If Singapore Spied on US…

The good news is that someone still wants to spy on us. The bad news is that it’s the Russians … If you had told me that 11 Singaporeans were arrested spying on how our government works, then I’d really have felt good — since Singapore has one of the cleanest, well-run bureaucracies in the world and pays its cabinet ministers $1 million-plus a year.

Thomas L. Friedman, in “The Spies Who Loved Us” [], New York Times Op-ed Column, July 13, 2010.

I ran across this quote in the local Singapore papers… unfortunately they fast and loose with the quote, they cut out the part where I have the ellipsis (…) where Friedman speaks about how good he would feel if the Finns sent spies to keep and eye on US schools. No problem, I cut it out too right? Yea but I used and ellipsis to indicate that I had skipped over part of the original quote.

That’s a minor thing, even if my high school English teachers would have marked me down liberally for misleading my readers. No the more telling bit of creative editing by the locals was the leaving out of the “and pays it’s cabinet ministers $1 million-plus a year.” They just put the period after “in the world.” That great salary for ministers is a sore point for a lot of locals, even if they won’t publicly say anything, but it is a big remuneration in a country where the average wage for the first quarter of 2010 was SG$4,310 a month (by their own numbers [].)