Today, Straits Times published a letter from a Singaporean living in the United Kingdom giving his reasons why he voted for the UK to leave the European Union. The author claimed to have awoken to the shock that Brexit would indeed be happening.
Was it really a difficult decision?
The writer claimed making the decision was not a simple one and not one taken lightly. But here lies the problem. This writer remained a Singapore citizen. He could always flee the United Kingdom if things turned sour or he lost his job due to the economic consequences of Brexit. But can the actual Britons say the same?
To make things worse, the author decided to compare Britain’s situation to Singapore’s decision to separate from Malaysia in 1965. He noted that Singapore and Malaysia also had a lack of common culture and identity, rather similar to how the EU presently is. He also cited that there was also a bureaucracy holding back smaller territories. (hmm.. I’m not sure Great Britain and Northern Ireland are what we call “smaller territories”)
Next, as Mr Donald Low has mentioned, Singapore joined Malaysia to seek a common market, which never truly materialized for Singapore. Singapore had ceded control of its foreign affairs and defense but received nothing in return. Britain, on the other hand, has access to one of the biggest’s markets because of their EU membership. Britain could certainly be in big trouble if they did not have the EU market. As Mr Low explains, that is also why the Leave campaign leaders want to retain the flow of goods into Europe but limit the inflow of people from Europe. So, basically Britain wants to have most of the benefits of being in the European community without suffering the costs of it.
And of course, the United Kingdom is independent, no matter how some may want to pretend it’s not. They have their own Parliament, Monarch, treaties, foreign ties and what not. Yes, there are situations in which they are tied down to certain rules and regulations based on the treaties they signed but isn’t that what many countries face too? No country is going to give something to another without expecting something back.
Last but not least, if the author thinks he made the right decision, one just has to look at the effects of the referendum result. There have been an increased number of incidents of racism since the referendum. People are asked to get out of the country because the UK has voted to leave.
No matter how one tries to deny it, this referendum has given some people the idea that it’s alright to attack others just because they aren’t white. So if you really think that voting leave was the right thing to do, think again.
Cover picture from e-spaces.eu