Humanising a totalitarian known for his transgression of human rights


While I am a fan of neither Kim Jong Un or Trump, I can understand why Singapore took the step of playing hosts to the meeting between the dictator and the Twitter addict.

One is the president of the most powerful economy in the world while the other has close links with China and a huge nuclear arsenal. A meeting between these 2 men would not only be a historic moment in world politics, but would also put Singapore in the international spotlight. Indeed, over the duration of the landmark summit, images of Singapore were broadcasted live across the globe over multiple channels earning Singapore prominence in the international community.

While I accept that personal likes and dislikes should have no place in international policies, I do have concerns with our politicians treating Kim Jong Un, a known dictator, like some sort of celebrity.

Much of his country remains below the poverty line while he lives in the lap of luxury. How can the likes of Minister Vivian Balakrishnan pose for selfies with him as if he is Kim Kardashian?

Hosting the meeting and treating the event and all involved with circumspection and professionalism is one thing but taking to Twitter with pictures and fanfare crosses the line somewhat.

Not only is it trivialising the cruelty that this pariah state has perpetrated on its own people, it is distasteful to see one of our top ministers behaving as if this is some sort of red carpet gala!

Despite the likes of Trump being a quasi celebrity (with his time on The Apprentice) and his trigger happy headline grabbing antics, we must never forget that Kim is a man who has orchestrated and sanctioned the deaths of many of his own people including the recent high profile murder of his brother in Malaysia. That case still has not been resolved and should not be whitewashed by one well publicised meeting with President Trump!

I would hope that our ministers will remember this and not treat this event as some sort of glitzy fluffy event. Is it a lack of training or exposure on our part or are we forgetting that this cuddly man is in fact a pitiless and cold-blooded totalitarian?