Kra canal? Just another challenge for Singapore to overcome

I WOULD be stunned if Thailand allows small-time business interests to split their nation in half with a grand waterway that has been bandied about for centuries ("Thailand's Dreams of Kra"; ST Online, April 9).

The building of the Kra canal would see the restive Muslim provinces pushed farther from Thailand's Buddhist core, and its tourism assets in the Gulf of Thailand, such as Koh Samui, tarnished. Nevertheless, we must be prepared for the possibility of cut-throat competition.

Beijing has denied official participation in the project, but some port cities in the region are already cheering their possible gains at Singapore's expense, should the Kra canal come to pass ("China not involved in Kra canal work"; May 20).

If our rivals feel it is worth their while to participate in a potential geopolitical, financial and environmental calamity, that is their prerogative.

What can a tiny city-state do against such seismic moves except to take it on the chin and welcome fresh challenges?

Competition is part and parcel of life, and hopefully this will spur Singapore to even greater heights as a global maritime and logistics hub.

Toh Cheng Seong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Kra canal? Just another challenge for Singapore to overcome'. Print Edition | Subscribe