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Singapore’s policy is ‘to be close to all great powers’

Prof Tommy Koh says that Singapore’s policy is “to be close to all great powers”, but that we pursue a policy of non-alignment. (ST, 8/4/22)

He quotes our first foreign minister, Mr S Rajaratnam in his inaugural speech at the UN in 1965. In that speech, Mr Rajaratnam said that we do not side with “narrow power bloc interest”, but we are fully aligned to the principles of the UN Charter, which guides international relations, from sovereign equality of States to the prohibition of the use of force in international relations.

Thus, “we do not wish to be drawn into alliances dedicated to imposing our way of life on other countries.” However, whenever any country, big or small, violates the principles of the UN Charter, we will speak up against it because small countries cannot hope to prevail in a confrontation with big powers but can only do so when every country, big or small abide by the principles of the Charter.

However, as time went by, the evidence suggest that we are less and less non-aligned.

Prof Koh claims that we have been quite consistent in condemning Vietnam’s invasion of Cambodia, Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and the US’ invasion of Grenada, as we have condemned Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine. But did we condemn the US, when either by itself or with its allies, invaded Vietnam in the 60s, Cambodia in 1970, Laos in 1971, Panama in 1989, Iraq in 1991, Haiti in 1994, Afghanistan in 2001, and Iraq again in 2003? Did we condemn Israel, a staunch ally of the US, when it invaded its neighbors numerous times?

Despite our founding fathers’ declaration to be non-aligned, we have been drawn into alignment with the Western bloc, especially the United States.

According to the website of the US government, “Singapore is one of the United States’ strongest bilateral partners in Southeast Asia and plays an indispensable role in supporting the region’s security and economic framework. The United States cooperates with Singapore on the full range of security issues, to include border security, maritime security, military preparedness, counter proliferation, cybersecurity, and counterterrorism.”

Not only do we refrain from speaking up against the US and it’s allies, commonly referred to as the West, we have echoed their denigration and propaganda against their adversaries like Russia and China. It isn’t far-fetched to say we have become a mouthpiece of the West, especially the US.

Our local newspapers carry articles published by Western newspapers – Reuters, Bloomberg, Agence France-Presse and NYTimes reflecting Western interest everyday. Even worse, our local newspapers tweak the headlines to give a slanted impression. For example, in the bombing of the rail hub in eastern Ukraine on Friday (8/4/22) which killed about 50 civilians, The Straits Times headline reads “50 killed in rocket strike at rail hub for evacuation, says Ukraine” By using “says Ukraine” it gives the impression that Russia is the culprit since Ukraine is reporting the crime, when in fact it is not clear who fired the missile. Our local Business Times is even worse. Its headline for the same story says “At least 50 killed as Russia strikes Ukraine rail evacuation hub”. How does BT know Russia launched the missiles? Many other countries are more objective. The Canberra Times simply headlined the story “50 killed in strike on Ukraine rail hub”, making no reference to the culprit as it is not established.

The one-sided reporting can also be found in our local newspapers everyday when it comes to stories related to the containment of China, stories about countries resisting the imposition of neoliberalism, vaccines, and many others that concern the interest of the Western bloc, especially the US.

It is one thing to have US presence in the region to balance the big power of China. Indeed, life may be oppressive for many countries in the region with an unrestrained China. But it is quite another to openly side with one big power against another. Will the US protect us if we are attacked by another nuclear armed big power? The evidence in Ukraine so far is no.

Our founding fathers wisely advocated a policy of non-alignment with big power blocs. Have we strayed dangerously off course?

 

Foong Swee Fong

 

 

yyy
READER COMMENTS BELOW

23 Responses to “Singapore’s policy is ‘to be close to all great powers’”

  • Harder Truths:

    $inkieland is a vassal state of the USA. This is undeniable.

    $inkieland took part in the illegal ‘war on terror’ by the USA bloc that was rejected by the UNGA and UNSC.

    $inkieland has sanctioned Russia as part of the USA bloc, and now has been designated a ‘hostile nation’ by Russia. This is also the stance of the Russia-China Eurasia alliance, the biggest trade alliance in the world.

    $inkieland has already been reverse-sanctioned and there will be more trade and travel barriers. China will bypass $G with its OBOR initiative. USA will use $inkieland to poke fire at China and Russia.

    if there is a war between USA and China/Russia, know that $inkieland will be blown to bits.

    Good luck to Little Red Dot.

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  • panyusg:

    Spore is just too small to have any impact on global events. The neighborhood is peaceful until it changes.

    When Spore had its Malayan Emergency…it was the British and Australians that came to help. When it had Konfrontasi, no one came. LKY survived that threat.

    Spore cannot rely on China. In fact, Spore is barely on cozy term with China these days. Its troops train in Taiwan, Australia, USA, Germany, France. Not in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

    Spore has to stay close to USA even though that comes with obligations.

