26 June 2008

'Water is a precious resource, without it you will die,' Mr Lee said. 'YOU CAN LIVE WITHOUT ENERGY.'

Nothing new, really. As we have seen in previous posts (here and here), the Minister Mentor is out of touch with reality on energy issues.

TWO incidents drove home to Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew the need for Singapore to strive for self-sufficiency in water.

The first was when the island fell to invading Japanese troops who blew up pipes transporting water from Johor to Singapore in February 1942.

The second incident happened a few days after Singapore's separation from Malaysia in August 1965. Then-Malaysian prime minister Tengku Abdul Rahman remarked that 'if Singapore doesn't do what I want, I'll switch off the water supply'.

Since then, the 'quest for water independence' has dominated every facet of urban development here, he told an audience of 650 international officials and water experts.

What about the quest for food independence? What would it take to drive home the point that depending on foreign farmers hundreds and thousands of miles away for 90 percent of our food is a sign of poor resilience? Empty supermarket shelves? Food rationing?

The Singapore government and a majority of Singaporeans are going to be caught off-guard when the oil crisis hits home.