Always hate leaving Singapore, such good food. Yesterday, we had coffee with K. Bhavani who is the Director of the Public Communications Division in the Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts for the government of Singapore. She spoke to students about political and social issues in Singapore with regard to public relations and the mission of public relations here which is to build the nation. Doing public relations here is a very different enterprise given the absence of a First Amendment.
That evening we had a lovely dinner with a former graduate student Nirupama who began the RU MS program in 1999. She has completed her Ph.D. at Nanyang Technological University of Singapore in international relations. She and her husband Siddartha have a new one month old daughter. It was great reconnecting. I had not seen her since 2006 when I was in Singapore with another group.
The new Sands casino is incredibly impressive as it sits out from the Esplanade and Mer Lion area. The Master Mentor (Lee Kuan Yew) wanted the economic development but did not want the corrupting influences of gambling. So, Singaporeans must pay $100 SIN for the privilege of gambling there or in the new Universal Studios on Sentosa Island. That fee is per visit.
I continue to consider Bangkok but next is Kuala Lumpur and the Teman Negara. I think I have them tired now and we'll stay that way. Best to all in Virginia and beyond.
I apologize for the font. The keyboard here is not good and won't cooperate.
Dr. Kennan is Professor of Communication and Director of the Military Resource Center at Radford University. His favorite place to travel is Southeast Asia and his favorite country is Thailand . . . or maybe Myanmar.