Circumstances have changed since 1965

Mr Charles Tan Meah Yang's commentary worries me ("Voted to Leave, inspired by 1965 Separation"; Tuesday).

We cannot compare the case of Singapore and Malaysia - two newly independent countries in the 1960s - with that of the United Kingdom and European Union - two fully developed entities in the 2010s.

That Singapore succeeded was against the odds and a result of fortuitous circumstances - circumstances that the UK lacks today.

Leaving the EU does not benefit the UK in any way.

Mr Tan argued that the larger economic entities of Malaysia and the EU stifled businesses and innovation.

However, the UK has received so many things that Singapore did not have in 1965.

For example, between 2007 and 2013, Britain received €8.8 billion in scientific funding from the EU - funding that may soon be lost.

Mr Tan also said that he was swayed by the Leave camp's "uplifting message of optimism".

There is also nothing uplifting or optimistic about leaving the EU.

UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage, the face of the Leave campaign, has blamed everything from multilingual train carriages to problems with the National Health Service on immigrants.

Cards telling immigrants to go home are just the milder side of increasing hate crime. This is hardly "hope over fear".

Ultimately, voters like Mr Tan are playing with the future of a country and continent that they have no right to.

They will not be directly affected and have the option to simply move home.

Referendum results have shown that some 75 per cent of 18- to 24-year-olds voted "Remain".

In voting "Leave", voters like Mr Tan did not vote for the resourcefulness of the British people. They voted to give young Britons a future they do not want.

Rachel Eng Kai Lin (Miss)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 30, 2016, with the headline 'Circumstances have changed since 1965'. Print Edition | Subscribe