To no one’s surprise at all, Dr Chee Soon Juan took a pot shot at PM Lee Hsien Loong over Singapore’s relationship with China. It was about time that he did so.
You can read this entire post here, but in a nutshell, Dr Chee criticised LHL for two main things:
- Cracking jokes about China, and worsening bilateral ties as a result;
- Harping about a rule based international system that adheres to international law.
I have several questions for Dr Chee though:
- How come you are so quick to defend other countries against Singapore, but not Singapore against other countries? You were never so quick to defend Singapore when we were criticised overseas.
- Actually, when was the last time you came to Singapore’s defense overseas, if at all;
- Why you are so ready to undermine Singapore’s interests overseas? Your position on the TPP is in fact, the same as Donald Trump. You honestly think that scrapping TPP will be in Singapore’s interest?
The fact is, Dr Chee, a man who has put down Singapore in front of foreigners so many times over the years, has no moral credibility, absolutely zero, to talk about making injudicious remarks in front of a foreign audience.
It is also naïve and simplistic for Dr Chee to attribute the current geopolitical climate in the region to just a couple of “jokes” that LHL made more than three years ago.
The fact is, an increasingly powerful and assertive China has been signalling to the entire region, and not just Singapore, that it wants a new order to be in place in what China deems as its own backyard. Surely Dr Chee can comprehend this? Ok, maybe not, since his party actually advocated a cut in the defence budget at a time when Singapore is navigating such external circumstances.
Why did Singapore keep harping about international law, Dr Chee asked. The answer is very simple. To advance Singapore’s national interests and safeguard our people’s well-being. As a small country with an open economy, we need to live in a world that is ruled by law and not by force.
So that small countries like ours won’t be reduced to become de-facto vassal states of big powers. Hence, the overwhelming need to advance the rule of law in the international arena.
It is easy to criticise. But I wonder how Dr Chee would want Singapore to conduct its diplomatic relations. Be good chummy friends with the dragon by selling our national assets like our neighbour up north? Or be like the so-called Donald Trump of Asia, waking up one morning and severing ties with our old friends?
Last but not least, it is weird for the West-loving Dr Chee to be suddenly concerned about China-Singapore relations. Many have jumped onto the dragon’s bandwagon. After all, China has the money these days, and not America.
Hmm. I wonder.
That is all.