Why Singapore Must Stand Up For the Principles that Respect the Sovereign and Territorial Rights of Ukraine

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Singapore is a small country, a country which could very well see themselves in a very similar situation as Ukraine one day (being bullied into submission by a mightier and bigger neighbouring country, who so willingly trample on the sovereign rights of its tiny neighbour). No matter the size of the country, its sovereignty, independence, and territorial rights must be recognised and respected. These are the very principles that form the foundations for the existence of smaller nations, principles that Singapore must stand up for.

Putin’s justification of invading Ukraine, by using twisted historical arguments to invalidate the legitimacy of Ukraine’s independence, goes against international law and territorial rights of many countries, including Singapore. In theory, Putin’s wanton invasion of Ukraine, and his unbending will to annex Ukraine, is a threat that Singapore potentially faces with Malaysia. Till this day, there are many in Malaysia who regard Singapore as part of the Malaysia territory.

There are those in Singapore who feel that Singapore should not be choosing sides, and go head on with Russia. These people fear that by speaking up for Ukraine, and taking punitive actions against Russia, Singapore may be seen as taking sides with another superpower, and invite trouble. To be clear, Singapore was never choosing sides, but rather, it was simply upholding the very principles that allowed Singapore to exist today as an independent and sovereign nation.

In Singapore, we are fortunate enough to be a immigrant driven, multi-ethnic nation. While this presents a unique advantage to Singapore, it also potentially threatens fault lines in our society. Post independence, Singapore has certainly grew into a mature nation with a formidable defence force strong enough to deal with most external crises. What’s left is for Singaporeans of all ethnic groups to put their differences aside, and unite in the interest of the nation.

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