Why should Singapore apologize to China for our stand with regards to the disputed sea lines in South China Sea? Our Govt’s stand is simple; Respect the results of the International Arbitration. Anything wrong with that?
“Other countries will persuade us to side with them, one side or the other, and we have to choose our own place to stand, what is in our interest, calculate it, choose the spot, stand firm, we cannot succumb to pressure.”
— PM Lee, National Day Rally 16
So nine of our armoured personnel carriers (APCs) have been impounded in Hong Kong. There are speculations that China did that because we did something to piss them off. There is one group who has been saying specifically that China’s pissed off because of the things that PM Lee has been saying on various issues (e.g. South China Sea issues).
That group has started calls for PM Lee to apologise for his statements. People in that group say that if he doesn’t, then Singapore will miss out on many opportunities. Like… you know… look at Malaysia and Philippines. See how they have now become
lapdogs of best buddies with China. See how they have been rewarded with multi-billion dollar projects! We should do the same too! PM Lee needs to go down on his knees, beg China for forgiveness, grovel for China to shower us with their grace!
The people who call for such things are spineless, stupid, or treasonous or all of the above. Singapore wants to be friendly with everyone. It is in our interest that all nations get along. But we do not need to grovel. We do not need to beg for scraps. We do not need to go cap in hand to ask for favours from any nation. Countries and companies invest in and do business with us because it is in their interests to do so, because we offer them good value for their investments.
The day that we have to give up our principles because we are afraid of the consequences of not doing so is the day that we stop being a sovereign nation. That’s the day we end up nothing more as a vassal state, beholden to another country for our existence, no longer able to make decisions of our own.
If we start giving in to China, start being cowed by their intimidation, then we might as well call ourselves Hong Kong II. And look at Hong Kong. How much autonomy do they have? Sure. We may say that we live in a single party dictatorship today. Even if that were really the case, at least those people are Singaporeans. Would we rather trade that so that we are run by overlords from China?
It’s ironic that some of those who are calling for PM Lee to apologise are also those who once lamented that Singapore is becoming overcrowded as a result of a large influx of PRC nationals. If PM Lee were to apologise to China, we will eventually end up being governed by China. Is that what we want?
I don’t know about you. But I certainly don’t want that. Even though I am ethnically Chinese, I have no intention of being a Chinese national. And unless you don’t want to be a Chinese national too, I suggest we grow some balls, get some iron into our bones, straighten our backs, and get behind our government on this.