Singapore lauds Duterte agenda

    Singaporean Ambassador to Manila Li Peng Kok

    Singaporean Ambassador to Manila Kok Li Peng

    CAN the Philippines be the next Singapore under the Duterte administration?

    More than 16 million Filipinos catapulted Rodrigo Duterte to the presidency on hopes that he would rule like
    Lee Kuan Yew, who transformed a sleepy city-state into a first-world, crime-free economy.

    Singaporean Ambassador to Manila Kok Li Peng sees such signs early in Duterte’s administration. It will not be easy for Duterte, though, she said.

    “I think your president has many challenges to face and to deal with. But what’s striking is that he’s got a very comprehensive agenda and his ensemble is very experienced and very capable. He’s going to do it,” she told The Manila Times in a roundtable discussion Thursday.

    Duterte took over an economy regarded by the Oxford Business Group (OBG) as the “best” in Southeast Asia.
    The Philippine Stock Exchange index now trades at 7,000, nearly double the 3,600 in 2008. Foreign direct investments tripled during the period.

    The Singaporean envoy was optimistic Duterte’s team wil be able to fulfill Filipinos’ dream of a wealthy, modern, clean and safe country.

    “I think it’s the Philippines’ time. Every country has a time,” Kok said. “This is it.”

    Kok said Singapore was more than willing to help the Philippines in its road to prosperity.

    “In our bilateral relations, I think this is an exciting time in terms of the Philippine economy. Your economic growth is amazing and it has steadied for the last couple of years. So anything that boosts that further is going to draw a lot of attention,” she said.

    Kok disclosed renewed interest among Singaporean businessmen in the Philippines’ retail, infrastructure, transportation and tourism sectors.

    Singaporean carriers are also looking at adding more flights, especially to Manila, notwithstanding congestion problems in Philippine airports.

    Investors are confident that these issues will be solved soon, she said.

    Singapore carriers operate 148 weekly passenger flights in the Philippines, flying to Clark, Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo and Manila.

    “If we open up and improve connectivity, I think people-to-people links will be strengthened, it will boost tourism and businesses will come,” she said. “Once you connect two points, many things can happen.”


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    1. Singaporeans have been ingrained to follow the rules and laws of the state for peace and progress for the nation. Ever since LKY took over as PM he ruled with an iron fist but a loving Father and protector to all citizens who obeys the rules and laws. Those were the early days where oppositions, communists and troublemakers went all out to discredit LKY and the way he governs.There were riots and unrest caused by some foolish “wise guys” and helped by jealous “outsiders”. But the citizens trusted LKY and his men thus SG went on to become a united, peaceful, progressive and prosperous 1st world nation. I believe that God has put Duterte to lead Philippines through the prayers of the suffering people as drugs, crime and corruption proliferated unabatingly. Drug addicts, drug lords, drug pushers were rampant and increasing in millions. So now that Duterte is trying his best to rid the country of all these ills, many of their rich so-called highly educated citizens are going against him saying that he is responsible for the thousands being killed although it’s clear that he ordered the police to shoot to defend themselves against criminals and drug pushers who resist and try to attack the police. But oh no! These “saintly” CHR are accusing these policemen of extra judicial killings. They announced it to the whole world so the US and UN are very much against Duterte’s Govt. Everywhere in the world, the US included, policemen are killing blacks, there are genocides, killing of women and children BUT the center of attention, noise, anger and demonstrations are pointed at only the Philippines. Looks like many people are jealous of Duterte and his relentless iron fisted method to clean up the country that he loves. Even the bishops of Philippines are not happy with Duterte bcoz of the numerous criminals being killed. BUT can anyone of the CHR, US, UN, highly intellectual noisy citizens of Philippines solve this magnanimous drug problem without any bloodshed??? If anyone can clean up the country without a drop of blood and make peace with the Muslim states the NPA and even the evil satanic city of the Abu Sayaf, we will all salute you and bow down lowly before you, but until someone can come up with a “holier than thou” method of solving this country’s problem then it’s better for all of you empty vessels to just keep your mouths shut and offer prayers and sacrifices to God so that HE can solve your problems without a drop of blood. No use talking too much just to show the world that you are worthy of your CHR title and attacking Duterte verbally when you yourselves have no solution to end the drug crisis peacefully. Everyone knows that dealing with drug lords and pushers is dealing with the devil. If they resist it’s either you kill them or you get killed. CHR, UN and bishops should try to eradicate the drug problem themselves since they are the saintly and holy ones that will not kill criminalsPNP chief and your men can take a break. On the other hand better not allow CHR and the others to try to clean up the drug problem because by their saintly attitude the whole P. Island will be infested with drugs and crime and criminals will increase tremendously. The saintly ones will also be killed. My advise to these honourable “wise” people is Leave the President to do his job of cleaning the country. All of you must learn to love and respect your newly elected president. He may not be perfect but God has blessed him to lead the country therefore whatever he plans and orders it is by Gods will and plans too. So Instead of yakking and trying to act smart, you just pray that God will guide him in the right way. If there should be killings only God can judge him and not u CHR , UN or bishops. What u can do is give him support by your humble prayers. If u hv a better solution without bloodshed then discuss it with him he will be most happy to hear your plans to eradicate the country’s problem but if u hv no solution u better just keep your mouth shut with a scotch tape plastered across your lips. Silence is golden and peaceful. Every citizen must obey the rules and laws of the country. Pay your correct taxes do not cheat, do not greed for wealth and material things, live humbly according to your means. Work hard to earn a living do not go against the government and its laws. If everyone complies and support your President, I can assure you that in 5 years Philippines will be a united, peaceful and prosperous country.
      One more thing I like to remind you all, Duterte has allowed Marcos to be buried in the heroes cemetery, because of this, there is so much anger, argument and disagreement. Why is this so? The president wants closure and peace, if any of you hated Marcos it is time now to forgive and hv peace within your heart. Do not dwell on his sins he is Long dead and gone. God can judge him it’s not for you mankind to keep grudges and hate him. Those who insist that he should not be buried there and create a showdown with demonstrations then the hatred and anger in their hearts will never make Phillipines a peaceful and united country. You all want peace, unity and prosperity but how can that ever happen if you harbour hatred and revenge. I can tell you right at this moment God will judge you and will not forgive you because you hold grudges and hatred in your heart. To hv peace we hv to let go all the hatred n pain and forgive with a true sincere heart. God will see you and all your transgressions be forgiven too. You will die with a loving and peaceful heart fit for the Heavens. Duterte is trying to unite the people and hv peace, you the citizens must comply and support him and in the end your country will triumph and will someday be a first world country BUT it is YOU the citizens that will make or break your country.

