Singapore must become self-sufficient in food

Over the years, I have believed in the importance of water as part of our Total Defence strategy.

During World War II, one of the reasons the British army had to surrender was that the Japanese army had turned off the water supply from Johor to Singapore.

In the light of the Malaysian government prohibiting the export of four species of wild-caught fish and shrimp, I would like to emphasise that self-sufficiency in food must also be regarded as essential in our Total Defence plan (KL to halt export of 4 fish species and shrimp for two months; Dec 18).

The Singapore Government should set aside some money to set up and promote a vibrant fishing industry here.

There is no reason why we cannot send out fishermen to do deep-sea fishing and turn it into a national industry like in Japan.

We are short of land, but we have easy access to the sea and the ocean is limitless.

In addition, we should subsidise and promote the expansion of our fish farming industry.

We need not confine ourselves to fish alone.

We should also subsidise and expand our chicken industry to increase our own supply of meat and eggs. There is also the need to allocate more land for vegetable farming.

By using new technology, we should be able to maximise our food production in many areas. With the support of the Government, we will find the most efficient way of doing so.

But first, we must accept the principle that being self-sufficient in food is essential to our Total Defence strategy.

George Wong Seow Choon (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 27, 2018, with the headline 'S'pore must become self-sufficient in food'. Print Edition | Subscribe