Singapore can learn from Lithuania: Ng Eng Hen

A Lithuanian border guard inspects a car as it enters Lithuania at a border crossing with Russia in Kybartai on Dec 16, 2014. Singapore must keep up its strong defence and can learn from Lithuania, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday. --
A Lithuanian border guard inspects a car as it enters Lithuania at a border crossing with Russia in Kybartai on Dec 16, 2014. Singapore must keep up its strong defence and can learn from Lithuania, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - Singapore must keep up its strong defence and can learn from Lithuania, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Sunday.

"There are many lessons that Singaporeans can draw from Lithuania. We must keep up our strong defence if we are to avoid being in their precarious and hapless situation," Dr Ng wrote in a Facebook post.

 

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He was referring to how Lithuania's defence ministry recently distributed a 98-page manual titled "Things to know about readiness for emergency situations and warfare", to help its citizens prepare for the possibility of invasion, occupation and armed conflict amid recent tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Dr Ng quoted Lithuanian Defence Minister Juozas Olekas, who said: "When Russia started its aggression in Ukraine, our citizens here in Lithuania understood that our neighbour is not friendly."

Mr Olekas had also said that tensions experienced by Ukraine and Georgia with Russia cannot be ruled out in Lithuania.

In his Facebook post, Dr Ng further pointed to how the Baltic nation, which was a Soviet state from 1940 to 1991, is looking at reinstating its military conscription for male citizens, which was stopped in 2008 "much to their regret now".

yeosamjo@sph.com.sg