    2. Paragraph 5 of this article states, “Duterte took over an economy regarded by the Oxford Business Group (OBG) as the “best” in Southeast Asia.
      The Philippine Stock Exchange index now trades at 7,000, nearly double the 3,600 in 2008. Foreign direct investments tripled during the period.” This then proves that the past administration has done greatly to improve the economy of the country, far from the detractors of the Aquent administration. The only thing Duterte has to do is continue or improve even more.

      • the past admin did nothing but continue that of the previous admin, which was headed by gma, who put her talents as an economist to good use.
        also, it may be a sign that investors are starting to flood in because of their confidence in the current administration.

    3. Thank you, Singapore!

      It is high time for the Philippines to not always look at the West for approval and validation. We should also not think that the Western model is the only thing we could emulate. We should work more closely with and learn more from our Asian neighbors.

    4. Eduardo Ramoso on

      Thank you Ambassador. You forgot to talk about Singapore’s very strict law on total gun and ammunitions ban. I wish to see Philippines do that first before anything else. It is not impossible to do. Blessings to the peace loving Filipinos and all the best to President Duterte. It’s your call now sir. Godspeed!

    5. Good to know that all praises from international community was observed and we thank your full support in our new PRESIDENT HERO who is ready to die fighting for our lost righteoussness which was due to various evil wrongdoings in the past.Thank you Madam Ambassador.

    6. Good news/report Michael Joe Delizo. According to Romulo, Filipinos should “continue to communicate the successes our country is achieving. if the Philippines does not tell its own story, other will. and if that is negative we wont be happy with the result.
      But thanks to Ambassador Kok Li Peng who saw the reality and have the honest to goodness comment of what is good changes happening to our country. Cheers!

    7. I experienced Singapore in 1977 ,I am a long haired Mariner and I have to cut my hair so I can have liberty in Singapore. Discipline is the Key to success ,a happy crime free country like Singapore now

    8. I was once experienced Singapore in 1977 ,We are a long haired Mariner and we have to cut our hair to one inch so we can have a Liberty in Singapore, Discipline is what we need to have a happy crime free country like Singapore now.

    9. Like what it says the Phil has the best growth in Asia, hopefully Duterte will surpass if not, maintain the Phil economic growth brought by the past administration after all the lucky recipients are the Filipinos.

