Singapore needs to be prepared economically, politically and socially, says Minister

Singapore needs to be prepared economically, politically and socially, says Minister

SINGAPORE: Singapore needs to be prepared economically, politically and socially when pressed on issues like energy, airspace and water, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam said on Thursday at the Home Team National Day Observance CeremonyHome Team National Day Observance Ceremony.

He said that a country like Singapore is a country, but in particular needs to be prepared economically, politically and socially. If we are successful, we are just a piece of rock off the southern tip of the Malaysian Peninsula. In his speech, he pointed out that the key development this year is Russia's Invasion of Ukraine and he wanted to touch on that and what it means for Singapore.

Shanmugam said that countries make assertions and only the absurdly naive will take these assertions at face value. He added that what countries actually do depends on their core interests, strengths and ability to get what they want. We know that from experience.

If you are vulnerable, or if others think that they can press you on any aspect, the other country will press those buttons. Mr Shanmugam said that Singapore has to take expressions of good intentions with caution and that it must always be ready to defend itself, as a primary lesson for Singapore about the Russian invasion.

Three months before the invasion began, Russia's ambassador to the European Union said Russia was not planning an attack against any country. The ambassador assured the European Union that no Russian troops were preparing for an invasion of Ukraine.

As we celebrate National Day, I think it is important to remember that only Singaporeans, all of you, can guarantee our security, said Mr Shanmugam.

He added that Singapore had to have the ability to defend itself, and that means that the basic, non-negotiable core has to be strong SAF Without that, you can't guarantee anything else. He said that if you don't have that, you can forget about anything else.

Mr Shanmugam said that internal security is vital because it can destabilise a country even without a war. He said that the Russians have developed a doctrine called Gerasimov doctrine and they say every country has a protest potential Using Singapore as an example, Mr Shanmugam said that race and religion are faultlines that others may exploit.

They make people think that the other side is attacking them within the country, weakening the country, he said.

In that context, he said that you need an extremely strong and capable Home Team, and an extremely strong and capable Internal Security Department, and a population that understands these realities, which can effectively deal with foreign attempts to exploit the divisions within our country, whether they are racial, religious, class, economic. The Maintenance of Religious Harmony Act has been strengthened substantially over the years, according to Shanmugam.

Racial Harmony has indicated that we are working on legislation on that. FICA, POFMA and various pieces of legislation are some of the things that are on the table. The framework has to be built, and the will to use this framework has to be there, according to Shanmugam, who said that the resources and capabilities have to be developed.