    Spore sits at the most vulnerable spot…the entrance to both the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. The Big Powers are contesting for influence and even control over this very narrow Singapore Strait, only 16 km wide.

    Spore is vulnerable. That is why the airforce jets keep flying often five days a week.

    Politically, few may realise the immense burden of the PAP.

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  • P Against People:

    Even sheep know we are US “ally”. We provide $ and follow their orders. Worse than running dogs?

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  • Dr Fire:

    This koh is IMPLYING sg SMALL .

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  • Anor Xi c-sucker! So many. Imported fm PRC n Malaysia.

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  • TheObelisk:

    When you bollywood dance behind the coconut tree
    it’s inevitable that you’ll get your nose scratched by the bark sometime

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  • Billy ma:

    Everybody, including China, knows ST is the mouthpiece of PAP, its the voice of the PAP government, the note taker of the PM.

    And with the one-sided news & reportings in ST, the impression & conclusion is clear of where PAP stands in regional & world conflicts.

    ST is a tool of PAP, everything its printed is on behalf of PAP.
    ST is doing a great disservice to the country & Singaporeans.
    It’s putting the nation & the people in harms way.

    Do a count on ST the number of reproduced articles that are nothing but rhetorics from the West, especially the liberal arm.

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  • xoxo:

    *close to all great powers* but not aligned to anyone of them?

    Hey! PAPple must be thinking great powers are daft like 60 pct here.
    You cannot have your cake and eat it.
    Simple as that.
    Such a foreign policy leads to suspicion.

    Can a sg voter be close to PAP N VOTE SDP?
    IF SO,SGS SHUD VOTE MORE OPPO NEXT GE.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Dont worry Foong, many prcs looking forward to migration after the so many lock down. Sg is one on the top 10 list.

    https://vitomag.com/lifestyle/xbiacg.html
    疫情下,中國移民搜尋飆升,美國最熱!曾勸人回國的也要移民了

    https://lihkg.com/thread/2966213/page/1
    廈門大學教授戴亦一11日也在中國財經網站《今日頭條》上指出:「剛收到新加坡金管局消息:4月18日起投資移民門檻由300萬新加坡元直接提高到2000萬新加坡元。可想需求大到什麼程度。」

    Tech: PRC migrating to Sinkielamd because of lockdown? You are so cute! My PRC friend says Sinkieland C19 policies so shit, even if give him 100k he also don’t want to go for holiday.

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  • Die liao SG:

    In international relationships, to be close is FxxKing ambiguous, usually promulgated by those who do not know, and what to conduct amongst with others.

    Being close IS NOT DEFINED by the PAP Administration. As such, one can safely infer the PAP has no clear cut templates to enter into international political, sovereignty relationships to develop and maintain – clear display of statecraft novices.

    Lets take VB throwing away SG hard earned $20 million to pour tea – ambiguously. What’s there to reap to pour DOWN the drain $20 million? Did he has any strategic analysis what’s the return of this splashing $20 million? Did he estimate, to calculate, the degree of success of the Summit between 2 monkeys for PR for their own image? And by throwing away 20 million, will HISTORY be MADE that will forever edge SG’s hosting in world perpetuity?

    Looks like VB is tikam tikam with SG’s $20 million of our savings AND YET REFUSED TO GIVE A FEW MORE CENTS TO THE POOR TO EAT BETTER MEALS.

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    https://3g.163.com/dy/article/H50KRJ5M05169HU0.html?referFrom=google&spss=adap_dy

    据核查,新加坡将大幅提高投资移民门槛?

    Yes, Your friends the most 100 dont want to come – okay. The other 1.4 billion minus 100 may think otherwise.

    Tech: Corrupt officials wanting to run road one, maybe.

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  • Pitch-forked Sinkies:

    Can a gelek2, sashaying… henpecked leader ‘STANDS UP’ to great powers?
    Flatus Biden says “punch above its’ own weight” Did clown hears where the sound is coming from? lol

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Dont worry Foong.

    http://m.7mbifen.com/zuqiu/101738311.html
    又丢人了!0-7,0-5,中国男足再创惨败纪录,亚足联批评不亏

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  • Stupid Singaporeans Vote PAP:

    Excuse me, have you seen the queue in JB getting back to SG? That size alone is enough to give trouble if they rise with one voice.

    That is only fraction of FTs from one country up North hor. We are F**k long ago. Our enemies are already in left, right, front, back, up & down surrounding your house.

    Put on your thinking cap, if all the FTs riot together do you think our SPF + Army + Navy + Airforce + US mountain will come help?

    US will ask one question, “Do you want a ride?”. First to go will be him. And you think our general will fight with you, like the Russian generals?

    Sorry hor, how dare you entrust your sons’ lives to a general doesn’t know where cottons come from?

    Singapore is outside looks good, inside hollow many many years ago. We’ve FUCKED ourselves by voting PAP.

    panyusg:
    Spore is just too small to have any impact on global events. The neighborhood is peaceful until it changes.

