Singapore News

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Singapore small but carries a big stick

Posted by jtsmyth8 on March 10, 2008

As a small state, Singapore cannot ignore the dangers to its sovereignty and must view the world clearly, even clinically, President SR Nathan said. ‘It is critical to have a clear and clinical assessment of the world – seeing the world as it is and not as we hope or think it ought to be,’ he said on Monday at the launch of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ (MFA) Diplomatic Academy.

His speech focussed often on the way Singapore’s size and vulnerabilty has shaped its foreign policy, for instance, its distinct pragmatism and search for international space.

Pragmatism has allowed the 640 sq km-island to transcend its size and limits, he noted.

‘We knew very well that we had very little influence over our external environment, immediate and beyond,’ he said.

‘We dealt with the business of foreign relations without sentiment, ideology or illusion.’

In parallel, Singapore chose ‘to wrap ourselves in something larger’ – be it Asean, the United Nations or international legal regimes. (story)


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