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Wise and strong leaders needed to avoid conflict: Chan Chun Sing

Published on Feb 10, 2014 1:00 PM
 
Countries need wise and strong leaders who appreciate that there is more to gain through cooperation than conflict, said Second Defence Minister Chan Chun Sing. -- FILE PHOTO: ZAOBAO 

COUNTRIES need wise and strong leaders who appreciate that there is more to gain through cooperation than conflict, said Second Defence Minister Chan Chun Sing.

Speaking at the Asia-Pacific Security Conference on Monday, he said: "We also need courageous leaders who do not succumb to domestic pressures or nationalistic pursuits against the greater good of the region, including to right historical wrongs and perceived wrongs when the conditions are still premature."

These leaders must not succumb to the notion that "might is right...The mark of a powerful country is not how it is able to use its might to get its way. The mark of a truly powerful country is how it is able to restrain itself and not have to use its might to get its way and yet convince others to come along its side."

Mr Chan's comments come amid a diplomatic row between Singapore and Indonesia, following Jakarta's recent decision to name a navy ship after two Indonesian marines who bombed the MacDonald House here in 1965 that left three people dead and 33 hurt.

 
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