<Image Credit: A Good Citizen>
Singapore should not kowtow to China whenever it is unhappy about issues that Singapore puts forward in its own interests, says a prominent netizen, Andrew Loh.
Instead of turning on each other every time the Asian giant rants on its news mouthpiece, The Global Times, Singaporeans should band together instead and stand behind the government when it comes to international disputes.
Writing in response to a The Independent Singapore article which criticized the Singapore government's handling of Singapore-China ties, Loh writes: "I don't understand articles like this one. Is it saying Singapore should kow tow to China just because China is unhappy about something?
And isn't it good that Minister Vivian Balakrishnan is trying to soothe relations between the two countries? Are we not aware that if relations sour further, there will be consequences for us Singaporeans?
The article is rather immature, dredging up the incident involving Stanley Tan and all."
"I think we as Singaporeans must stand behind the govt when it comes to international disputes, especially ones where clearly the bigger boy is trying to bully us," he adds.
"The TISG article below says: "It was not that long ago when actions by Singapore angered China particularly over the South China Sea issue."
"Huh? Do remember that it is China which does not abide by the ruling of the ICJ over the SCS issue.
"And to refer to an earlier article on TISG which claimed that Singapore antagonised China by going ahead with the military exercise with India in the SCS - for goodness' sake, the India-S'pore military exercise in the SCS is an annual event between the two navies dating back to 1994. Why should Singapore and India stop this exercise just because China is unhappy?
"And oh, do you know what these exercises are for? And do you not think they are crucial for our national security?
Loh also observes that supporting the Singapore government in the face of international pressure is about knowing what is at stake and keeping true to the country when "Singapore is in trouble".
He writes: "I'm no fan of Vivian Balakrishnan, but I think he treads a difficult tightrope when it comes to the big powers, esp China. So, know what is at stake. If Singapore is in trouble, China is not going to come running to offer us help. We will be on our own. Remember this always.
"I now understand Bilahari Kausikan's accusation of TISG taking the sides of foreign powers against Singapore. And it is regrettable."
Do you agree?