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War in Ukraine should make Singaporeans reflect on how prepared we are to defend our nation

I refer to the commentary by Carl Skadian (“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a timely reminder of hard truths for Singapore”, Feb 24) and Education Minister Chan Chun Sing’s Facebook post on the situation in Ukraine.

War in Ukraine should make Singaporeans reflect on how prepared we are to defend our nation

A woman cries during a pro-Ukrainian demonstration near Downing Street, in London, Britain on Feb 24, 2022.

I refer to the commentary by Carl Skadian (“Russia’s invasion of Ukraine a timely reminder of hard truths for Singapore”, Feb 24) and Education Minister Chan Chun Sing’s Facebook post on the situation in Ukraine.

I know many of my friends and neighbours do not care about what is happening right now because Ukraine is such a distant place.

Most Singaporeans are pragmatic and are more worried now about the rising costs of food, impending increase in Goods and Service Tax and overall inflation in our own backyard.

As a Singaporean, I am deeply concerned about what is happening in Ukraine. I believe all Singaporeans should be concerned too.

Mr Chan reminded Singaporeans that events in Ukraine are a “stark reminder” to never take our independence for granted. What has happened to Ukraine can also happen to Singapore.

“Unless we are relevant, and possess the means and will to defend ourselves, we will be held ransom by the geostrategic contests of others,” he wrote.

Singapore is a very small country with no natural resources. There are much bigger countries which may not embrace the same pragmatism, beliefs, and values as us.

If Singapore is attacked by a larger country, how many Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) will stay back to defend our country, just like the many Ukrainians who are now fighting hard to defend their country from a foreign aggressor?

How many Singaporeans are prepared to take up arms and fight at the frontline? Will Singaporeans be willing to give up their lives to defend Singapore’s sovereignty and independence?

Will wives be willing to say goodbye to their husbands who are going to the frontline as soldiers? Have we as Singaporeans asked ourselves what we are prepared to do if Singapore is attacked?

Given what is happening in Ukraine, this is a good time for us to seriously ask ourselves these questions.

I am not sure what Singaporeans or Singapore PRs will do.

I know that if Singapore is being attacked by another country today, I will not be packing my bags and running away.

I am prepared to do what is necessary to defend my country from a foreign aggressor. Why? Because Singapore is my country and my home.

Have views on this issue or a news topic you care about? Send your letter to voices [at] mediacorp.com.sg with your full name, address and phone number.

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Ukraine Russia foreign affairs

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