13 Mar '18, 4pm

[Mothership] Why Goh Keng Swee set up ISEAS: ‘We know Melbourne better than Medan.’

The year is 1968. The Republic of Singapore is barely three years old, it suffers from high unemployment and a stagnant economy, and racial tensions were still high. Amidst all these pressing issues, why did Goh Keng Swee feel it was important to set up an research institute to study our neighbours? Advertisement Delicacy of perception Explained Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong: “In the Cabinet paper proposing the setting up of ISEAS, Dr Goh pointed out that ‘We know more about Melbourne than we know Medan, more about the English Channel than the Sunda Straits’.” Lee was speaking at the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies-Yusof Ishak Institute on March 13. He added: “In Dr Goh’s words, Singapore had to acquire a ‘delicacy of perception’…a ‘delicacy of perception’ of the affairs in the region.” Perhaps Goh was referring to the fact that the first fabl...

Full article: https://mothership.sg/2018/03/iseas-goh-keng-swee-melbour...

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