flee Malaysia and overwhelm Singapore, Bilahari was quoted as saying.
Another official, Peter Ho, reportedly described Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak as an opportunist who would not hesitate to be critical of Singapore if it is expedient for him to do so.
Bilahari was also reportedly critical of the Thai government, labelling fugitive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra corrupt along with everyone else, including the opposition.
In a 2009 memo, Singapores ambassador-at-large Tommy Koh - known for being mild-mannered and eloquent in public - was uncharacteristically blunt in his assessment of regional heavyweights Japan and India, the documents reveal.
Koh described Japan as 'the big fat loser in the context of improving ties between China and ASEAN, a leaked cable detailing a meeting between him and US officials stated.
He attributed the relative decline of Japans stature in the region to Japans 'stupidity, bad leadership, and lack of vision, it added.
He was equally merciless towards India, describing his 'stupid Indian friends as 'half in, half out of ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.) Foreign minister George Yeo said the unflattering appraisals of Singapores allies should not be taken out of context.
We should not divorce, even if true, what is said from the context, Yeo said in comments carried on local broadcast news network Channel NewsAsias website. That is what certain individuals said about others. There could be a diversity of views.