Minding own business not always right

It is always easy for someone to make a legal or moral judgment with the benefit of hindsight.

I am not sure whether those countries mentioned by Ms Shamim Moledina - Afghanistan, Iraq, Egypt, Libya and Syria - would be better off, had the Western countries not interfered ("West's actions may nudge more towards ISIS"; Tuesday).

But I know that there are people in countries with dictatorship governments crying for external help, and there are people who are lifted out of inhumane living conditions because of external interference.

When you see a man whacking his wife or a woman hitting a child, it would be heartless not to interfere because it is a "domestic affair", particularly when a life is at stake.

Whether it is a person or a country, minding our own business does not guarantee that we will live happily ever after.

Is the West a policeman or a bigger bully? We should look at it on a case-by-case basis.

In any case, having a policeman who errs occasionally is better than no policeman at all.

Daniel Chan Wai Piew

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Minding own business not always right'. Print Edition | Subscribe