Wake-up call to stay vigilant against any foreign threat

A sign board pointing towards the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore on April 16, 2015.
A sign board pointing towards the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore on April 16, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

It came as a shock to many Singaporeans to read that a prominent academic from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy had his permanent residency cancelled for working with a foreign government to influence Singapore's foreign policy and public opinion (Academic stripped of PR status, banned from S'pore; Aug 5).

Dr Huang Jing was said to be "an agent of influence of a foreign country".

This incident serves as a strong wake-up call to all Singaporeans, whether they are residing here or overseas.

During the Cold War and the communist and communal insurgency era, espionage and penetration activities were common, but Singapore pulled through.

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Even today, small countries like Singapore continue to face different kinds of threats, and must stay vigilant.

Terrorism, racial and communal disharmony, geopolitical tensions in the region and political developments in our neighbouring countries can undermine or even destroy Singapore if we do not stand up for our core values and defend our country.

Singapore's voice counts on the international stage despite its small size, and we must be mindful of being targeted by foreign agents planning to influence our foreign policy.

Terrorism, racial and communal disharmony, geopolitical tensions in the region and political developments in our neighbouring countries can undermine or even destroy Singapore if we do not stand up for our core values and defend our country.

No foreigner should dictate our foreign policy direction, nor should any government pressure us to take a different stance from our long-held policy objectives.

Singapore's national interests should continue to drive its objectives and goals.

As we celebrate our 52nd birthday as a nation, let us all stand united behind our Government and counter any threats against our national interest.

Ee Teck Siew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 08, 2017, with the headline 'Wake-up call to stay vigilant against any foreign threat'. Print Edition | Subscribe