The Russian invasion of Ukraine no doubt has a resonance on the West but people of the East are largely unfazed by it. Not because we don’t care but as Vivian Balakrishnan our Foreign Minister rightly puts it, it is not our war, period!
It then behoves us the reason for Singapore’s participation in Western sanctions that were neither passed nor adopted, owing to the votes of 2 permanent members of the security council. The PAP government should at the very least, put forth a referendum seeking citizens’ inputs on implementing sanctions that are not adopted by the UN, regardless of the number of UN members wishing to adhere to it. Switzerland did just that and the Country will have to live with the consequences of its citizenry participation on sanctioning Russia.
Akin to the vote put up by Turkey condemning the US for “recognising” the Israeli status of Jerusalem and moving its embassy there, the US remains unfazed by the episode as it is a “non-binding” one. President Trump had also indicated he’ll take note of which Country had voted against his Nation. Nothing came out of that either.
In our sphere, we are only concerned about China and its dominating activities as Malaysia bluntly puts it, China has taken aggresive measures to subjugate ASEAN members by attempting to divide us and deal with us as individual entities, to continue its intrusion and taking over of our marine space by coercion.
Singapore and the West have absolutely no moral authority to sanction Russia when they themselves tolerate crony capitalist dictatorship that bends to the Will of the West. In Singapore, we have seen detention without trial of Opposition figures like Mr Chia Thye Poh and others, the exile of Mr Francis Seow, Tang Liang Hong etc., bankruptcy of Dr Chee, JBJ and last but not least, the recent arrests and charging of civil activists and forceful closure of independent media outlets. I understand the sentencing of the duo in the TOC criminal defamation case is due soon on April 8.
Just like the dire war situation in Ukraine, the dictatorship in Singapore albeit under the false guise of a peaceful Nation is untenable as well. So before the West tells us what to do, it should first clean up its act and keep its own house in moral order!