Do Singaporeans get the sense that charity begins at home, as far as the government is concerned?

For President Donald Trump, American interests come above all else. At his inauguration, he told the crowd “From this day forward, a new vision will govern . . . it’s going to be only America first, America first.”

Everything he has done since has been to protect American interests – from his immigration policies to imposing trade barriers and tariffs and withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement. He has even told countries that unlike in the past, they have to start paying for American military involvement and protection.

For Donald Trump and America, it’s now Charity Begins At Home – taking care of Americans first and foremost before taking care of others.

As for North Korea, spending on its nuclear programme is estimated to be over US$3 billion, according to South Korean government analysis.

Yet the North Koreans cannot even foot their hotel bill for the Trump-Kim summit.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong says $20 million is a price Singapore is “willing to pay” and Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan calls it an “investment for world peace.”

The sum of $20 million is no doubt small change for Singapore.

And world peace is indeed very noble and consequential.

So consequential that one risks being called small-minded for quibbling over that $20 million price tag spent in the name of world peace.

But we have look at it in context.

We are at a point in time when America is leading the charge with the Charity Begins At Home mantra, when North Korea is spending billions on weapons of mass destruction . . . yet when they come for a summit, Singapore has to foot the bill.

There’s something seriously NOT right with that.



Augustine Low

* The author is a proud but concerned citizen. Voicing independent, unplugged opinion is his contribution to citizen engagement.



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20 Responses to “Do Singaporeans get the sense that charity begins at home, as far as the government is concerned?”

  • Lim Tean on Trump-Kim summit:

    Trump/Kim Summit: A Lesson for our Foreign Minister

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  • Biggest wayanging yet:

    Our coffee &tea the most expensive in the world ..cost $20mil forv2 days.
    But they grudge n give motherhood reasons when not wanting to spend on own citizens’eg healthcare n education for the most vulnerable in our society.
    (TUN M was spot on)..Sgs are tired and fed up of this same gov bullying us for decaded!

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  • Biggest wayanging yet:

    Error…shd be read as ‘decades)

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  • Boh Kia See:

    The North Koreans have spent all their resources trying to show the world that they are nuclear capable. They have exhausted all the funds so decide to come to the negotiating table.

    The reason for negotiating is that they will have to dismantle their nuclear apparatus anyway–so why not get as much mileage out of it as possible.

    It is one thing to have a nuclear weapon, it is another thing to launch a nuclear war–that takes cash that the North Koreans do not have. This summit is therefore a face saving mechanism to let them proudly “agree” to denuclearise when they have no option but to do so–because of funds.

    There is also an issue that a nuclear powered North Korea would also endanger not only the peninsular but Russia and China as well. So got to have the big drum and charade to close that chapter.

    The PAP of course looking at purely self interest took the bait and three $20m to pay for the North Koreans’ privilege.

    It must be the PAP’s “strategic thinking” all done by paper generals and scholars at that.

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  • patriot of Temesak:

    SingaporeState NOT a country…It will ALWAYS be LeeDynasty 1st…Cronies 2nd Others 3rd and last definitely the LEAST the people including the stoopid sheep-in-the-PEN!!!

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  • LIONS:

    Across Causeway only,DR M ,must take of malaysians first!

    here in $in City,the PAP has got to be FIRST in EVERYTHIGN.
    So,since the other countries ALL SAY CITIZENS COME FIRST,LEE AH LONG says FOREIGNERS FIRST,sgs can go fiack off???


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  • Not Right:

    Spending taxpayer money onto others non-Singaporeans or Singapore is not right especially when more and more old aunties and uncles are poor, doing very dirty and laborious jobs just to survive.

    Why don’t they tell Kim and Trump, No free meal, and get returns in Black and White.

    This is not right. Trump would see it as “meek” Politician.

    Don’t get me wrong, when come to Local People, it would be Strong Arm Techniques.

    No more Mandate.

    Dr M would have done better.

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  • Money to Make More Money!:

    It is a ‘viable’ investment as far as return$ is concerned.

    Many in the World will get to hear about Singapore and will want to come and stay at Shangri-La, St Regis and visit Capella, Sentosa, Gardens By the Bay, etc.

    Gahment is assured of good return$ and will need not worry about poor GDP Growth!

    As for the poor and low income group, it is really ‘transparent’ to you!

    So what, you people KpKb, your ‘noises’ are far too soft to be even heard!

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  • Foolhardy:

    Throwing $20m is not unlike treating a hard-core gambler who is willing to spend away his life savings to a 5 star meal and lunch.

    Here fat boy is a massive killer.

    Where’s the good sense of logic and morality?

