If Britain were to leave the European Union, it would be similar to Singapore leaving Asean - preposterous, to say the least, it would seem.
How would leaving the EU help, and would it truly make Britain great again?
I doubt it.
It would be a little like the United States turning to isolation and ignoring the rest of the world.
The consequences would be quite painful, especially in terms of bringing the business in, not to mention the spectre of security threats that would arise.
Britain leaving the EU and Singapore leaving Asean would leave what are essentially two island nations exposed.
That would affect an entire region, where smaller entities would be even more vulnerable when surrounded by open seas.
This is why the collective works so much better, where watching one another's back is more effective than watching one's own.
As they say, there is strength in numbers, and it always works better when coordinated as one.
Therefore, Singapore must draw important lessons from Brexit (British exit from the EU), and give much thought to the implications.
In fact, it should serve to bring it closer to Asean as a whole, and vice versa.
The merits of staying within a common market that is also bound by joint-security arrangements can only ensure the survival of all states within.
And this becomes even more critical in the face of the South China Sea disputes between Asean member states and a larger nation, China.
It makes it even more crucial that members of Asean stay united.