View of summit's impact on Singapore while overseas

I am on vacation with my family in Hokkaido and, through my interaction with the Japanese people, I have witnessed at first hand how the Trump-Kim summit has given our global reputation a boost, as mentioned by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong ($20m cost to host summit worth bearing: PM Lee; June 11).

During a visit to an information centre, a counter staff member asked our family where we were from.

Upon knowing we were Singaporeans, she exclaimed enthusiastically, "Oh, Singapore!! Trump!! Big news!!"

The summit was the first thing that came to her mind when Singapore was mentioned.

I have also observed television sets in shops and restaurants showing news of the summit and Singapore constantly, and pictures of our country splashed on the prime pages of Japanese newspapers.

It is not every day that the Republic is given prominence in overseas media, and it is heartening to see such a scene. It makes me proud to be a Singaporean.

One may not comprehend the extent of the summit's influence on our reputation when we are at home, and some may even be unable to see the wood for the trees when crying foul over the $20 million cost and minor inconveniences.

However, it is only when one views Singapore from the outside that he can truly understand that the impact on our reputation is not to be underestimated.

We must appreciate the officials, public servants and ordinary Singaporeans who rose up to the occasion and ensured the summit went on successfully.

Sean Lim Wei Xin

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 16, 2018, with the headline 'View of summit's impact on S'pore while overseas'. Print Edition | Subscribe