Mahathir's comments

Words have made Singaporeans stand up to defend national interests

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad's claim on the return of Singapore to Malaysia has hammered home the importance of Singapore's strong stand on territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence, and the need to uphold principles that are core to our survival as an independent sovereign nation.

Singapore's secession from the Federation of Malaysia on Aug 9, 1965, was ensured through a series of agreements and legislation. Malaysia was the first country to recognise Singapore as an independent state and sovereign nation. Singapore's independence was internationally recognised.

From the standpoint of international law, any thought of Malaysia claiming Singapore, based on one man's interpretation of history, is both intellectually bogus and morally bankrupt.

As a small city-state, Singapore's continued survival depends on the rule of law and the principles enshrined in the United Nations Charter.

Tun Dr Mahathir's words may have evoked strong sentiments and caused consternation. However, his words have also inevitably made Singaporeans stand up to defend our vital national interests - sovereignty, security and the rule of law.

Henry Koh Chiew Phor



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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 24, 2022, with the headline Words have made Singaporeans stand up to defend national interests. Subscribe