Potential US Ambassador to S’pore withdraws nomination. Any takers for this boring nation?

We collate former US Ambassadors' good reviews to give us a better chance.

By Martino Tan | February 3, 2018

After 13 months, we will continue to wait for our US Ambassador.

Kathleen Troia (KT) McFarland, 67, a former deputy national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has asked to be withdrawn from her nomination to be the US Ambassador to Singapore.

In her letter to Trump, McFarland added that Trump had honoured her not once, but twice in his administration.

In response, Trump said in a statement,

“I am disappointed that K.T. McFarland has withdrawn from consideration to be Ambassador to Singapore. K.T. served my Administration with distinction.

Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post. I wish K.T. the best as she uses her considerable wisdom and skill as a commentator to explain to the American people how to make American foreign policy great again.”

Just re-nominated in Jan

A few weeks ago, on Jan. 9, McFarland, a Fox News commentator on security issues, was re-nominated to be the ambassador to Singapore.

No US ambassador in S’pore for 13 months, Donald Trump nominates same person again

McFarland, however, is in a bit of a tricky situation.

This is because Democrats have accused her of misleading lawmakers regarding her own knowledge of the former National Security Advisor’s contacts with an ex-Russian ambassador during her Senate hearing.

“Escape to Singapore”

With the spotlight on McFarland and her looming problems, The New Yorker recently revealed she told an National Security Council (NSC) official that “going abroad could help her escape the political firestorm over Russia”.

According to one official, Trump asked McFarland whether she was sure that she wanted to go to Singapore, rather than stay at the White House.

McFarland said she wanted to go to Singapore, even though Trump continued to ask her if she was certain.

Guess she had finally changed her mind.

Singapore is not that bad. Really.

While Time Out London survey of most exciting cities had Singapore coming in second last, we are sure that Singapore is one of the sh*thole countries that Trump had described.

In fact, Trump calls the Singapore ambassadorship a “critically important post” and we have ex-ambassadors who had given good reviews of us in The Little Red Dot: Reflections of Foreign Ambassadors in Singapore (2015):

J. Stapleton Roy (US Ambassador, 1984-1986)

“My wife and three sons shared my own enchantment with Singapore. They were impressed by the orderliness of the traffic and the cleanliness of the city streets, unusual for a major metropolis… Singapore’s central location made it easy for our family to visit neighbouring countries and broaden our horizons.”

Steven Jay Green (US Ambassador, 1997-2001)

“Serving as U.S. Ambassador to Singapore from 1997 to 2001 was an extraordinary honour and also a challenge due to volatile global events. In my view, the particular nature of Singapore as a well-governed and forward-looking state made it possible for our two countries to navigate the turbulent waters successfully as partners”.

Franklin L. Lavin (US Ambassador, 2001-2005)

“My work with Singaporean diplomats over the years made it clear to me that Singapore’s influence came not from traditional attributes of power such as military might or economic weight, but from the power of ideas, the ability to advance those ideas, and the wisdom to avoid common mistakes of diplomacy.”

Patricia L. Herbold (US Ambassador, 2005-2009)

“I was very impressed with all that Singapore had to offer — its economic development, its first-class educational and medicaly systems and of course, its renowned food and shopping. After discussing the opportunity with my family and several former Ambassadors, I postponed retirement and happily accepted the nomination to be Ambassador to the Republic of Singapore”.

Exit Interview: The kiasu but not kiasi U.S. ambassador reflects on his 3.5 years in S’pore

And the best ambassador of Singapore (pun intended) so far?

Just ask David Adelman, the US Ambassador, from 2010 to 2013.

He told The Straits Times in his 2013 exit interview that he is going to stay in Singapore, as he will have “a business interest in Singapore and elsewhere in the region”.

Adelman has since joined a global law firm in 2015 and works out of its offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.

If Singapore is a destination for Trip-Advisor-Ambassador, we would have gotten five stars.

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US Ambassador to S’pore Kirk Wagar said a prayer, finally tried durian

Top photo from Getty Images

About Martino Tan

Martino’s parents named him after an Italian priest, Vatican's 1st ambassador to S’pore. He's inspired by the lives of Robert Kennedy & D. Bonhoeffer, the words of G.Orwell & T.Sorensen, & the music of the Beatles.

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