    What do you think?

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  • Some muslim story:

    A man from times past was called to account before the Lord God, and nothing good was found in his book of deeds except that he had been easy-going in his business dealings with people, and would order his servants to be lenient with those in difficult circumstances.
    Thereupon, God Most Exalted pronounced:
    “We are the more worthy of such actions: pardon his sins!

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  • rukidding:

    Did you noticed that our Indian turned Malay President seems to be “left out”…..all I could see is PM Lee’s photo with trump and with KIM ?

    Why liddat ???

    Why kenna “sidelined”????

    You mean a “hello and welcome” photo also cannot meh???

    Now,…you should know….”who calls the shot” !

    Foget about the “Do Good, Do Together”….NO POWER , NO SAY one…damned Malu !

    Pure “Puppet” indeed !

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  • Bapak:

    I don’t know what to say…..I’m still shaking my head.

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  • opposition dude:

    Let’s just say this is PAP’s usual way of trying to be in the spotlight.

    Remember 10 years (and counting) F1 night race? After the first decade, a new 5 year deal has been signed. Let’s see how many more deals they sign after that.

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  • No Free Meal:

    “No Free Meal” loud loud only to Singaporeans…
    To others, Banana Stuck into the mouth, cannot even “ER…”!

    For Trump, some more got birthday cake, LOL.
    Worse, even the birthday cake also under Ah Kong Siow.
    [Birthday cake quickly ownself pay...hahahahahaha]

    Why are we paying for US president birthday, you say? especially when some own citizen hungry and heavily in debt? Sar Ka but produce no result leh.

    Phantom dreamland investments and goodness but easy convenient hiding inability to speak-up and face-up is it?

    Dr M or Justin Trudeau, quickly learn from them lah.

    You say, how to give Mandate? Cannot Lah! dak boleh!


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  • Haigen-diaz:

    If history is any guide, the vague understanding reached in Singapore already falls apart since the details become apparent. It says nothing about how the two nations may proceed. It lacks any definition about the final goals of the process that was started by this summit. In a word, this four point “plan” is vacuous. The biggest change here is the total abandonment by the US of its commitment to use its power to promote human rights equally with power and trade matters.

    I am sure Kim Jong-un never had any intention of launching a nuclear strike on the US or Japan, because he knows it would lead to his swift demise. Protecting his family’s dynasty is his number one mission. Let’s hope that Trump and Kim Jong-un both want to make this work, even if their motivations are personal and not historic.

    To keep the Bromance metaphor going, it is way too early to throw the rice whether Singapore calls it an “investment for world peace.” It will take years to get rid of N. Korea’s nuclear program (which Kim knows is all that got him this meeting in the first place.) History will be the judge of the success of this latest grand adventure. My sense is that little will come of it. Mr. Kim will continue to rule NK with his iron fist. No, his entire purpose in developing his nuclear power was to achieve this moment in time, when he is accepted as a leader on the world stage.

    In the meantime the Russians and China will boost North Korea’s economy. That leaves North Korea likely hungering to take over South Korea, and Japan exposed to China with little or no defenses. China will be glad to add Japan to the island they’ve built close by. How can anyone in those countries sleep well?

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  • But:

    @ Lim Tean on Trump-Kim summit

    But … sorry to say Mr lim tean failed to take up CI’s challenge on the class action suit.

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  • Equality Was Stealthily Remove:

    Singaporean parents should be hopping mad.

    S$400 million every year, each year, annually since 30 years ago,
    in scholarships for foreign students to study i Singapore, all
    free, including free accommodation and monthly spending money.

    Singaporean children have to pay and pay for their school fees,
    tuition, transport, books, stationary, food – for every year that they
    are in school, primary, secondary, pre u, poly, ITE, university.

    NS is a traversty for male singaporean. Large influx of foreigers
    to compete with Singporeans, virtually inviting them to take away
    lunches of Singaporeans.

    We need change. VOte for your CPF and your children.

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    @ Lim Tean on Trump-Kim summit
    But …sorry to say Mr lim tean failed to take up CI’s challenge on the class action suit.

    Because Lim Tean realise no sane Singaporeans will donate money to him to sue us PAP over the CPF issue.

    The same go to Philip Ang.

    Readers here should not take Lim Tean and Philip Ang seriously. Just treat these duo as mad barking puppy is suffice.


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  • cpfgone:

    The clown really a big balls carrier.

    Use locals cpf to fund this show and neglect own people.

    Really a big joke.

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  • cpfgone:

    The indian president is only another lackey taking care of her own million dollars pay.

    You tot really a powerful president????

    Only for show la.

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