The Summit has progressed well. More noodles for breakfast, more delectably sweltering weather. This morning we attended a dialogue session with Mr Bilahari Kausikan, ambassador-at-large of Singapore. It was an incredibly immersive and eye-opening experience and the Q&A session was both informative and delightfully interactive. Mr Kausikan spoke about complex international relations issues and answered questions from delegates brave enough to voice their own views. Through him we also got to understand Singapore’s position on the global scale and acknowledge their national interests and beliefs.
Afterwards, we took a tour through the immaculately contemporary Supreme Court and were elucidated upon Singapore’s (relatively controversial) judicial system. I am still divided over Singapore’s jury-less justice system and its implementation of capital punishment although weighty justifications were attached to both of these. In any case, the building was an exemplar of the grandiose Singaporean architecture which seems to be the norm here.
In the afternoon we had the zenith of the day, this being meeting President Tony Tan. We were taken to the unrelentingly secured Istana and had the honour of meeting and conversing first-hand with the President. We haven’t quite reached the point yet where everyday we meet sovereign heads of states, so for us this was undoubtedly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
It’s amazing how well the relationships between delegates have fostered over such a short period of time. It’s still only Day 2 and there’s still plenty to look ahead to.