    10. Thank you Ambassador Kok Li Peng. I have high hopes on Pres. Duterte making this country crime-free and more prosperous. I used to not really care about politics. Pres. Duterte inspired me and so I am supporting his campaign and advocacy. God bless, my president!

    11. jerwin manongas bugtong on

      I’m so very happy to hear this inspiring news. Ambassador Li Peng Kok thank you for your concern to my beloved country, Philippines. God bless us all.

    12. jeff jaramillo on

      It is the tradition of corruption and greed of power that makes it difficult for Duterte to establish a new Philippines. It will be difficult for him to hurdle the likes of DeLima and CHR who parades themselves as pro-poor and protector of the oppressed but can not offer any solution to this drug menace that causes this country poor and crime ridden

    13. Imagine a new Philippines! I am almost 100% sure balikbayans will visit the country in crops, maybe many more will return permanently and the economy will get even stronger. Hunger and poverty will also, hopefully be kept to the minimum. Graft and corruption will be eradicated. Imagine.

    14. The Philippines under President Rodrigo Duterte can be like Singapore if the Philippines-Bangsamoro war in Mindanao and the AFP-NDF/NPA war will be comprehensively solved through peaceful rather than military solution. Peace is the pivotal key to socio-economic and political prosperity of any country.

    15. As one who has lived in this wonderful country for nearly a decade now, I share our ambassador Kok’s comments and pronouncements about his hopes for this country.
      As a detached observer, I see also an historic opportunity for this nation to turn the corner under a Duterte administration and take its rightful place in the successful community of nations. The only way to predict the future is to create it, fearlessly. I join my like-minded countrymen in wishing the Philippines a great future. You deserve nothing less.

    16. Awesome! She’s right. It is time! This is it! Economy growth.

      It’s an honour to receive such comments from a high standard and important person.
      Good job to our President Duterte to be recognised by Singapore in a way nobody else has ever seen.
      We should be thankful that she had left such a heartfelt message. This message had just given me hope and strength that Philippines does have a bright future ahead. And that this will motivate Filipinos to strive harder.

    17. With Duterte in the lead, we are taking the right step to a clean and progressive government and society. Its about time!!! Nothing but exciting days ahead if we keep our focus and give our full, unbridled support to our president. We will be his strength.


      A very inspiring vision from a foreigner on the fate of our country under President Duterte administration. I wonder why some of our very own people cant even notice it.

    19. Filipino Taxpayer on

      Thank you Ambassador Kok Li Peng. Even though some Filipinos are not appreciative of what President Rodrigo Duterte is doing for the country, still, a lot of us are optimistic that he will lead this country to a brighter future. Someday we would also be a first world country like Singapore. Never lose hope my fellow Filipinos.

    20. Victor Arches on

      Even Malaysia, saludo kay Digong!
      Malaysians wish their Prime Minister were another Duterte.
      Hinahangaan tayo ng ibang bansa sa Asya.

    21. How is it that Singaporean can appreciate Duterte more than some Filipinos… because I believe Singaporeans can rightfully say “been there, done that”… how did they do it? Whether they like it or not they were ruled with an iron fist by Mr. LKY and they succeeded against poverty and drugs…
      Filipinos should.embrace change …

    22. Thanks to Ambassador Li Peng Kok. What she said is inspiring. May we, Filipinos learn to trust our leader/s and pray for them that they will be able to succeed in doing the necessary changes in our country. It isn’t an easy road to tread, the journey will be filled with challenges, and it might be long — but never impossible.

      • Thanks ambassador of Singapore appreciating our very own president Duterte..unlike others who criticizing his works to develop our country. Your voice slams those critics of President Duterte.. Truly it is the time of the Philippines to experience changes by the leadership of Duterte administration..

    23. That’s right! in this most difficult crisis – both internal and external, at least someone has been selfless and fearless enough to rise and then try to unite, clean up and give hope, and encourage us ordinary people to help and care for our country and the survival of our lowly race, giving us hope to end this sorry state of being the global “coolies-sans-pigtail”.

      An objective view is enough to light our path and direction.

      • Fernando Delos reyes on

        If our government can work together, will have a stronger house in Congress, forget about the different party list, work together for a change, for the country and for the people, and for the people let’s help the government, work hard for your family, Philippines will great and be like Singapore, with cooperation from the whole nation, God Bless You All, no matter what religion, and race you believe in, we are all Filipino, and belong to one country, one flag, let’s all live happily and do something right for a change,