3 thoughts on “Singapore Perspectives 2017–“What If”–Listen to Historian Wang Gungwu and Friends

  1. A great post. Thank you Dato.

    At 86, Wang Gungwu is really sparkling.

    If modern nation states are creations of colonial empires, did these empires not take off from the nation state of their own? – Britain for Birish empire, Spain for Spanish empire, Portugal for Portugese empire and so on.

  2. Prof. Wang, I think, defines the ingredients necessary for a “nation state” too narrowly, chief of which the absolute necessity for a treaty-enabled national border demarcating to the last inch when one nation state ends and another starts.

    In almost anything in this Universe, if you impose enough components into a
    definition for anything, then nothing could fit into it.

    Since time immemorial, nations have used geographical features, (rivers, mountain ranges, inland seas, etc,), for demarcating national boundaries between nations.

    As Tolstoy said in “Anna Karenina”, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way”

  3. “What if ” the leaders fail to listen and ignore the needs and wants of the people?

    The boundary of a nation state is demarcated and well defined physically.

    The boundary of a nation state of most SEA countries, with the exception of Singapore, on what and how they want to achieve in terms of their political, socio-economic goal and values, is less defined . They are in the process of building it ( into a nation state ).

    There are great challenges ahead where the countries’ leaders,including Malaysia, need to face and overcome in decades to come. Moving forward, there will be difficult choices to make . It better be made with educated and profound wisdom for the shared interest and benefits to their countries and the people, rather than for their personal gain/agendas or they would end up to become failed states.

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