    When Spore had its Malayan Emergency…it was the British and Australians that came to help. When it had Konfrontasi, no one came. LKY survived that threat.

    Spore cannot rely on China. In fact, Spore is barely on cozy term with China these days. Its troops train in Taiwan, Australia, USA, Germany, France. Not in China, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

    Spore has to stay close to USA even though that comes with obligations.

    Spore sits at the most vulnerable spot…the entrance to both the Straits of Malacca and the South China Sea. The Big Powers are contesting for influence and even control over this very narrow Singapore Strait, only 16 km wide.

    Spore is vulnerable. That is why the airforce jets keep flying often five days a week.

    Politically, few may realise the immense burden of the PAP.

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  • P Against People:

    Why you so stewpig? The $$$ immigration is for all countries. You could also say the rich ang moh and africans are rushing here.

    You think the 1.4 billion minus 100 Chinese have the millions to get in through the $$$ immigration way? Stewpig lah.

    PAP mandate strong:
    https://3g.163.com/dy/article/H50KRJ5M05169HU0.html?referFrom=google&spss=adap_dy

    据核查,新加坡将大幅提高投资移民门槛?

    Yes, Your friends the most 100 dont want to come – okay. The other 1.4 billion minus 100 may think otherwise.

    Tech: Corrupt officials wanting to run road one, maybe.

    Tech: Do you have any idea how many billionaires there are in China? Even they poorest top 10 billionaires Zhang will have Sinkieland’s local true-blue richest for breakfast, if I see read the figures correctly. And the best part of the joke is, almost all the top billionaires in Sinkieland are actually from China, with the exception of Goh of Nippon Paint, the NG brothers and Li! lol

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  • China very good:

    Every time China let go a fart, you rush in to smell it. Then you happily tell others how bad the fart is.

    Good job!

    PAP mandate strong:
    Dont worry Foong.

    http://m.7mbifen.com/zuqiu/101738311.html
    又丢人了!0-7,0-5,中国男足再创惨败纪录,亚足联批评不亏

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  • MarBowling:

    Stupid Singaporeans Vote PAP:
    April 19, 2022 at 1:20 am (Quote)
    Excuse me, have you seen the queue in JB getting back to SG? That size alone is enough to give trouble if they rise with one voice.

    That is only fraction of FTs from one country up North hor. We are F**k long ago. Our enemies are already in left, right, front, back, up & down surrounding your house.

    Put on your thinking cap, if all the FTs riot together do you think our SPF + Army + Navy + Airforce + US mountain will come help?

    Response: very well said. Now, Looking at the LTA checkpoint camera, there isn’t the pre-covid19 Massive vehicle traffic jam making a beeline for cheap stuffs, especially petrol and groceries in JB! To play safe and NOT DRIVING into JB in their SinKapore-registered cars, SinKaporean since 1 April 2022, are GOING INTO JB IN DROVES USING PUBLIC TRANSPORT. Some are CARRYING the more than usual Huge Haversack to stuff their parang2.

    Over on SinKapore side, Tombmasek Holdings previously under the armpit but now under the thumb of Holee Jinx is very WORRY that BUSINESSES at shim flagship City [email protected] isn’t PICKING UP AS EXPECTED, GIVEN THE CROWD OF SHOPPERS ARE ONLY PACK-PACKERS SINKAPOREAN AND NOT SHOPPERS AND FAMILEES IN SINKAPOREAN CARS!

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  • P Against People:

    It’s been corrupted. Closed to a particular power means ass-kissing.

    xoxo:
    *close to all great powers* but not aligned to anyone of them?

    Hey! PAPple must be thinking great powers are daft like 60 pct here.
    You cannot have your cake and eat it.
    Simple as that.
    Such a foreign policy leads to suspicion.

    Can a sg voter be close to PAP N VOTE SDP?
    IF SO,SGS SHUD VOTE MORE OPPO NEXT GE.

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  • @PAP mandate strong

    Of all the sports that China partakes in on the world stage, you choose the one that they are worst in. Why not choose table-tennis, volleyball, swimming or diving?

    This is like giving you the choice to pit your oral skills from all the schools, but you choose one from kindergarden.

    Bully mentality?

    Anyway, I think even for football, Sinkieland’s team will still be beaten easily by their worst. In fact, I think even if China sends their provincial team, ti would still beat the shit out of the Sinkieland’s team. Gone are the days of Kim Song and Fandi, because the jokers at Sports Council did not support and cherish them.

    What do you think?

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  • PAP mandate strong:

    Just sharing news . Nothing wrong !
    Why must only share good news ? That’s against 習主席思想.

    As Xi said 做人不一定要風風光光,但一定要堂堂正正。處事不一定要盡善盡美,但一定要問心無愧.

    Therefore 輸 ( 是事實 )! 也要堂堂正正, 問心無愧.

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  • Temusik Patriot:

    The superior Art of Lies & Con…advocate by a bastard aptly named Lie & CON You

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