Watch out Lee Kuan Yew, one of Barack Obama's soldiers of freedom is out to get you. After decades of silence on the ingrained human rights abuses and lack of genuine democracy in the Lion City, the nominee to be the next US ambassador to Singapore seems ready to shake things up.
During pre-appointment questioning by senator Jim Webb, the key advocate of rapprochement with Burma, David Adelman said that while he wanted to build on America's strong partnership with Singapore, he would push the government to open up and allow greater democratic freedom.
"Make no mistake, currently Singapore is not a multi-party democracy," he said, according to AFP.
"I intend, if confirmed, to use public diplomacy to work towards greater press freedoms, greater freedom of assembly and ultimately more political space for opposition parties in Singapore."
That's not the kind of sentiment the ruling People's Action Party wants to hear with an election due by early 2012.
Whether Adelman (if confirmed) will have the cojones to share these sentiments with Lee Kuan Yew or his son, the Prime Minister, when he gets to meet them is another issue altogether. Most members of the Singapore diplomatic community steer clear of such sensitive political issues for fear of jeopardising their countries' often-lucrative business interests in the city-state.
In the meantime, the PAP apparatchiks and their civil service allies will once again be preparing to deploy their stock line about "Western-style liberal democracy" not being appropriate for a society governed by "Asian values". I suspect they are even firing up their current attack dog of choice, law minister K. Shanmugam, as I write this.