Views

Singapore must stand firm over Terrex situation

I write regarding "Much misinterpretation over Terrex episode" (The New Paper, Dec 6).

Could this episode have been avoided?

Was too much taken for granted when transporting the nine Singapore Armed Forces armoured vehicles from Taiwan, knowing full well Beijing's determined stance on the "one China" principle, which is not being helped by its deteriorating relationship with Taipei?

It is true we need to establish the facts, but this seems to fit in with the reasons why the vehicles were impounded in Hong Kong.

In any case, we must not bow to external pressure on our defence arrangements when negotiating to get the vehicles back.

Perhaps an alternative route should be considered when ferrying our military hardware. It seems sensible to avoid Chinese ports of call.

In the present political climate, with China's insistence on exerting its influence, why risk it?

We should neither kowtow to other powers nor raise temperatures in our attempts to get the Terrex vehicles back.

Singapore has to stand firm on principle. It must have the right to choose its own path.

Playing the wait-and-watch game, negotiating, and not backing down so as to preserve the right to pursue our own objectives in our national interest - that must remain Singapore's approach.

Singapore Armed ForcesChinahong kong